Cloud-Based Unified Communications – Simplified, Africanised

Prebashini Reddy, Microsoft Product Manager at Westcon-Comstor

Business communication has never been as important as it is in today’s hybrid work environment. C-suite executives, line managers, and the teams themselves need to understand their organisational objectives and how they must align even if they no longer share the same office space. This is where unified communications will play a critical role in helping achieve a more integrated approach to employee engagement.

To help accomplish this, Westcon-Comstor has developed the Westcon Cloud Connect app. It combines the respective strengths of Microsoft Teams, Ribbon Connect, and Poly to deliver a unified communications solution designed for the digital age. As an experienced distributor that has been servicing the Sub-Sahara African market for decades, Westcon-Comstor has a proven track record and specialised skill set in each of these vendor portfolios. This has enabled the organisation to release Westcon Cloud Connect to reflect the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in Africa.

It really is the case of getting the best of all worlds. With this innovative app, channel partners and their customers access all the features of a traditional unified communications solution combined with the flexibility of a cloud-based software-as-a-service offering. Integrating Microsoft Teams, Ribbon Cloud, and Poly devices, organisations get a built-for-purpose solution that is user-friendly and empowers employees to be productive regardless of their geographic location and the device they use.

More than integration

But an effective solution is more than just the combination of technologies. It requires unique insights based on the operational experience of the developer. Because Westcon-Comstor has dedicated account management across its vendor portfolio, it provides access to specialists for each technology element in this bundle. This gives partners the peace of mind to meet any customer need regardless of configuration options.

More than that, Westcon-Comstor delivers certified and bespoke training courses via its accredited Microsoft Learning Centre. This equips channel partners with specific skill sets to unlock all the potential of the bundled offerings. As part of this, the pre-and post-sales teams deliver the necessary support for remote and onsite technical assistance for projects in a way that blends seamlessly into the partner offering.

In Westcon-Comstor, a partner has access to a global distributor with a local focus. Its supply chain services extend to every part of the world and include project management, integration, and reverse logistics services.

Enhanced collaboration

Westcon Cloud Connect is the ideal delivery mechanism to unlock the full potential of Microsoft Teams. Things like automated deployment and PBX integration, direct routing to capitalise on existing telecoms infrastructure, and streamlined communication processes are all possible with the application.

Furthermore, Westcon Cloud Connect supports existing carriers and PBXs to maximise what is currently in place while also unlocking the potential of a fully managed cloud service through its self-service portal. And because of this, customers always have access to the latest Microsoft Teams features, patches, and security updates to access their files wherever they are.

With the application in place, channel partners can easily add voice services to their customer’s Microsoft Teams deployment. This is done by moving the implementation to Teams Direct Routing in either a complete, partial, or hybrid approach. Westcon-Comstor has already done the behind-the-scenes integration to ensure partners can skip the intricate hardware and configuration requirements usually associated with direct routing.

Scaling for growth

And because the application is created in a cloud environment, it can easily scale once deployed to cater for any communication requirement. For instance, incorporating voice calls in Microsoft Teams without needing telephone lines. By attaching the Ribbon Connect functionality to existing Microsoft licenses, adding the call function service, a SIP line, and a Poly headset or speakerphone, a partner can enable its customer to move the office to wherever the employee is.

And because there are no minimum quantities and no minimum spend required, all purchases are billed per user per month to mitigate against the risk of unforeseen budgetary expenses. There are no deployment costs involved, with no long-term commitment necessary. The customer always remains in control over how many users are active and can add or remove them as required.

So, download the Westcon Cloud Connect app from the Microsoft AppSource store today and unlock the potential of truly unified communications for the hybrid work environment in 2022.