Avaya Consulting Service Targets Cloud Communications

The company’s new Cloud Transformation Services will help enterprises map out and deploy a cloud communications strategy.

Avaya is creating a new consulting service designed to guide businesses interested in moving their communications efforts to the cloud.

The company’s Cloud Transformation Services will help enterprises map out and deploy a cloud-based unified communications (UC) strategy that best meets their business objectives, according to Avaya officials.

The consulting services also will help service providers develop and deploy hosted communications offerings for their customers, the officials said.

The Cloud Transformation Services was one of two new consulting offerings that Avaya rolled out June 25. The other was the Continuous Performance Services that offers customers subscription-based consulting services for a range of collaboration technology solutions.

“The new Avaya Consulting Services offers are an extension of our expertise in collaboration and customer experience, and will provide companies with ongoing guidance and strategic insight to address the many challenges in deploying and optimizing communications,” Seth Frank, global vice president of Avaya Professional Services, said in a statement. “Backed by Avaya's vast experience, cloud communications is an ideal consulting offer to start with, providing building blocks to virtualize solutions for improved efficiencies and business results.”

The consulting services are delivered via Avaya Professional Services, which includes 1,500 specialists as well as business and technical consultants, the company said.

The cloud collaboration services come at a time of growing interest among organizations to begin moving parts of their communications to the cloud. According to a recent survey by Avaya, the top communications services that enterprises want to move to the cloud over the next two years are email and office productivity suites, which garnered 51 percent of the responses by survey participants.

After that are UC at 38 percent and audio/video conferencing at 31 percent.

At the same time, security is still the top concern—at 71 percent of survey respondents—in embracing cloud communications services, according to Avaya. Fifty-one percent of the respondents cited reliability as a challenge.

Overall, 47 percent of businesses are planning to deploy cloud communications services or are evaluating their options, according to the company’s survey.

For enterprises, Avaya’s Cloud Transformation Services will help organizations determine their cloud communications delivery options—managed, public, private or hybrid—through a cost/benefit analysis. Avaya consultants also will help develop financial modeling, so that businesses can better find inefficiencies in their collaboration technologies, Avaya officials said.

In addition, Avaya will help businesses design cloud communications architectures to integrate their business processes and office applications.

For cloud service providers, Avaya’s consulting services will help them refine their hosting strategies and create an architecture that can help meet the business requirements of the providers’ customers.

Hosted communications is getting attention from a growing number of UC vendors as well. Most recently, ShoreTel officials on June 19 said they will begin testing their ShoreTel Connect hybrid UC solutions this summer. In February 2012, ShoreTel bought M5 Networks, which gave the company cloud-based UC capabilities to complement the on-premises offerings ShoreTel already had.

ShoreTel Connect is designed to offer a tightly integrated solution that will encompass both the company's on-premises offering and its cloud-based ShoreTel Sky offering.