SOURCE: NextPlane


November 05, 2013 09:00 ET

NextPlane Study Reveals B2B UC Collaboration Still in Its Early Stages

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 5, 2013) - NextPlane, the leading provider of federation services to build and enable collaborative business communities on disparate unified communications (UC) platforms, announced major findings today from its internal study that assessed the maturity of the Fortune 1000's (F1000) unified communications capacity to collaborate across organizational boundaries with their vendors, partners and affiliated organizations. The key finding from this study is that, while most F1000 companies have mature UC deployments that support collaboration within their company 'walls,' less than 25% of these same companies are ready to take advantage of the B2B UC Collaboration opportunities that exist. 

B2B UC Collaboration, also called UC Federation, is the ability to allows end-users to have the same UC experience with business associates in different companies as if they are on the same platform, including: instant messaging and presence (IM&P), multi-party chat, plus voice and video calling and conferencing.

The NextPlane study reveals that the explosive growth in UC implementations among the F1000 has not been matched by their capacity to collaborate in a B2B fashion:

  • Virtually all of the F1000 have extensive and mature UC deployments.
  • Yet less than 25% of these same companies have the ability to collaborate with their business partners outside of the company walls.
  • The study also has identified strong growth and aggregate adoption of cloud-based or hosted UC platforms, which grew 188% over the past year.
  • This increasing number of F1000 companies with a hybrid implementation of one or more on-premises platforms -- in conjunction with a cloud-based solution -- has led to additional challenges with their capacity to support B2B Collaboration.

This proliferation of platforms, services, and protocols has led many F1000 companies to experience the pitfalls and challenges of "Do-it-Yourself" (DIY) federation, even with partners that have "like" UC platforms. This is reflected in the research, which shows over the past year the number of F1000 companies that can be considered federation-ready grew only by approximately 15 percent. This lack of growth in collaboration capability can be ascribed to three factors:

  • Increasingly UC platforms are becoming "Walled Garden" environments, only being able to federate with systems from the same UC vendor
  • UC interoperability remains immature, with only a few UC vendors offering token gateways and none of them offering provisioning and management tools for federation.
  • DIY federation has proven to be difficult to scale and elusive for many organizations.

"There is a big disconnect between the desires of organizations to leverage B2B UC Collaboration and what the UC vendors support natively. Increasingly, companies want open UC platforms where they can build collaborative communities, so that users from different organizations can share presence, chat, and participate in voice and video conferences regardless of the underlying UC platforms or services," commented Founder and CEO of NextPlane, Farzin Shahidi. "On the other hand, UC vendors are going in the opposite direction -- turning their platforms into "walled gardened environments" as evidenced by Google's recent decision to use a proprietary protocol for Google Hangouts and drop support for XMPP -- a popular, open industry standard. As a result, F1000 organizations are looking at third-party solutions that enable them to easily collaborate with their business network."

Breaking Down the Walls

For the F1000 companies that choose to invest the time and resources, the ability to collaborate in real-time across organizational boundaries with their vendors, partners and affiliated organizations is a natural next step. They have realized substantial returns in the form of enhanced, accelerated decision-making and increased productivity -- which translates into competitive advantage. Just as was the case 20 years ago, when these companies came to eventually realize how email could improve B2B communication and allowed it to migrate outside their corporate walls -- so too is the awareness of the potential benefits of B2B UC Collaboration increasing. Evidence of this is the recent launch of a new open network for the financial services industry by Markit in October, 2013. Large global banks, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, GFI Group, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Thomson Reuters are connecting their UC and messaging platforms using a new open network from Markit, called Markit Collaboration Services, powered by NextPlane's federation technology.

About NextPlane's UC Exchange Service

UC Exchange, NextPlane's federation service, has more than 500,000 federated users across 600+ unique corporate domains, generating more than 1 billion federated messages per month. Member organizations can find, connect, and collaborate with business partners across the broadest range of unified communication (UC), public IM, and social media platforms. UC Exchange supports Microsoft Lync 2013 and 2010, OCS 2007 R2 and R1, LCS 2005; IBM Sametime; Cisco Jabber XCP, Unified Presence Server (CUPS), and WebEx Messenger; Unify (formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications) OpenScape; Google Apps, OpenFire, Ezuce Open UC, and Isode M-link.

NextPlane federation technology is also being used by Markit Financial Information Services in the company's recently announced, Markit Collaboration Services. Global financial institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, GFI Group, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase Thomson Reuters, and Morgan Stanley have joined this burgeoning network.

About NextPlane

Based in Sunnyvale, CA, NextPlane ( is the global leader in UC Federation-as-a-Service. NextPlane helps companies and organizations extend and fully leverage UC and social media communications internally or across corporate boundaries, connecting users, partners, customers and suppliers in real-time collaborative business communities for enhanced decision-making, productivity, and competitive advantage. NextPlane is the provider of UC Exchange, the world's fastest-growing, cloud-based community of federation-ready organizations. For more information, please visit or contact

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