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Avaya Engage Features RingCentral-Powered UCaaS Offer, UC Subscription Models For Partners

UC giant Avaya took to its annual event to formally introduce Avaya Cloud Office powered by RingCentral and highlighted its successful, recently-launched subscription bundles, which Avaya sees as a ‘stepping stone to cloud.’

Unified communications powerhouse Avaya is embracing a more blended model of communications to help businesses collaborate via mobile and cloud-based tools, and pay for these applications in a flexible way.

To that end, Avaya, alongside its new partner, RingCentral, formally unveiled its highly-anticipated Avaya Cloud Office powered by RingCentral on Monday at Avaya Engage, its annual conference for partners and business customers.

Avaya does about 80 percent of its business though the channel today and about 85 percent of its business comes from premise-based solutions. Since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017, however, Avaya has been shifting the business to focus more on cloud.

"There's a converged, multi-experience platform for partners now to really support any sized business. We want partners and customers to know that we have a lot of flexibility in how they consume our applications," Karen Hardy, vice president of product marketing for Avaya, told CRN.

[Related: Avaya and RingCentral Seal Cloud Alliance Through $500 Million Deal]

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company in October signed a game-changing $500 million deal with RingCentral that gave premise-based UC giant Avaya a much-needed UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS) offering using RingCentral's technology.

Avaya in January announced it would end sales of its Powered By Avaya IP Office solution and focus its resources on Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral. Avaya Cloud Office combines calling, messaging, video conferencing, file sharing and collaboration across any device or location. The solution is built on RingCentral’s open platform that offers more than 200 pre-built integrations with cloud applications, so users can still use their legacy UC and collaboration tools -- including Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and Google G-Suite -- and integrate them with Avaya Cloud Office. The offering is also compatible with several Avaya phones and endpoints, such as the J139, J169 and J179 Series phones, with additional devices to be added, the company said.

Avaya Cloud Office will be generally available for customers and through channel partners this Spring, Avaya said.

The UC giant rolled out a subscription-based model in October that lets customers buy software bundles and devices as a service. Avaya has since seen a lot of interest from customers in paying for collaboration applications based on usage in a subscription model as opposed to a perpetual license model, Hardy said.

"We almost see this as a stepping stone to cloud," she said.

Avaya's subscription bundles are available now through its channel partners. "We've had really positive feedback from channel partners that are able to offer [subscriptions] to customers," she added.

Avaya is taking to Engage 2020 to train partners on Avaya Cloud Office. Additionally, the company is offering a certification program for Avaya Cloud Office for channel partners.

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