Unified communication

Masergy Tidies Up UCaaS Collaboration

Masergy is joining the growing number of operators that are making it easier for enterprises to combine all forms of communication -- voice, chat, instant messaging and more -- into one convenient package. The company last week introduced the Masergy Communicator Hub, a cloud-based aggregation service that integrates information from many forms of recent files, including emails, recent IM sessions and social media, to provide context for real-time communication.

The new service recognizes that businesses and their workers are communicating in many different ways internally and externally, and need a way to tie all those communications together in a coherent context, says Dean Manzoori, Masergy Communications Inc. vice president of Global Cloud Communications.

Masergy has been offering Communicator as a Unified Communications (UC) option for a while now, he adds, but with this new Hub tool -- included at no extra charge -- its customers can more easily navigate the landscape of messaging, online chats, emails and IMs by centralizing the information on one screen. In addition, it is now possible to share screens with those who don't have collaboration tools using WebRTC.

"For example, if you call me and you are one of my contacts, I can look at recent emails or documents we have shared, including those in Saleforce.com, Office 365 and Google [applications]," he says. And Masergy will be adding other Software-as-a-Service apps over time.

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All of this is done in the name of worker productivity, he adds. By tying together all the ways that businesses communicate today, Masergy believes it allows workers to be much more productive, instead of having to constantly search through multiple programs and databases to find the relevant information.

"At the end of the day, we sell productivity," Manzoori says. "As customers mature, as they learn about new technology advances, they come to us and this is one of the requirements now. If you don't have these, I think you will be shut out."

A growing number of businesses don't have desktop phones but use Communicator and a softphone as a replacement, he adds. These new services become a way to gain additional "stickiness" with customers. Masergy is already seeing that 50% of the new customers it adds want the Communicator features, even before Hub came out. And it is finding that customers looking for UC options will discover Masergy and buy its networking services as well, Manzoori says.

Increasingly, services like this appear to be table stakes if network operators want their business services to have the same appeal as over-the-top, cloud-based communications plays such as Twilio.

The new capabilities are based on BroadSoft Inc. technology.

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— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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