Check some of our content archives and you may discover that Intermedia -- the hosted Exchange company -- once had a sister business/solution called Unison, designed for unified communications. Fast forward to the present, and some Intermedia veterans have gone off on their own to re-launch Unison as a cloud-based collaboration app provider.

The new Unison is completely unrelated to the previous incarnation -- except for some of the talent and the company name. The 30-person business has launched a collaboration tool that allows remote teams to work together. Among the key players behind the project:

  • Chairman Michael Choupak, formerly founder of Intermedia.
  • CEO Manlio Carrelli, formerly CMO at Intermedia.
  • CMO Rurik Bradbury, formerly a marketing lead at Intermedia.
  • Engineering VP Alex Hoffman, fomerly at QuickOffice, a top selling iPad app maker that Google acquired.
  • Operations VP Vladimir Strigun, an Intel and Sun veteran.
  • Product Manager Devidas Desai, a Thomson Reuters and Deloitte Consulting veteran.

So what is the new Unison up to? The company's business pitch goes like this:

  • Group email is terrible for collaboration.
  • Unison "rooms" offer a better collaboration experience. The rooms are discussion spaces.
  • Customers can create a room for each team, project, etc.

Next up, the company is launching a pilot program for partners that sell to small and midsize companies. The partner owns the customer and controls the billing process, said Carrelli. "It's a collaboration tool -- a faster, messaging-focused alternative to social enterprise tools like Yammer," he added.

I'm intrigued because Carrelli knows his way in and around the MSP partner market. Back at Intermedia he was one of the key players behind the company's channel outreach.

No doubt, the collaboration market is crowded with giants and start-ups. But we'll be watching where the new Unison takes its business with channel partners...