Unison Technologies and the Ubuntu Linux sponsor Canonical have teamed up to offer a complete unified communications suite for small to medium-sized businesses that run Ubuntu Linux.
The deal, announced on Wednesday at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco, will pitch the Linux-based system against Microsoft's Unified Communications platform and see Unison's software sold through Canonical's online store.
The software combines email, instant messaging, a PBX, contacts and calendaring onto a single server — Unison Server — which can run on top of Ubuntu Server. Users then access the server from Unison Desktop, which can run on either Ubuntu Desktop Edition or Windows. Businesses have the option of paying either £25 per user per year or £18,000 for a perpetual one-off licence with unlimited users. Taking into account the base licence, external connector licence and user client access licences, for an organisation of 1,500 seats the Microsoft alternative would be likely to cost more than twice as much.
"We believe that Unison on Ubuntu is a 'killer app' for Linux and a great option for any small or medium business," Unison chief executive Michael Choupak said in a statement. "It is more powerful and far more affordable than the Microsoft alternative. With the user-friendliness and wide distribution of Ubuntu, we expect this partnership to further accelerate the growth of... Linux in business IT as well as unified communications."