It’s an exciting time in the unified communications (UC) industry – providers are offering stronger solutions, and many of the leaders are making significant changes. For example, at Avaya Engage 2020, Avaya announced the follow-up to their partnership with RingCentral, which they announced in the third quarter of last year. The result of this product is the Avaya Cloud Office, and it’s designed to bring cloud-based communications to Avaya customers.

Who is Avaya

To understand how this impacts the world of UC, it’s critical to understand the players. Avaya is one of the oldest companies in this space – they have decades of providing communications solutions to their clients. Today, the company has over 120,000 customers and operates in 180 countries. Their communications solutions extend well into the contact center world, and there are more than five million contact center users that depend on Avaya solutions.

In recent years, Avaya has been known for its hardware-based options; they have a wide range of desk phone, wireless headset, conference phone, and multimedia tools that are ubiquitous in modern office environments. For UC, their business model provides hardware VoIP solutions for on premise, private, and hybrid cloud solutions. One of the company’s slogans is “The right device creates the right experience.”

Who is RingCentral

RingCentral is a leader in cloud-based UC and was named the 2016 Frost and Sullivan Company of the Year. This is definitely one of the providers that many think of when they are looking for an all-in-one experience; RingCentral has several options for quality unified communications. The company also has communications solutions for both small business and enterprise clients that bolster team productivity and collaboration.

How Does Avaya Cloud Office Help Avaya Subscribers?

Having only provided a hybrid cloud solution for its customers previously, this partnership with RingCentral allows for an entirely cloud-based solution for Avaya customers. This is the company’s first foray into pure UCaaS, and there are considerable benefits that customers of the provider should consider.

  • A Reduced Reliance on On-Premise Hardware: For companies without IT superstructures, this is a major consideration. Avaya Cloud Office is entirely off-premise and based in the cloud. This means that there will be no need for IP-PBX hardware in the company’s data center. This saves space and there will be no need for IT professionals to elicit upgrades or fix issues with the IP-PBX – any upgrades or maintenance is handled by Avaya’s server team.
  • Compatibility with Existing Avaya Hardware: Users of Avaya Cloud Office will be pleased to hear that it’s compatible with Avaya J139, J169, and J179 office phones. There will also be softphone support and support for various non-Avaya devices, including smartphones.
  • Cloud Architecture Means Better Reliability: On-premises hardware does provide reliability, but what happens when there’s a hardware issue? Typically, this means downtime, which is avoided in the cloud. Avaya’s partnership with RingCentral means that the Avaya Cloud Office solution will have cloud redundancy. Should a server go down, there will be backups in other server farms to ensure customers won’t lose communications capabilities.
  • All-in-One Functionality: This cloud-based system allows users to have voice chat, video chat, collaboration tools, and calling. These functions are available for any size of organization and they are all accessible from any device.
  • It Utilizes Avaya’s Existing Support: Avaya Cloud Office will be entirely managed by Avaya’s customer service and support team. The team is highly respected in the UC space and they’ll be able to handle support requests efficiently.
  • It’s Built on RingCentral’s Platform: RingCentral’s open platform has over 200 integrations, so having these right out of the box will be a major advantage. If a business is already using some of these third-party solutions, they can keep them and integrate them into Cloud Office with ease.

Bringing Cloud Functionality to Avaya Customers

According to RingCentral’s President and COO, Anand Eswaran, “By bringing RingCentral’s industry-leading unified communications platform together with Avaya, our aim is to help businesses empower employees to communicate, collaborate, and work better together and best serve their customers and partners.” This ability to use the public cloud for communication and collaboration is surely going to be a feather in the cap of Avaya and a great tool for its customers to use in daily business.

Avaya Cloud Office will enhance an organization’s ability to file share, team message, video conference, and chat and brings unification to teams that may be globally dispersed. RingCentral and Avaya stated that Avaya Cloud Office will be available for customers and partners this spring.

In the last few years, Avaya has been making some serious moves to incorporate more of the cloud and AI into their business offerings. This latest development is a major one that we’ll hear more about as it goes live later this year.

Switching to the cloud is a fairly straightforward process, even for businesses with existing hardware PBX systems. Wondering where to start? Check out our guide on how to switch for 2020.