Enterprise Communications


Goodbye Siemens Enterprise Communications, Hello Unify

by Michael Brandenburg 16 Oct 2013
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October 15th was the day that Siemens Enterprise Communications retired and Unify was unleashed. The name “Unify” conveys the mission of the company to truly unify communications and collaboration among enterprise users. In a time where tech companies make up words and use mixed capitalizations in their logos with sheer abandon, it is actually refreshing to see a company adopt a simple brand that actually represents what they are about. It’s easy to see why Chris Hummel, Unify’s Chief Commercial Officer, fought so hard to get all of the trademarks and domain registrations to secure the Unify brand. That effort also explains why it took so long to shed the Siemens brand. For most companies a rebranding effort becomes the single most important effort they undertake. But for Unify, the rebranding and re-launch is actually just the next step in a whirlwind year, to put it mildly.

Leading up the rebranding, Unify has notched some significant achievements:

  • Project Ansible, the company’s next generation communications platform, has single handedly compelled the industry to talk about what many of us see as one of the bigger problems with UC: the user experience. In that regard, Project Ansible is already a winner for Unify before it even ships.

 

  • Most of the buzz around Project Ansible is almost directly attributable to arguably one of the most successful social media campaigns the UC industry has ever seen. As I mentioned on Twitter, anytime your competitors are trying to hijack your hashtag, you’re winning the social media war. The #ProjectAnsible mystery, combined with an amazing engagement throughout the Unify management team and employees, highlighted not only the company, but the thought processes that went into Project Ansible and now the rebranding.

 

  • A quick divorce in its forced marriage with networking vendor Enterasys. The Gores Group, parent of both companies, no doubt had high aspirations for the combined company, joining the likes of Cisco and Avaya as end-to-end networking and UC providers, but that kind of synergy is not something that can be forced. Divesting Enterasys to Extreme Networks, aptly timed to clear the books for Unify, is ultimately the best outcome for everyone involved. Unify can focus all of its energy on its core UC applications business.

All of this has generated a lot of attention for the former Siemens Enterprise Communications, now simply Unify, but all of the thought leadership, social media conquests, and a new name simply reintroduces the company to customers and the market. Now that the webcasts and celebrations have wrapped up, it is time for Unify to execute on its vision and the promises made to the market.

Unify also needs to deliver on what will be its new flagship product, Project Ansible. What started as a redesign of the user interface has the entire market talking about the overall user experience. To capitalize on that conversation, Ansible has to ship and ship soon. The management team clearly understands that, and a ramped up schedule for Project Ansible was announced alongside the new name. Now slated for beta testing in January 2014 and general availability in July, the success of Ansible will ultimately prove if all of the effort to re-launch was worth it.

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