Avaya introduces new cloud-based collaboration solutions

Avaya’s cloud communications branch has announced two new collaboration solutions that are targeted to its business audience.

Zang Spaces and Zang Office were officially unveiled at the company’s Engage event, held from Feb. 13-15 in Las Vegas, as a way to address communication needs in the enterprise market.

Zang Spaces

Zang Spaces is a cloud-based team collaboration platform that not only provides a range of capabilities found in popular communication applications, including instant messaging and group chats, but also boasts business-specific features such as real time voice and video capabilities, task assignment, and meeting scheduling.

Accessible from both a computer or laptop as well as a mobile phone (Android and iOS), Spaces also integrates into existing email services like Outlook to make the experience as seamless as possible for users.

“We want to ensure that by choosing Zang, customers are getting all the benefits that a cloud solution provides in the easiest way possible,” Brian Dingwall, senior product manager at Zang, tells CDN. “We don’t want to alienate anyone or try to make them learn how to use a completely new tool, so with Spaces, we’re giving them a familiar feel while showing them how great our cloud-based solution is.”

Dingwall compares Zang’s new platform to Slack Technologies Inc.’s Enterprise Grid, released just this month, as well as Cisco Spark, both business-oriented team messaging tools.

He adds that Spaces is geared towards medium to large enterprises and can be utilized by a wide range of people, anywhere from two users to thousands.

The platform is currently in an open beta testing phase and is free to use until the end of February, when it will be available as a subscription service in three tiers. Tier one is free to download and use, but will be limited in its abilities. The middle “plus” tier starts at $5 USD/a user per month, which comes with a free 60-day trial, includes “all the great features like video calling, voice calling, task assignment, access to integration, etc.,” Dingwall explains, while the top business tier, at $25 USD/user/month includes “additional capabilities such as administration and longer dedicated support hours.”

Zang Office

Zang Office is the company’s foray into the business telephone system ecosystem. Targeting the small to medium-sized enterprise market segment, it is suitable for day-to-day office usage and supports features such as interactive voice response (a virtual receptionist that thanks customers for calling the company and directs them to who they want to reach), voicemail, voicemail to email translation, landline-to-mobile transfer, caller ID, and extension dialing.

“Traditional business telephone environments used to require a huge system sitting somewhere in the building that needed someone to set it up and maintain it, all for additional costs,” Dingwall says. “Zang Office is providing all those services to the customer using the cloud, so it takes up no physical space and is incredibly easy to get.”

The completely customizable platform can be purchased online from the company’s website and can also be installed as an application on Macs or PCs, as well as Apple and Android phones, if organizations want to extend beyond their office, Dingwall adds.

“You can pick out a number or start the process of importing your company’s existing phone numbers over to Zang Office as soon as you sign up. You can also purchase Avaya phones that are verified and vetted to work with Zang Office from the same online portal that, as soon as they are shipped, customers can start using right away,” Dingwall tells CDN.

And just like Spaces, Zang Office is available right now as a subscription service so customers can optimize costs and pay for exactly what they need, all while Zang provides the support, maintenance and upgrade services in the background.

To coincide with Avaya Engage, Zang is offering a 50 per cent off special on Offices until the end of February, Dingwall says. Standard pricing comes in three tiers, with the basic package starting at $15.95/month USD and geared towards conference room phones, the standard level at $21.95/month for the average day-to-day customer, and the power user level costing $31.95/month for those who can’t live without their phone.

While there may be other similar products available on the market, Dingwall says one of the major highlights of Zang is being able to get all these features from one vendor.

“To get equivalent services or features in the market, customers need to work with several separate companies, and that’s a hassle. So one of the major benefits of Zang is that we are a cross-platform vendor and offer bundle pricing to make team collaboration as simple as possible for out customers,” he concludes.

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacshttp://www.itwc.ca
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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