NextPlane is the industry leader in federation and interoperability solutions for enterprises that need to connect users on separate collaboration platforms. Below is our recent interview with Farzin Shahidi, CEO of NextPlane:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to NextPlane?
A: NextPlane’s ConverseCloud is designed to allow workers to operate on their collaboration platforms of choice (Microsoft Teams, Slack, Cisco Jabber, etc.) and still collaborate with users both inside their own company and from other organizations on the tools of their choice.
We recently announced new federation capabilities with Microsoft Teams, expanding ConverseCloud as a solution that seamlessly connects more than 750,000 enterprise users every day from thousands of Global 5000 companies around the world, enabling real-time communication regardless of different internal or external collaboration platforms.
Q: How does it work?
A: ConverseCloud delivers a universal and secure service, enabling users to share presence and status, see the federated users’ profile, exchange messages, invite external contacts to participate in Microsoft Teams channels, send rich text and emojis, and share files with over 20 disparate collaboration platforms inside or outside of the enterprise. ConverseCloud does not require guest account access. Thus avoiding, the security, management and cost issues associated with guest or external accounts offered by many TC platforms, such as WebEx Teams.
ConverseCloud acts as a universal hub, performing both protocol, content and API translations between SIP or XMPP solutions, such as Cisco Jabber and Microsoft Skype for Business, and API-based Team Collaboration platforms, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.
As a universal interoperability and federation hub, ConverseCloud terminates and decapsulates the message from each platform, it determines the routing destinations and re-assembles each message based on what is expected by the target UC or TC platform of the message. For most federations, the routing is based on the domain of the destination address.
ConverseCloud uses TLS (transport layer security) for all SIP and XMPP signaling as well as for API-based communication between federating UC platforms wherever supported.
Q: Why did you introduce Microsoft Teams compatibility now?
A: Microsoft Teams is now the fastest growing business app in history, with more than 500,000 organizations now using the platform. NextPlane is offering tiered universal federation and interoperability service levels for Microsoft Teams from Basic to Premium, depending on the needs of the company.
Microsoft is a dominant force in the Team Collaboration space with more than 13 million daily active users, and will only grow more influential as it continues to invest in its already large presence within global organizations (Microsoft plans to automatically install the Teams desktop app on Windows devices linked to existing Office ProPlus accounts.)
According to our customers, Microsoft Teams is the most popular destination for many companies who are migrating to a new Team Collaboration platform from legacy Unified Communications tools like Cisco Jabber. With our new federation service, we are helping organizations make that migration as quick and seamless as possible.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your features?
A: ConverseCloud provides users with an ever-expanding list of capabilities for the industry’s most popular collaboration platforms such as:
•Search federated contacts
•Add federated contacts
•See federated contacts’ profiles
•Exchange chat and IM messages
•Invite federated users to Teams/Channels/Spaces
•Participate in federated Teams/Channels/Spaces
•Send messages with Rich Text
•Send messages with Emojis reactions
Q: What makes you the perfect choice for businesses?
A: NextPlane is the perfect choice for companies that need to reign in the modern-day collaboration chaos. ConverseCloud connects teams across different collaboration and chat platforms from legacy unified communications solutions like Cisco Jabber, Skype for Business and others, to Team Collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack and WebEx Teams.
•Acts as the secure hub for all (internal and external) UC and Team federations
•Future-proofs your collaboration platform decisions
•Eliminates the need to manage guest or external accounts
•Provides trusted access to a network of Global 5000 companies
•Provides an enterprise management portal to manage your federations
•Eliminates the need to support multiple messaging clients
•Monitors the health of all your federation with real-time alerting
•Provides insights into how your federations are adding value and cutting costs
In addition, ConverseCloud provides a secure management portal for administrators where they can quickly provision their domains for federation. Using the management portal, IT can onboard their company’s UC and TC domains and establish federation quickly and easily.
ConverseCloud management portal allows customers to utilize charts and graphs containing up to 12 months of data on the number of unique users, as well as how many messages their users exchanged with our directory of over 1,000 federation-ready companies.
Q: What can we expect from NextPlane in the future?
A: With our recent Microsoft Teams announcement, we have begun our product rollout for the leading Team Collaboration platforms. We have several more products slated to be released before the end of 2019 and are always working to provide our goal of universal interoperability between platforms.