Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
Windstream Briefs on Its Growing UCaaS Portfolio
On April 28, 2021, Windstream briefed Info-Tech on its unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) portfolio, which includes its primary pure cloud offering, OfficeSuite UC, alongside their other solutions powered by Avaya and Mitel. Windstream’s UCaaS solutions form part of a broader portfolio, which includes network and connectivity, security and compliance, and professional services. Windstream predominantly aims its UCaaS solutions to mid-sized US organizations, with particular verticals in retail, banking, healthcare, and hospitality.
Part of Windstream’s selling point is also being a network operator, providing customers with a single pain of glass for managed SD-WAN and network connectivity that powers OfficeSuite UC. OfficeSuite UC is aimed at businesses with up to 20,000 users and uses a pay-as-you-go model. Capabilities customers can expect from OfficeSuite UC include instant messaging, chat, presence, mobility, CRM integrations, and A/V conferencing. For the latter capability, Windstream uses its OfficeSuite HD Meeting solution, powered by Zoom.
However, OfficeSuite UC’s contact center capabilities are currently limited to voice-only and are aimed at centers with 500 or fewer seats. For larger organizations that want to leverage omnichannel capabilities, Windstream’s UCaaS solution powered by Avaya can meet those needs. For smaller organizations that want to leverage omnichannel capabilities, Windstream’s UCaaS solution powered by Mitel is better.
OfficeSuite UC has several key integrations, including with Salesforce, Office 365, G Suite and Google Assistant, Slack, Amazon Alexa, and more. In progress is Windstream’s leveraging of Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa’s natural language processing capabilities for better contact center experiences and transcription services. Later this year, OfficeSuite UC also plans to add MMS, webinar conferencing, and be HIPAA HITECH Type 1 compliant.
The benefit of Windstream’s UCaaS solution is that it is wrapped up in a larger value-add: Windstream is also the network operator. As such, mid-size organizations experiencing pain points with multi-vendor management for telephony, network, and contact center should consider shortlisting Windstream for unified coverage.
However, innovation in Windstream UCaaS capabilities is not as rapid as other market leaders in this space. For instance, MMS and webinar conferencing are capabilities still in Windstream’s roadmap stage, whereas these capabilities are largely market-standard at this point. While Windstream does not offer robust collaboration tools, their integration with Office 365 and Google Workspace offers an opportunity to tie telephony and collaboration together. As such, organizations ought to do a thorough requirements gathering exercise to ensure they are clear on the vision they want for their UCaaS solution. They will then be in a strong position to evaluate whether Windstream can meet those requirements.
Source: SoftwareReviews UCaaS Data Quadrant. Accessed 30 April 2021.
Want to Know More?
On May 24, 2021, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) briefed on its Q1 performance for FY21. FY20 saw ALE’s global revenues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and these effects continue to ripple into FY21. While global cloud sales continue to dominate, alongside a strong quarter in China, global revenue was down 5% year-over-year (YoY).
On April 20, 2021, Nextiva briefed Info-Tech on its Nextiva One suite, with a focus on its communication applications: Business Phone (voice) and Cospace (videoconferencing and collaboration). Nextiva plans to expand beyond the US later this year.
On February 22, 2021, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) released its Q4 report. While overall global revenues were down on last year’s Q4, ALE’s cloud-based solutions continued to surge. These surges are in part explained by mid- to large-sized organizations beginning significant investments to prepare for a post-pandemic world.
On December 8, Masergy – a software defined networking services company – briefed Info-Tech on its UCaaS solution. Masergy UCaaS is built on the Cisco collaboration platform, providing a value-added service through Masergy’s SD-WAN solution and Secure Edge Network.
On January 14, Revation Systems – a provider of cloud-based compliant messaging and communications – briefed Info-Tech on its unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solution, LinkLive. LinkLive encompasses several UCaaS solutions that are primarily aimed at industries with high security and compliance requirements. These industries especially include banking and healthcare.
On November 17, 2020, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) released its Q3 report. While ALE saw increased revenue for its cloud solutions (especially for its UCaaS offering Rainbow), the overall picture was dampened by further global lockdowns and summer breaks.
On August 25, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise on its Q2 performance. While the pandemic has decreased performance in on-premises system deployment, cloud-based services are seeing significant growth.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall reports on RingCentral’s current and upcoming Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) features.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall reports on best practices for direct routing and Enhanced 911 (E911) for Microsoft Teams.