Throughout the world, organizations are deploying cloud-based UC solutions to support their workforces. After launching Avaya Cloud Office™ by RingCentral – in North America, Avaya is now rolling our its UCaaS solution to the UK and other leading markets.
On June 30, UC Today Publisher Rob Scott hosted a conversation with Rudo Tielrooij, director of cloud sales, Avaya International, and Chris Barnard, VP of European enterprise infrastructure and communications at IDC, to discuss how UCaaS is helping to shape “The New Normal.”
“As businesses get back to some sort of normal, employees will be working from home, a hotel, an office or an event venue, and Avaya Cloud Office (ACO) lends itself to supporting workplace satisfaction in all those locations,” said Barnard. He noted that IDC projects the European UCaaS market to grow to $1.17 billion by 2023, led by demand in the UK, Germany and France.
Other drivers of UCaaS growth include a desire to manage costs and improve employee satisfaction. “Enterprises are shifting from a capex to an opex model because they don’t have the budgets to invest in massive technology projects,” he added.
Other benefits to a cloud-based solution include reliability and scalability, Barnard said. “You can create a hospital in a conference center in 24 to 48 hours, compared with much longer timelines of the past.” Business continuity is another advantage of UCaaS, since workers don’t have to into the office or data center to be sure the on-premises equipment is running. “Cloud-based solutions should also have a high level of security,” Barnard added.
Asked about the next 12 months, Barnard said the impact of COVID-19 remains uncertain, but its impact on technology is clear. “We will continue to see significant adoption of cloud-based solutions,” he said. “IDC is running surveys every two weeks in Europe and we see organizations investing in a hybrid workforce. When some people work from home and some in the office, the cloud is central to communication.”
Tielrooij agreed, noting that Avaya is has been seeing strong growth in its UC solutions in the past three years, along with high demand for the new ACO offering. “We see organizations focused on delivering an excellent customer experience, and you can’t have that without a happy and engaged workforce,” he said. “UCaaS enhances the employee experience by providing features they need that are easy to use.”
Regardless of size, business needs are becoming similar, added Tielrooij. That includes the need for flexibility and agility – trends that have been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis and will continue into the new normal. “While businesses are moving to a quick deployment cycle, they also want to protect their current investments,” he said. “We are making sure their favorite features are available in the ACO solution. We also want to make migrations to the cloud as seamless as possible.”
Tielrooij noted that Avaya has been working with organizations for months, deploying work from anywhere solutions. “We have already empowered more than 2 million remote workers globally,” he said, noting that Avaya helped a major UK financial institution redeploy 5,000 agents to work from home.
“We don’t know what percentage will be working from home or the office next year,” he added. “But that distributed workforce will need a consistent communication experience regardless of device or network, and that’s what we need to put into place. Our goal is to play a central role in the workplace of the future.”