The communications industry has changed dramatically over the past five years, thanks to the proliferation of cloud-based applications, web conferencing and the Internet of Things.
As the IT landscape has evolved, so has the underlying communications platform — and that’s having an impact on customer service.
Like many of our existing Avaya customers, the communications platform you rolled out several years ago continues to operate with the performance you’ve come to rely on.
But your business — and your customers — has changed dramatically over the past five years.
The demand for instant communication and collaboration is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have for enabling employees and making fast business decisions. Winning business means serving your customers in the way they want to be served — and faster than your competitors can. This is the new normal.
Perhaps you’ve already integrated voice, video, data and web communication applications and services to your team. But you may not be aware of the newer collaboration capabilities, applications and customer services available to you.
Every person these days has a smartphone in their pocket, so how can you leverage those smartphones in day-to-day business communications? Empowering mobile, remote and office workers to better engage with customers, suppliers and colleagues allows them to deliver more, and deliver it faster.
By modernising your infrastructure, you’ll be able to connect any employee, anywhere, and that means improving customer service and reducing costs — which can also translate into increases in revenue and profits.
Why modernise to Avaya IP Office 10 now?
Still, as a business owner or manager, you already have your hands full. Why add a modernisation project to your to-do list? After all, if it’s not broken, why fix it?
Here are a few reasons to consider on making the move to modernisation:
- Your communications infrastructure has grown, but you have fewer people on staff to handle it (or perhaps no one to handle it). Their employees need to work remotely, but their organisation simply can’t support it.
- Your original communications solution was designed for making calls and taking messages. It can’t handle the needs of digital nomads.
- Your employees need to work remotely, but your organisation simply can’t support it.
- You’re spending more per month on maintaining a legacy solution than you would on a monthly cloud subscription.
Every technology has a useful life. Your technology may still be working the way it was intended, but newer technology continues to evolve, delivering efficiencies, productivity and cost-savings that can far outweigh the value of keeping the old system.
A modern Unified Communications (UC) system can also provide easier management, since it requires less maintenance. Think of it like an old sports car. You love the car, but it’s becoming hard to find parts for it, making it expensive and time-consuming to keep it on the road. It’s the same thing with technology. So, it may be time to trade up that sports car to a newer model.
Consider your goals. Maybe you want to enable mobile employees to work more effectively, or help team members engage more productively. Perhaps you’re looking for greater system resiliency, to simplify your administrative requirements or to deliver a better customer experience. Or maybe you simply want to lower your operating costs. A modern communications platform can help you reach those goals.
About Avaya IP Office 10
As one of the top-selling solutions on the market today — it is designed to be directly integrated into your business and deliver bottom-line business benefits, such as streamlining operations, cutting costs, simplifying hiring and property decisions, and enhancing customer service.
The advances which Avaya has made in communications and collaboration have helped hundreds of thousands of Avaya customers change the way their businesses operate and perform, delivering tangible benefits such as:
- better serving more customers while managing their bottom line
- enabling employees to engage with colleagues wherever they’re working
- collaborating in richer and more meaningful ways that drive better outcomes.
Avaya continues to evolve the IP Office system with Release 10, which supports up to 3,000 users, providing unified communications capabilities such as mobility for any device, and is available using the same code base as a premises-based, pure cloud and hybrid deployments, with significant advances in security and resiliency, particularly for those that are interested in evolving to cloud, and significant user experience enhancements.
With Avaya IP Office 10, it is even more feasible for companies to start moving to cloud — without the typical concerns around security and resiliency.
For increased security, Avaya built in media encryption between end points to preserve data privacy and integrity, which is especially significant for cloud deployments (and that’s not something you find in many SMB offerings).
For resiliency, Avaya IP Office 10 offers four different types of failover: cloud-to- premises; premises-to-cloud; cloud-to- cloud; and premises-to-premises.
Avaya has also enhanced the user experience by introducing the H175 videophone, and streamlined and strengthened virtual meeting functions with WebRTC.
Cloud may be a buzzword, but there’s a reason it’s so popular: it’s a deployment option that offers built-in resiliency, security and ease of management, for a simple monthly subscription fee.
For SMBs that already have a premises-based system, hybrid cloud allows them to evolve to cloud in a more manageable way — retaining the investment in their system, while adding enhancements as new features and capabilities become available.
Ray Boggs, Vice President/SMB research with IDC, says:
SMBs are increasingly interested in cloud solutions, but are at different stages of adoption: some are all in, some prefer on-premise, some are in between. Avaya offers a choice with the same code base and performance regardless of deployment approach. And just as important, security capabilities are baked in, not just optional. Avaya’s message of security, flexibility and performance will resonate with SMBs.
Avaya uses the same code base for both cloud and premises deployments, which makes it easier for businesses to move to cloud at a more measured pace — adding new features and capabilities from the cloud as they become available and leveraging the investment they have in their premises deployment. Many companies will use cloud for a segment of the business — branch offices, for example, or particular employee functions such as salesforce mobility.
Despite the many benefits, some SMB owners and managers are concerned about the security, privacy and integrity of their data if they move to the cloud. Here’s how Avaya has addressed those issues.
If you aren’t ready to modernise your communications platform, the many security benefits are sure to get your attention. There’s been a significant increase in cyber-attacks against SMBs. Why? Hackers see them as easy targets, since they often don’t have the latest security tools, policies and procedures in place.
A recent PWC global survey found that the number of attacks reported by midsize companies increased 64% between 2013 and 2014, from 2,581 to 4, 227. That doesn’t bode well for SMBs.
To address this, Avaya built encryption into the media and signalling stream between endpoints, which is a big deal for those interested in going cloud. Some of the pure cloud vendors don’t do this, or may do it as an option, or it needs to be turned on by the customer.
With built-in signalling and media encryption for endpoints and UC clients, IT doesn’t have to turn it on, nor does the business have to pay for another option that increases security. Plus, it helps preserve privacy and data integrity — critical in any deployment, but especially in those delivered through pure or hybrid cloud services. This unique feature in Avaya IP Office 10 is provided at no extra cost or added complexity.
Business outages can have a much greater impact on a small or midsize business than a large enterprise — causing financial or reputational loss, or even putting them out of business. Downtime costs a company an average of $5,600 per minute, according to research from The Ponemon Institute. And with an average reported incident length of 90 minutes, that adds up to a cost of $505,500.
With the latest version of Avaya IP Office, cloud and premises deployments serve to back each other up so business operations continue even if one or the other goes down, increasing resiliency of the system and business continuity.
This unique approach to resilience provides system failover cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to- premises, premises-to-cloud and premises-to- premises. Whatever the approach, the system stays active and users maintain connectivity — and maintain operation of their UC capabilities — throughout the outage.
Enhanced User Experience
To meet rising expectations for a richer, more streamlined experience from employees, suppliers, partners and customers, additional enhancements have been made around the user experience in Avaya IP Office 10 with:
- the roll out of the H175 videophone, with a seven-inch, hi-definition touch-screen display, which is suitable for both desktops and small conference rooms.
- the roll out of a brand-new, cost-effective Avaya IP Phone, the J129, which will work with IP Office and is ideal for location-based or walk- up use cases, such as lobbies, waiting areas, office cubicles and retail space.
- the opening up of a number of APIs to make it easier for developers to create WebRTC-based clients and to simplify configuration and deployment for partners.
- more streamlined and strengthened virtual meeting functions with WebRTC audio and richer web collaboration capabilities.
Avaya has also made it easier for users to communicate from within the business applications they use on a day-to-day basis. Through Avaya Communicator for Web, they can easily access Avaya collaboration tools such as voice, video, presence and instant messaging (IM) — from any cloud-based business application or Web page.
The solution communication-enables the CRM, email, social and other cloud business applications they use to get work done. Users can now integrate Voicemail Pro with Gmail to provide UMS features, which allows for seamless voice- mail messaging, without leaving Gmail.
Benefits of modernisation
Avaya IP Office 10 is more than a solution for making and taking calls. It brings all forms of communication together: phone, email, messaging, IM and mobile. It allows you to provide anytime, anywhere communications using just about any device, and becomes part of office workflows, from streamlining operations to cutting costs and making real estate decisions. Ultimately, this helps employees work from anywhere and better serve customers.
When you modernise your Avaya communications solution, you’ll see enhancements in productivity and customer service, while reducing costs. You can cut travel expenses using powerful web-based collaboration tools, and reduce monthly calling costs through SIP trunking and routing international cellular calls through your Avaya system. The built-in audio conferencing can eliminate service provider fees, and use far less power. Many of our customers are able to re-use their existing phones for additional savings.
For IT staff, modernising your Avaya solution comes with bottom- line benefits — not the least of which is how simple and easy it is to manage the solution. Simple, web-based administration means you can quickly and easily make moves, adds and changes with point-and-click simplicity. You can also manage multiple sites from a single interface, with a fully redundant design and robust resiliency.
Extracted from the original whitepaper, Modernizing Your Communications Platform, written by Avaya in 2017.