Unified Office Aims To Raise The Bar For VoIP With New UC Cloud Platform

Unified Office Wednesday unveiled a new hybrid cloud service for Unified Communications that it hopes will up the ante for VoIP.

The Portsmouth, N.H.-based cloud startup introduced its Total Connect Now (TCN) 3.0 hybrid cloud platform for small and midsize businesses. Unified Office said the UC platform, which is based on the company's Highest Quality Routing (HQR) software, dynamically adapts to select the highest quality path for end-to-end communications and minimize issues with VoIP.

"How do you increase the quality and reliability of VoIP?" Ray Pasquale, founder and CEO of Unified Office, asked. "That may be a lofty goal, but that's what we're trying to do."

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Unified Office said TCN 3.0 has been independently tested by the University of New Hampshire's InterOperability Lab, which verified the increased quality and reliability of the service and stated the platform performs according to Unified Office's specifications.

In addition to higher quality and reliability, the TCN 3.0 platform comes with other cloud services, including a business continuity and disaster recovery "shadowing" service, where users are able to communicate through a shadow server. The platform also features fixed and mobile service gateways for broadband service (cable and 4G/LTE).

Along with TCN 3.0, Unified Office released new HTML5 and WebRTC applications to accompany the new platform, including a web-based receptionist console for virtual office environments.

Pasquale said VoIP and cloud-based UC are great solutions for smaller businesses, but the majority of them are still using costly, outdated telecom gear. "A lot of SMBs are using PBX systems that are 25 or 30 years old," he said. "But only about 15 percent of the SMB market is using VoIP." Unified Office, therefore, is focused on building a stronger channel presence this year to help ignite adoption of cloud-based UC. "We're trying to identify what we call the 'emerging channel' around cloud UC," Pasquale said. "We've turned our sights to the managed service providers because we really feel like these are the guys that can make the jump to VoIP [as opposed to traditional voice and data resellers]. And we feel like the technology is going to break through in the channel this year."

Unified Office, which was founded in 2011, currently has roughly 20 channel partners, but Pasquale said the company is aggressively courting new partners to build up its indirect sales. He believes that with bigger vendors like Cisco and Avaya focused on the enterprise and upper midmarket, there's room for Unified Office to thrive in the SMB market with cloud-based UC and VoIP services.

"Things have gotten pretty complicated for the small business between virtualization, and cloud and mobility trends," Pasquale said. "We need partners to be our eyes and ears within the customer."