Unify launches new licensing programme as 2014 plans advance

Unified communications specialist Unify launches user-based enterprise licensing programme as it prepares for a busy year to come

Enterprise unified communications vendor Unify – formerly known as Siemens Enterprise Communications – has launched a new user-based enterprise licensing programme, simplifying its customer-facing purchasing model and offering the channel new options around recurring revenues.

The programme makes the company’s portfolio available through what it terms “a series of easy to understand and economical software suites.”

Unify believes the programme will bring measurable benefits to both customers and partners, making it easier to plan and manage UC purchases, and ease upfront payment pressure by allowing buyers to spread their investment costs.

The programme includes clear volume discount tiers based on user numbers, and a three-year price guarantee allowing buyers to add new employees at a pre-determined fixed price. Unify claims this feature is unique in the market.

It also includes maintenance, on-call customer support and access to OpenScape portfolio upgrades, said Unify.

Ovum principal analyst Brian Riggs said: “Flexible licensing models help them [businesses deploying UC] make adjustments as they change in size and their business needs change.

“Unify’s new licensing should increase customer interest in purchasing UC solutions, as well as make it easier for them to select the package that makes sense,” he added.

Speaking to MicroScope ahead of a partner event held this week for 150 UK and Ireland resellers, Tony Smith, Unify’s indirect channel sales director, said the transition to a more channel centric model was well in progress.

He revealed that in addition to its licensing changes it has now realigned seven direct sales heads into its high-touch channel team, and was starting to push more into the midmarket. Unify reckons it has grown its UK marketshare by approximately 2.5% in the past twelve months.

Smith said he believed there were still bountiful opportunities for the channel to assist in migrating off its 30 year old telephony platform, HiPath DX, which Unify is currently in the process of phasing out, although systems will be supported through 2017.

Its recently-announced enterprise UC project, Ansible, will play a big part in this migration when it comes online, he added.

He added that since moving to the Unify brand, customers and partners had been responding more positively to the firm, and said there was anecdotal evidence that Unify’s  “more different, innovative and future-focused” branding had been a key factor in helping win several important tenders in recent weeks.

“We were drowned out by the sheer scale of the rest of the Siemens organisation,” said Smith, “and this allows us to stand out.”

Earlier in December Unify signed channel vet and former Westcon boss Dean Douglas as its CEO, which it believes serves as a mark of its commitment to the indirect model.

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