The big news at last week’s Avaya Engage conference was the upcoming launch of Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral, which will provide new opportunities for partners, master agents and agents. Avaya Cloud Office combines RingCentral’s UCaaS platform with Avaya phones, services and migration capabilities for businesses of all sizes.
Big news in cloud contact center also will come from Avaya later this year.
To find out more about Avaya’s overall cloud strategy, we spoke with Steve Forcum, Avaya technologist.
Channel Partners: So the big push right now is Avaya Cloud Office?
Steve Forcum: The biggest thing that our partners are going to benefit from with Avaya Cloud Office is the fact that they’re not going to have to be trying to convince customers of a road map. In every single one of these deals our customers are looking at other vendor solutions, and they’re asking, “Where’s text messaging,” and our partners would have to sit there, and try and sell a vision — “It’s coming, it’s coming.” Right out of the chute, it’s not coming, it’s here. And then the secondary benefit that our partners are going to realize is a lot of them might have tried to sell RingCentral’s product before and there were certain things that were missing from it that we have and our customers demand. As part of this partnership … we’re taking our features from our on-premises PBXes and porting it to their platform, so this way customers won’t have to make that compromise to switch between one to another. So for our partners, it’s what they know. They know bridged appearances, they know call park and page for retail, they know a lot of those IP Office- and Aura-based features, and now they actually have a UC platform that’s really robust, available internationally and they’ve got those features on that same platform. So for them it’s a home run because they’re not selling road map; they have those features that nobody else has been able to create in this market so they’ll be able to service customers better, which will lead to increased revenues for our partners and it will give them easier sales.
CP: How much is riding on the success of Avaya Cloud Office?
SF: Everything. I say that jokingly, but it is going to be one of the growth pillars of the company. The stock market has responded extremely favorably to Avaya Cloud Office, we’ve had some upgrades because of what the brokerage firms see as potential future earnings from selling Avaya Cloud Office. At the time of the deal, [Avaya CEO Jim Chirico] announced we have like 200 million sets and only a third of those are monetized by us right now, so even if we just find a way to monetize another third of our existing base – never mind net new logos or everything else we can do – that is a massive, massive bump in revenue for our company, for RingCentral, and it’s better for the end customers because the cloud solutions can deliver real cost savings while delivering even more functionality.
CP: What’s going to be coming up as far as contact center?
SF: We are developing our own next-generation CCaaS. The tag name to it is IX CC, it’s available overseas right now and it’s coming to the United States. It will be voice only in its first release and augmenting our …