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UC briefs: Unify updates team collaboration app pricing for SMBs

Unify has updated the pricing of its Circuit team collaboration app to appeal to SMBs, while Genband and SAP partnered to provide real-time collaboration for customer engagement.

Unify Inc. has announced a new pricing structure for its team collaboration app, Circuit, with packages to appeal to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

The free package allows up to 100 users, with 1 GB of storage and three application integrations. Unify said the free package is ideal for small teams with immediate, short-term team collaboration needs. The package can scale as teams grow.

The team package is aimed at small companies, such as startups and nonprofits, to support virtual teams with enterprise-grade collaboration. The $3.95 per-seat, per-month package allows unlimited users, but six users per conference call. It also includes 5 GB of storage and service-level agreement (SLA) support.

The professional package is geared for SMBs looking to layer a team collaboration app on top of an existing communication infrastructure. It allows for unlimited users and can be customized for additional integrations. The $6.95 per-seat, per-month package offers 10 GB of storage, SLA and help desk support, and includes features such as moderation, recording and a telephony connector.

The enterprise package will continue to cost $14.95 per seat, per month for large enterprises. The new packages are available in all countries where Circuit is available.

"With the new Circuit packages, Unify demonstrates that they're constantly evaluating the industry and making necessary changes in their business to fill tangible gaps of need for customers," said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst of ZK Research in Westminster, Mass.

Avaya and Plantronics strengthen contact center partnership

Avaya Inc. and Plantronics Inc. announced a new initiative in their partnership to address a growing need for simplified communication in contact centers and unified communications environments. The initiative pushes compatibility and tighter integration between Plantronics's headsets and Avaya's Google Chromebook-based applications, including Avaya Agent for Chrome and Customer Engagement OnAvaya.

The initiative will give contact center agents voice and nonvoice interactions with customers, including chat, email and SMS messaging.

Avaya cited a survey from the International Customer Management Institute that found 71% of contact center leaders believe that difficulties with systems and the inefficiency of tools are the top contributors to agents' workday stress. But being equipped with the necessary resources to do their jobs more effectively has the greatest positive impact on performance.

Nancy Jamison, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan Inc., based in San Antonio, said Plantronics has been working to align its endpoint business with services and offerings that help agents engage with customers.

"Expanding the partnership with Avaya, with its similarly attuned mission, will go a long way in moving the needle on customer engagement," she said.

Genband and SAP push real-time collaboration

Genband and SAP have signed a reseller agreement that allows SAP to sell Genband's platform as a service offering, Kandy.

The agreement is aimed at allowing enterprises of all sizes to improve workflow and communication processes by helping to enable sales, service and business professionals to chat, video conference and collaborate in real time with customers and co-workers.

SAP will sell Kandy under the name SAP Real-Time Communicator Web application by Genband. The real-time collaboration application supports SAP customer engagement services that allow users to embed communication within business applications for presence, instant messaging, voice and video collaboration capabilities.

The real-time collaboration app also integrates into SAP's Cloud for Customer and Hybris Commerce service to bring new communication capabilities to customers.

Nayaki Nayyar, senior vice president of Cloud for Customer engagement at SAP, said embedding digital communications in SAP Cloud for Customer allows the company to offer its customers improved productivity to better manage business relationships.

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