If you haven’t moved some portion of your collaboration needs to the cloud yet, you are likely thinking about it. While on-premises communications platforms had been popular for the past several decades, “the times they are a-changin.” Almost every customer I talk to is planning a move to the cloud for at least some portion of their communications strategy. Most are doing it to get out of the server management business, while others are more focused on the continued advancements that cloud brings.
Luckily, I have had the opportunity to focus on the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market for the past couple years and have witnessed the growth of some of our closest partners here at CDW. Over the past couple months, I’ve worked to get our Avaya Cloud Office (ACO) services off the ground, and I thought I would share some of what I learned through that process, as much of what I saw will be compelling to many of our customers.
Looking Beyond Avaya Cloud Office’s Uptime
There are many aspects of the services that our customers want to evaluate as they look at the numerous UCaaS vendors out there. Among them is reliability, which is top of mind for most of our customers. ACO’s uptime service-level agreement (SLA) is 99.999% or “5 Nines,” meaning the vendor guarantees less than 6 minutes downtime per year. Avaya offers fully web-driven management for both administrators and end users. Like most cloud solutions, we get to see updates on an almost weekly basis, with the more significant changes coming every quarter.
Avaya Cloud Office PBX service is available in almost 40 countries to date, with more frequently getting added. The current pricing on the standard features package that includes video meetings, business messaging, direct inward dialing (DID), voicemail and desktop and mobile-based softphone falls right in the middle of other UCaaS offerings in the market.
Last, customers are becoming aware of the power available to them when they integrate their collaboration solution into their other tools or even create their own integrations for activities such as automating SMS messages to their customers. With ACO being built on the RingCentral Office platform, there are thousands of prebuilt applications in the app gallery that work with ACO, as well as well-documented APIs that can be further leveraged to create some amazing integrations.
The Avaya Cloud Office Value Proposition
Why should you consider ACO over other options? A few things really stood out to me when ramping up our professional and managed services for ACO. These are the top examples:
- Ease of administering the system
- Adding a user takes one minute (or less with automated provisioning through AzureAD, Google or Okta)
- Reporting is amazing, including QoS reports that can get as deep as reporting the CPU and memory usage plus network type for softphone clients (invaluable when troubleshooting call quality issues)
- Visual interactive voice response (IVR) management
- Rich set of features
- Call queuing with dashboards for real-time reporting
- Video conference room devices (for when we finally get back to the office)
- Included Attendant Console application
- Included call recording, not to mention, whisper and barge for your call center users
- History and track record
- How could you ask for a more positive history between Avaya’s huge legacy UC and Contact Center background and RingCentral’s six years in Gartner’s leader quadrant for UCaaS?
- The UCaaS world is blowing up right now, so Avaya is keeping the pressure on, including discounts on new phones, not to mention an incentive right now for current Avaya customers to move to the cloud where J139/J169 endpoints are thrown in at no charge
The CDW Difference
As a CDW employee for the past 15 years, I understand the importance of making sure our customers are taken care of and that they are happy with the solutions we sell. My coworkers and I are hard at work to make sure that when you engage our team to help deploy your ACO solution, you have a streamlined and full-service experience that helps you in the key areas that are critical to the success of the project including network, number porting, system design and adoption. With 20 years of experience in the UC services field, we understand how to keep things on track and deliver a successful project.
We have experts on hand that can dig deeper into your specific needs and help you evaluate if ACO is the right platform for you. Please reach out to your account manager today and make sure to ask about our competitively priced, value-added services.