Making a major business technology purchase isn’t something you can take lightly. And I don’t know anyone who would. It’s not the same as buying a new TV or a new phone. Those usually aren’t impulse decisions. You’ve done your research. But if it’s not what you want, you can quickly unplug the TV and exchange it for a different model. Or live with your new phone, call it mean names for the two years of your mobile contract, and make a different choice next time.

But business technology decisions affect people, processes, budgets. Deploying new tech means dealing with transitions, integration, implementation, and all that goes with those. And unlike “behind closed doors” technology that lives in the secret work of network admins, unified communications touches everyone in your business – from your employees to your customers and everyone between. And your contact center? You don’t need me to tell you how important that is.

These are the purchases that require trust: Trust in the products, trust in the vendor, and trust that your future needs are always part of the equation.

These are the purchases that require trust: Trust in the products, trust in the vendor, and trust that your future needs are always part of the equation.

Like making a purchase decision isn’t always simple, neither is deciding that it’s time to make one. Whatever brings you to shop for new tech is much more than an empty milk carton in the refrigerator. Maybe you fit into one of these scenarios:

  • You’re a new org with a blank page and get to build your setup from scratch.
  • You’ve long struggled with a pieced-together system, but now it’s time to step up to a fully integrated platform.
  • You’ve worked with a vendor for a long time, but you’re not confident in the company’s longevity. Or it’s not keeping up with what competitors have to offer.
  • You just did all that due diligence and homework. You wrote a hefty check. Now, all of a sudden, there’s a change in your vendor’s status.

Whatever the reason, it’s rarely easy. And somehow, if you’re a linchpin in the decision process, you’ll lose some sleep along the way. (If not you, someone on your team will…) Personally, I’m a fan of sleep. I like it. It’s important. Let us help you minimize that lost sleep.

Let’s not dance around it. Avaya’s recent announcements have put a lot of people into the decision process. Change and uncertainty usually do.

Let’s not dance around it. Avaya’s recent announcements have put a lot of people into the decision process. Change and uncertainty usually do. So then, what to do next? I’m not bold enough to say, “Hey, come on over and write me a check right now.” That’s not how this works. It’s not an overnight decision. You have to figure out who you trust with your unified communications and customer care solutions. And to get there means asking a lot of questions – and getting the answers you need.

Trust Cisco for Unified Communications

The industry recognizes Cisco as a leader in unified communications. We have over 15 years of experience implementing solutions for organizations of all sizes across industries, worldwide. And we don’t sit still. We’re focused on a cycle of constant innovation to improve everything we do, always emphasizing the user experience.

Does Cisco offer unified communications solutions? Yes. We have comprehensive, fully supported unified communications solutions based on proven voice, video, messaging, and mobility. We offer a range of cloud, on-premises, hosted, and hybrid solutions, including Cisco Spark, Cisco Business Edition packaged solutions, and customer care.

What should I do if I’m considering a move from my current vendor? This is a great time for a conversation with us. Together with our extensive network of partners, we’re available to talk you through your particular concerns, help you come up with development plans, and mitigate risks as you move forward.

Are there special programs to help me move to Cisco? We have several programs to help you move to Cisco, from technology migration discounts to try-and-buy offers and adoption services. Our partners can advise you regarding which ones best suit your needs.

What are some of your differentiators against Avaya? Cisco is leading the industry, with significant investments in on-premises, cloud, and hybrid unified communications solutions.

  • Innovation: Cisco Spark is helping to change the way people communicate and get things done with meetings, messaging, and calling in one platform.
  • Options: You have choices of how to bring our solutions into your organization. Depending on your needs, you might go with one of our Business Edition packaged collaboration solutions or work with a partner for a hosted collaboration solution.
  • Depth: If you are looking for advanced call control or customer care capabilities, we have solutions for businesses of any size.
  • Flexibility: The Cisco Spark Flex Plan decouples the deployment platform decision from the purchase decision so you can migrate to cloud collaboration on your own schedule.

What are the differences between the Business Edition packaged solutions? It’s all about you and what you need.

  • If you’re an enterprise with sophisticated unified communications requirements, consider Cisco Business Edition 7000. It’s a great fit for organizations with over 1000 employees. It comes preloaded with unified communications, contact center, mobility, video, paging, Emergency Responder, and more. It is a modular, scale-out solution. You might also want to consider an Enterprise Agreement.
  • For midsized organizations with up to 1000 employees, Cisco Business Edition 6000 could be a great replacement for existing Avaya unified communications platforms. It’s a complete solution with unified communications, contact center, mobility, video, paging, Emergency Responder, and more. It’s a comprehensive and flexible solution.
  • Cisco Business Edition 4000 provides essential voice and voicemail services, with easy-to-use management tools at an affordable price. It’s a great option if you have between 25 and 200 devices (such as phones). And it’s a great replacement for an existing Avaya IP Office system. To keep things simple, installation and ongoing management take place via the cloud.

Do Cisco solutions work alongside our existing Avaya investments? Our partners have great experience migrating from Avaya to Cisco and can work with you to plan your migration. We believe an end-to-end Cisco solution delivers the best experience and increases the effectiveness of communications and collaboration in your organization. But, we realize that you may need a phased approach.

What support can you offer? Our services team can help you plan every step of your journey, from planning, design, implementation, and adoption to ongoing support. Once your system is running, Software Support Service (SWSS) provides access to upgrades and global 24×365 access to our Technical Assistance Center. Cisco Smart Net Total Care™ Service provides options for 2-hour, 4-hour, or next-business-day advance hardware replacement. Likewise, our partners also offer a wide range of value-added services.

Find a collaboration partner with the partner locator tool.

Trust Cisco for Your Contact Center

Cisco has been in the contact center business since 1999. Depending on region and market share reports, Cisco is either number 1 or number 2 in the contact center platform segment. Our portfolio covers the needs of contact centers from small to very large. Deployments include market leaders in all industries and more than 27,000 individual contact centers.

Have you migrated large Avaya customers to Cisco contact centers? Yes. In fact, a significant percentage of new Cisco contact center customers are existing Avaya contact center customers, including many deployments of more than 10,000 seats.

Avaya says Cisco is dependent on third parties — is that true? Yes. Digital transformation is a value chain play that can’t be accomplished via a single vendor. That’s why we focus on extensibility to valuable third-party solutions via a strong set of open APIs and interfaces.

How do you minimize risk in moving from Avaya to Cisco? We’ve developed extensive expertise in migrating customers from Avaya environments to Cisco. That expertise allows us to reduce risk and translate your specific Avaya solution to Cisco.

How long would an Avaya to Cisco migration take? As you’d expect, it depends on the size and complexity of your current Avaya environment. A Cisco environment can be up and running in as little as 90 days.

Does Cisco have a cloud contact center solution? Yes. Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution for Contact Center is a version of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise designed for hosting by service providers and other cloud partners. It provides the same capabilities as our enterprise on-premises solution in a per-agent/per-month consumption model.

Are Avaya’s existing applications, such as Avaya WFO, compatible with Cisco’s platform?Yes. Our ecosystem partners — such as NICE, Verint, and Calabrio — have WFO-compatible solutions that have been certified and tested, and that interoperate with both Cisco and Avaya.

Can you help us maintain and manage an Avaya platform and existing third-party applications during a transition? Yes. Cisco and our partners can support migration, day-2 support, and manage and maintain an Avaya solution.

Do you have applications similar to Avaya CMS, Call Vectoring, and Session Manager? Yes. Cisco has a mature platform with equivalent or more robust capabilities due to a more modern architecture that provides greater inherent extensibility. The following table provides examples of baseline capabilities between the two companies. One significant difference: Cisco builds many of these capabilities directly into the base solution, whereas Avaya requires add-ons.

What is your global presence? Our contact center solutions have wide market presence in every operating region of the world. Our installed base scales from small contact centers to large virtual and global customer care centers. Our partners include large global as well as regional players.

Get Gartner’s perspective. Gartner positioned Cisco as a leader in all five Gartner Magic Quadrants in which Cisco Collaboration participated — including those for unified communications and contact center.



Kim Austin

No Longer with Cisco