BrightStarr launches Unily: Cloud Intranet as a Service

BrightStarr launches Unily: Cloud Intranet as a Service

Microsoft Gold Partner BrightStarr is proud to announce the launch of Unily; cloud Intranet as a Service, built on Office 365 and Windows Azure. Unily is the brand new cloud-based Intranet solution that enhances and unites the very best of Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint and Yammer, for greater collaboration and productivity in the enterprise.

Unily draws on BrightStarr's eight years of experience in building and supporting award winning Intranets for some of the world's leading brands, and was launched at a party on the evening of the 4th of September in the brilliant Soho Hotel in Central London. With a special guest speaker and a host of excited attendees, the launch party was a great success, and we would like to share a little bit of that evening.

The Unily launch event attendees in the Soho Hotel private cinema

Will Saville, CEO and Co-Founder BrightStarr stated "We've taken all our experience, expertise and knowledge in the digital workplace arena, and built a product that we think captures the essence of what people really need from a modern Intranet. Building on Microsoft's cloud platforms has meant that we haven’t had to worry about building our own underlying data platforms, and this has allowed us to concentrate on delivering the things that really matter to people, such as fantastic user experiences across multiple channels, a wealth of common Intranet apps, and a core set of API's and connectors that make Unily scalable, extensible and very fast!"

However, Unily is far more than an out-of-the-box Intranet solution, as Unily also encompasses a set of 'success services' designed to get an Intranet up and running quickly, while promoting good governance and ongoing user adoption.

The Unily launch guests enjoying a few post presentation drinks

Zafir Behlic, Unily Customer Success Lead commented "When it comes to enterprise technology we're learning fast that installing and configuring new software is just the beginning of the journey, and is very often the easiest part. We've realized that a good Intranet implementation must be underpinned by great support and consulting services that identify issues, fix problems, provide governance, and ultimately drive user adoption. This is what delivers true return on investment for clients and what delivers an Intranet that users will love to use."

Lewis Munt, Unily UX Architect discussing Unily's exceptional design

Aligning with Microsoft's Strategy for the future, BrightStarr has taken a 'Mobile first, Cloud first' approach to Unily, not only ensuring it's optimized to run on Office 365 (with private cloud and on-premises versions also available), but also boasting an excellent range of mobile options, including a host of Native Apps and responsive design for desktop and tablet. It is, however, the Unily Native Apps for Windows Phone, Android and iOS that raise the bar for mobile enterprise collaboration, which provide a fully functioning Intranet on the go, with other product integration points including OneDrive Pro, Yammer and Office.

Special guest speaker Chris Boyd, Director of Digital Architecture and Transformation Telefonica sharing his insights on the digital enterprise

Rich Paterson, CEO and Co-Founder BrightStarr explained "We recognized early on that responsive design wasn't going to provide a rich enough experience for a typical mobile user, and decided to invest heavily into fully functional Mobile Apps. There is no doubt that at some point mobile usage, even within an enterprise environment, will overtake that of Desktop, and Unily will be well ahead of that curve."

Guests getting hands on with the Unily mobile experience on a variety of devices

Rich continued "It's been a really exciting year for us at BrightStarr, and being able to focus on a single product has been a great experience. We've effectively managed to take 80% of the features that clients ask for all the time and built them straight into Unily. There will always be a place for bespoke implementations of SharePoint, but if you are looking for a typical SharePoint Intranet, then Unily will get you up and running in 20% of the time and for a fraction of the overall technology and running costs."

Rich Paterson, CEO and Co-Founder BrightStarr enjoying the successful launch

Will Saville Co-Founder

A serial entrepreneur since his early twenties, Will co-founded BrightStarr in 2006 with Rich. Will was previously a professional chef which allowed him to express his visual creativity and aesthetics. Rich, on the other hand, was a physicist with an incredible curiosity to discover how things worked and how to make them even better. After working together at a previous company, they soon discovered that when they brought their talents together, they were able to generate remarkably engaging and disruptive solutions.

During the next 5 years, Will helped grow the company to become a globally recognized brand in the SharePoint market. Will thrives on creating exceptional user experiences that are unrivalled across the SharePoint industry and is obsessed pushing the limits of technology and innovating. Will is still heavily involved with the business 10 years since launch and spends most of his time working on the Unily products, ensuring they’re the most innovative, usable and consumed SharePoint products out there.

In 2009 Will was recognized for his achievements and selected as one of the UK’s top 30 Young Entrepreneurs winning the coveted Young Guns award.

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