Intermedia, the global leader in Microsoft Exchange hosting, today launched the first hosted unified communications (UC) service designed specifically for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Called hosted Unison, the service combines telephony, email, instant messaging and more into a single service delivered over the Internet. The service is based on proprietary technology from Unison, a software development company specializing in unified communications, and combines technology and services built specifically for small businesses to create a cost effective, easy-to-manage communications offering that mirrors UC offerings available for large companies.
“In the past, unified communications required complex integration of hardware, software and service from multiple vendors – putting the approach out of reach for most SMBs,” says Michael Osterman, president, Osterman Research. “These businesses need the same capabilities as larger businesses, but delivered as a service that is simple to set-up, easy to administrate and backed by 24x7 support. Intermedia’s offering achieves this, leveling the competitive playing field.”
Sage Research found that unified communications gives employees about an extra hour of time per day. Information is shared and decisions are made more efficiently, particularly across offices and with remote workers. Total communication costs are significantly reduced versus the cost of maintaining individual systems.
Hosted Unison integrates email, telephony, chat, presence, contacts, calendar and more into a single service. The service also supports mobile synchronization of email, contacts and calendar. Intermedia manages hosted Unison service delivery from start to finish, including – through an affiliate telecommunications company – the provision of phone numbers and voice service. The service is backed by Intermedia’s 24x7 support, migration tools and a multi-million dollar infrastructure that includes four datacenters.
“Complex implementations and high costs have shut small- and medium-sized businesses out of unified communications,” says Serguei Sofinski, chief executive officer, Intermedia. “Yet they need these benefits to level the playing field with big business and preserve funds for growth. Hosted Unison makes unified communications’ benefits accessible. It’s the next step in our continued mission to provide SMBs with powerful communications services that are incredibly reliable and simple to manage.”
Unison users interact with Unison Desktop, which was designed to have a familiar look and feel – one comparable to Microsoft Outlook 2007. Unison Desktop has both Linux and Windows versions. Hosted Unison’s development began in 2005, with the results winning a “Best in Show” at the CEBIT event in 2008. Intermedia’s service is based on Unison 3.0, designed specifically to support multi-tenant hosting and the high reliability that comes with that approach. The company has continued to beta test Unison for close to a year prior to launch.
To learn more about Unison and unified communications hosted by Intermedia, please see www.intermedia.net/products/unison.aspx.