For the last few weeks Iâ€™ve been learning about Communigate and their products at a pretty mad rate. I was introduced to them by the folks at Versature, who have been using Communigate for some time as the foundation for their services. Communigate is one of the unsung stories of the VoIP world. From their origins as a provider of very robust and scalable email systems, they have expanded into a full featured application server for unified and real time communications. To give you an idea of what I mean, their solution combines email, calendar, IM, and SIP-based telephony in a single package that can scale from just a few users to millions. Itâ€™s well integrated, with presence accurately reflected to all subscribers whether the watcher be a telephone, IM, or email client. In short, itâ€™s the realization of a lot of the vision which many much larger companies have spoken of for many years now.
Yesterday, Communigate announced Communigate Pro 5.1. This latest release includes:
Communify – A full-featured messaging client based on Flash technology and the XIMSS interface (XML API). Billed as a messaging client, Communify is really a dashboard for email, collaboration, IM and RSS feeds.
Communifon â€“ A built-in softphone is also included. This is a modified version of the SJPhone product which has been around for sometime. SJPhone always had great voice quality, but was a bit of a bear to setup. Communigate tells me theyâ€™ve addressed this.
A built in spam filter is also an option.
XIMSS – an XML Interface for Messaging, Scheduling and Signalling. The impact of this component will be substantial. XIMSS transforms CommuniGate Pro into a web application server, allowing providers to extend and develop new light-weight web applications that integrate with CommuniGate Pro 5.1. For instance, Communify is built on XIMSS. Communigate claims that no other native messaging server provides such a rich array of open applications and published APIs.
IPv6 support – IPv6 provides support for next-generation IP networks, increasing the number of available IP addresses and is required for mobile and IMS compatibility. It allows CommuniGate Pro to be fully IMS interoperable for mobile connectivity, while serving both IPv4 and IPv6 networks simultaneously.
Telnum and ENUM support is now also included.
XMPP (the Jabber protocol) – XMPP support will drive interoperability between SIP and XMPP users around the world, and enable CommuniGate Pro users to IM with users on different IM networks, such as Google TalkÂ®.
Sophisticated calendar views in webmail – CommuniGate Pro v5.1 provides new, advanced calendar views for collaboration via webmail. This is a welcome addition. Calendaring was weak in previous products
I had an opportunity to speak with Thom Oâ€™Conner, Communigateâ€™s CTO a couple of weeks ago. His ambition is to â€œsipifyâ€ the world. Like many SIP visionaries, Thom would like to see real time communications addresses (ie. voice, video, etc) be consistent with email. You should be able to call me using sip:email@example.com, for example. The difference, however, is that Thom is actually in a position to make this happen. Because every application in Communigate is so tightly integrated with every other, Communigate users are contactable using a SIP address, or a standard DID. Itâ€™s a welcome step toward the Voice 2.0 vision of a unified identity scheme.
Part of their vision, as has been made clear with this release, is to engage a community of software developers to build applications around Communigate Pro. In order to facilitate this, they will be offering:
A Community Edition. Targeted at individuals and developers, this is a free download of their software restricted to five users. You can go get it, and play with it to your heartâ€™s content.
A Community Web Site, to facilitate the exchange of information, and to make it easy for customers and other users to tap into the growing ecosystem of Communigate developers.
I have to say that Iâ€™m impressed. Hereâ€™s a company not just talking vision, but delivering it. Communigate Pro 5.1 looks strong, and is a welcome addition to the VoIP marketplace.