The power to extend presence, communications and collaboration to the supply side or customer side is invaluable.

NextPlane offers its UC Exchange service to enterprises that need federation between their chosen UC&C solution and the UC&C solutions elected by their supply chain or customers. But the folks at NextPlane go beyond UC to UC federation, and include social media platforms, security and federation policies, management and directory services.

Recently, I spoke with NextPlane’s founder and CEO, Farzin Shahidi and we discussed Google’s abandonment of open standards as a reaction to their market share erosion to Microsoft’s Office 365, choosing to develop their own closed proprietary offering (see Dave Michels’ post: Google IO Silent Messages.)

Farzin demonstrated some pretty cool features beyond just federating UC&C-to-UC&C. He demonstrated the ease of communicating between various clients and customers, including exchange of presence information. Then he showed a Lync user directly posting to Twitter. (The top image below is the Lync screen; below it is the result on Twitter.)

The first lesson is not to assume that Unified in the UC&C title strictly means between and among other vendor offerings. But there’s another lesson in the UC&C battlefield, and I think this is more important.

NextPlane has a little over 100 customers and 240,000-plus users for their services. After reviewing NextPlane’s customers online, I asked Farzin about the traffic volumes that NextPlane is currently handling. Farzin said, “We process one half billion messages monthly.”

There are plenty of reasons to use UC Exchange to federate between platforms, and to use UC&C as your medium. First is the reach to your supply chain. Then because you can extend presence in both directions–internal and external–you gain an element of collaboration; and the point of users selecting which method they want to communicate is proven with NextPlane’s half billion messages processed every month among their customer base.

Ultimately, the user knows what they need, and reducing human latency can be a achieved by the choice of which tool to use and whether or not that tool is available: Chat, text message, voice call, conference call, etc.

And to help enterprises quantify and manage these benefits, NextPlane also offers customers analytics and reporting.

It doesn’t take rocket science to clearly see the benefits of extending UC&C outside your chosen vendor to encounter your supply chain or customers. There’s no such thing as “getting lucky” in business, and even if you have something (product or service) that sells itself, I believe some customers may still need a gentle push or some persuasion.

As long as there are walled gardens, there will be a demand for middleware in the form of hardware and or software. NextPlane is another federator or “communications arbitrator” that knocks down barriers to communication and opens the channel to those walled gardens. The power to extend presence, communications and collaboration to the supply side or customer side is invaluable.

View the full article at: No Jitter

The NextPlane Team