The Microsoft UCaaS Experience

Microsoft was recently recognized by Gartner as a leader for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) because of its comprehensive UCaaS vision as well as its ability to execute on it. Teams has fundamentally changed the traditional telephony playing field and brought new expectations to the quadrant evaluation including workstream collaboration, business process and performance dashboards.

By 2024, for example, 74% of new unified communications licenses purchased by organizations are expected to be cloud-based. That’s up from just 48% in 2019.

Aura Connect promotes Microsoft’s offering for both the positive and constructive points made in the Gartner report by empowering a strong channel ecosystem, leveraging the intrinsic value of the cloud and helping customers benefit from economies of scale to save time, resources and costs. Read on to find out more.

1. Support

Putting Voice in Microsoft Teams is at the heart of Aura Connect. Our network of engineers, support staff and account teams are fully engaged to promote partner and customer success. Our 24/7 support organization is staffed with voice experts who can quickly resolve issues and answer questions. Further, since Aura Connect leverages the power of Ribbon’s SBC stack, we can monitor and manage performance around the clock to ensure the solution is delivering scale and is always optimized. This provides peace of mind for enterprise customers expecting superior uptime, elasticity and failover.

An interesting aside, Aura also supports other prominent voice solutions and has seen the Microsoft-based solution requiring a fraction of the support, calls and maintenance with five times the number of seats. These statistics are telling as to the advancement and viability of the Microsoft Teams platform to be a fully capable and robust solution for voice capabilities enabled by Aura Connect.

2. Price

While the cost of the per user per month model can seem high at first glance, Aura can easily demonstrate the financial savings of migrating to a ‘as a service’ solution with multiple subscription options, the ability to opt in or out monthly and a native global footprint of 60 countries. Rest of world countries can easily be accommodated in Aura Connect’s ‘bring your own carrier’ solution. Our platform is built to work with any native SIP carrier service and can provide the same speed to deployment with automated activation in minutes and ongoing management of users, policies and routes.

Customers need to be diligent with financial comparisons. Aura Connect doesn’t require capital outlay for hardware to support the infrastructure. There’s no carrier services contract commitment or management of concurrency or bursting – and no staffing required to build, manage and maintain the solution.

Built in Azure, Aura Connect leverages the native power of scale, failover, redundancy and security that Microsoft provides and is so good at. At a single price point per user per month, Aura Connect was designed as a true platform that’s as simple and accessible as your Netflix subscription.

3. Cloud

With Azure and Teams designed for the cloud and sitting next to each other in the same data regions, Aura Connect passes Tier 1 grade carrier services to provide a complete end-to-end solution. The solution stores no customer data and all calls are fully encrypted. This eliminates potential pitfalls of moving portions of your infrastructure down to earth with physical hardware. Doing this breaks the very strength of what Microsoft designed and can induce vulnerability and failure points as well incur additional costs for security, upgrades and maintenance.

4. Professional services

Further, based on the architecture and availability of the Aura Connect platform, professional services can be provisioned towards high value consulting services for migration planning, E911 strategy, decommissioning and more.

Partners offering Aura Connect have been delighted with the reduced maintenance and support footprint required. This allows them to offer managed service solutions for moves, adds, changes and deletes (MACD in telco talk) and deliver a high return on investment for customers.

Aura Connect makes subscription offerings available through a channel ecosystem made up of IT/Telecom Agents, Telecom VARs, Systems Integrators, IT Resellers, Wholesalers and Distributors. Aura also enables partners with resources, training and support. Channel partners can provide value-added service and support wrappers, handset or headset sales along with add-ons for call recording, eFax and contact center.

5. Return on investment

At Aura, we believe customers will only fully realize maximum ROI from Microsoft Teams if they are using all of the features versus some of them. Aura Connect empowers partners to help customers maximize their return on investment from their Microsoft Teams implementations. With 260m+ Microsoft 365 customers having entitlements to Teams, it makes sense that customers should leverage the full capabilities of their collaboration platform by enabling Voice in Teams.

Microsoft Teams was designed as a complete collaboration platform for calling, meetings, chatting, file sharing and insights with a consistent interface across the client, web browser, desk phone and mobile devices. This enhances workplace and team productivity to support work-life balance by leveraging analytics to guide corporate policy, meeting times, breaks and evaluate active engagement, fatigue or burn out.

6. Legacy integration

On occasion, customers have legitimate business reasons to maintain legacy phone systems. Hotels, hospitals and schools may need to keep black phones on desks and walls for compliancy, regulatory and liability reasons. Aura offers the ability to integrate these traditional telco solutions and modernize the workplace with Microsoft Teams.

Aura Connect’s routing manager reads the call, leverages Active Directory data to direct the call to the appropriate user and phone number between these solutions to meet key objectives and serve many different types of users, analog solutions and devices.

Ready to cut the PBX cord?

With Microsoft Teams leading the UCaaS magic quadrant, Aura Connect is poised to help millions of customers cut the PBX cord. If you would like to find out more about deploying Voice in Microsoft Teams, simply contact our team for a more in-depth chat.

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