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Choosing a Cloud Communications Provider

Unified communications technology lets businesses of all sizes increase their productivity and profitability. Consolidated Technologies, Inc. works with a host of cloud unified communications providers that deliver different advantages for your business. We understand that every business has unique needs, so we have carefully selected a portfolio of providers who understand the unique needs of companies like yours. This guide outlines what each provider offers and what size businesses they suit so that you can feel confident choosing a communications provider.

1. Microsoft Teams

For companies of all sizes, Teams helps people stay connected and organized, across work, school, and life. Its platform includes solutions to:
  • Chat: Share your opinion, and your personality. Send gifs, stickers, and emojis in a group chat or in one-to-one messages.
  • Meet: Instantly go from group chat to video conference with the touch of a button. Teams of 2 or 10,000 can meet in one place, no matter how many places they’re in.
  • Call: Make and receive calls with internal and external groups using Microsoft Teams Phone, Operator Connect, or Direct Routing.
  • Collaborate: Easily find, share, and edit files in real time using familiar apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel in Teams.
Key features of Teams:
  • Video conferencing
  • Screen sharing
  • Custom backgrounds
  • Together mode
  • File sharing
  • Apps and workflows
  • Available in 53 languages and 181 markets.
  • Privacy and security

2. RingCentral Cloud UC

Both SMBs and enterprises can benefit from RingCentral’s suite of UC, phone and contact center solutions. It has similar features to 8×8, but its strengths lie in different areas. Companies that focus on internal communications solutions might choose RingCentral instead of selecting 8×8’s robust call center features. Consider the following benefits:

  • Powerful administrative tools and a drag-and-drop development interface
  • Call center analytics alerts that you can customize based on desired KPIs
  • Direct faxes from applications like Microsoft Office, Google Drive and Dropbox
  • Audio conferencing for up to 1,000 people and video conferencing for up to 200 people

3. Avaya Cloud Office

Avaya Cloud Office is touted as “A Cloud Phone System That Works Where and How You Do.” With everything you need always handy on any device, in any location, Avaya Cloud Office lets you simplify the way your business communicates. Call, chat, meet, and collaborate no matter where your employees might be. Stay on task and on schedule with file sharing, task management, and virtual team rooms. Bring together 100+ business integrations, like Google Drive and Salesforce, to customize a true cloud unified communications experience. Avaya Cloud Office gives your employees and customers the features and options you want, all in one app:
  • Voice & Messaging: Route phones to your Avaya handset, your mobile phone — anywhere you happen to be. Or, get in touch on the fly via private or group chats and SMS. Use your desktop or mobile device to access all features.
  • Meetings: From a browser or the Avaya app, join a full-suite virtual meeting room with complete video and collaboration tools built right in. Up to 200 participants can chat, present, assign tasks, store documents, and more.
  • Analytics: Easy-to-use reporting lets you see how effectively your communications are working for your business. Use built-in reports or create your own dashboards.
  • App Integration: With more than 100 ready-to-use business integrations — including Salesforce, Office 365, G Suite — and more always coming, you can easily put communications inside all the apps you use every day.

4. 8×8 Cloud UC

The 8×8 cloud UC suite combines UCaaS and call center solutions for enterprises looking to connect employees and customers. The 8×8 solution brings enterprise features to companies of all sizes. Companies with remote and global employees can especially appreciate its availability all over the world. Features include:

  • Simplified administration and analytics of all locations
  • Collaboration client that allows for ease of engagement between colleagues and customers
  • CRM integrations for recording customer interactions of all kinds
  • Global, cross-compatible solutions for every employee, no matter where they work

5. Zoom

Zoom offers simplified video conferencing and messaging across any device. Zoom is known for unparalleled usability — it enables quick adoption with meeting capabilities that make it easy to start, join, and collaborate across any device; it syncs with your calendar system and delivers streamlined enterprise-grade video conferencing from desktop, mobile and dedicated Zoom devices; and it offers robust security settings to ensure disruption-free meetings. Features include:
  • HD video and audio: Bring HD video and audio to your meetings with support for up to 1000 video participants and 49 videos on screen.
  • Built-in collaboration tools: Multiple participants can share their screens simultaneously and co-annotate for a more interactive meeting.
  • Made for Connecting: Filters, reactions, polls, hand raising, and music or video sharing make meetings more fun and engaging.
  • Recording and transcripts: Record your meetings locally or to the cloud, with searchable transcripts.
  • Streamlined calendaring: Support scheduling or starting meetings from Outlook, Gmail, or iCal.
  • Team Chat: Chat with groups, searchable history, integrated file sharing, and 10 year archive. Easily escalate into 1:1 or group calls.

6. Vonage Unified Communications

Perfect for SMBs and enterprises, Vonage Business Communications (VBC) activates conversations across voice, SMS, team messaging, fax, social, meetings, and more, providing a unified communication experience with elevated Quality of Service (QoS).
  • A level of quality you can rely on: Enable 99.999% uptime reliability and Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Mobility and collaboration: Increase productivity and connect with your team—and customers—virtually anywhere, anytime
  • 50+ business phone features: A powerful, flexible small-business phone system that runs on your internet

7. OfficeSuite UC®

(Kinetic Business by Windstream)

Perfect for businesses of all sizes, OfficeSuite UC offers all the collaboration tools you use daily, minus the hassle of working with disparate systems. OfficeSuite UC® is one and done.
  • Feature-rich, business-class VoIP phone system
  • Runs on any internet connection
  • Includes HD video, audio and web conferencing
  • Real-time presence and company-wide chat
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee plus 24/7 support

Check out these other Cloud Resources:

Five Considerations When Choosing the Right Cloud Communications Solution

How to Adapt Your Business Operations to Future Remote Needs

5 Benefits of Moving Your Unified Communications to the Cloud

The Keys to Unified Communications Success

Improving Customer and Employee Experiences with UCaaS