GO
Loading...

A Social Network That Connects Cubicles

Think of it as Facebook for the office—social networks that connect co-workers and increase productivity. It's an already-crowded space, but relative newcomer Unison Technologies is hoping to stand out.

"Our ambition is to give one billion office workers a new way to talk to each other and collaborate. We want to make working remotely as productive and meaningful as working in the same space," said Unison's CEO Manlio Carrelli.

Carrelli, the former chief marketing officer of the cloud-service company Intermedia, believes companies can get more out of their workforce by arming them with tools like real-time voice, text and video messaging and virtual "rooms" that can be shared by teams and synced across laptops, tablets and smartphones.

However, Unison faces tough competition from the likes of Jive, Yammer, Salesforce.com, and Google.

Venture capitalist Paul Lee, a partner with Lightbank, believes Unison is late to the game.

"[Unison] is a fantastic idea if it were pitched five years ago," he said.

Simon Potter | Cultura | Getty Images

But Carrelli said his company is different from the competition.

"Unison is a 'live' tool, not just text/photo posts and comments," he said. "In Unison you can 'see' which co-workers are working on the same projects as you at this second, and talk live in groups instantly."

Carrelli said that Unison's edge is in the real-time technology integrated into the software.

(Read More: Q&A With Unison CEO Manlio Carrelli)

"We started from a fundamentally different place [than our competitors] and that's why we're being very successful now with small and mid-sized businesses that have many people working on different teams inside and outside their company."

Vote
Vote to see results
Total Votes:

Not a Scientific Survey. Results may not total 100% due to rounding.

Carrelli would not share exact numbers, but he said Unison has a diverse client list with workforces that span the globe.

The company offers a basic version of its software for free and a premium version that runs $5 a month per user. Unison's competitor, Yammer uses a similar free and premium business model. However, Yammer's premium version charges $3 a month per user.

Unison was founded in 2008 by Michael Choupak. Carrrelli said the company is 100 percent owner financed and currently has 45 total employees, 30 which are full-time.

—By CNBC's Joanna Weinstein and Erin Barry

Contact Power Pitch

Owning It: Small Business

The Power Pitch

  • CNBC's "Power Lunch" is giving CEOs a chance to make a 60 second "Power Pitch" aimed to convince a panel of experts that their start-up has what it takes to succeed.

Power Lunch

  • Alibaba Group signage at the New York Stock Exchange during IPO, September 19, 2014.

    Alibaba shares hit the market Friday amid much hype, but two pros are warning investors to stay away from the Chinese e-commerce giant.

  • CNBC's Josh Lipton reports from Palo Alto, California, where hundreds of Apple fans lined up to buy the new iPhones. Tim Cook's CEO says he has both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

  • Barry James of James Advantage Funds, thinks investors should let the froth die in Alibaba before getting in; and Michael Crofton, Philadelphia Trust Company CEO,

Technology

Small Business