Ryan Stickel

By: Ryan Stickel on September 15th, 2022

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Takeaways From a Hosted Phone System Demo

Technology Strategy | Phone and Voice Communication

My first week at Innovative brought many challenges someone might usually deal with when starting a new job. There were lots of new names and faces to learn, as well as the ins and outs of an entire company. On top of all this, I joined a managed IT services company without any background in technology.

Being in such a different environment, everything I encountered was a learning experience. With every meeting and demonstration, I was gaining new information. One of the demonstrations I had the chance to sit in on was for Avaya Cloud Office (ACO).

ACO is a hosted phone system that provides communication services to businesses, including Innovative. This made it especially relevant to me because it's a service I'll use at work regularly. The demonstration was hosted by Innovative's CIO Tyler Snyder, who did a great job explaining how many features ACO offers and how these features can change the way an office uses its phones.

In this blog, I'll go over some of those features that will be crucial to our clients, my colleagues and me.

Here's why ACO will bring you convenience

Maybe the most defining feature of ACO is its ability to make working more convenient by providing all the features of a phone on the employee's computer. This saves the company from purchasing physical handsets for each employee and installing them on all the desks.

Call and Text Right from Your Desktop Computer

We already do so much, if not all our work on our computers. It just makes sense to have the phone on there, too. So, we can call, text and work in the same spot. In fact, the move from the physical handset to the computer does not cause any loss in functionality and offers even more features than you'd typically get with a phone.

ACO Mobile App Lets You Use Your Work Phone On Any Device

ACO's services aren't just limited to the computer. You can access its features through an app on your smartphone. This allows employees to take calls and messages when they're out of the office. This is a massive perk for the company because it saves it from purchasing work cell phones for each employee who needs one. The ACO app provides all the functions of a company phone and more.

ACO Customization Options

There's plenty of room for customization in ACO. The list of possible customizations is endless. If you're interested in diving into all of the detailed configuration options, ACO makes those resources available.

Some of the most common customizable features include:

  • Voicemails - Either configure an automated voice or record your own message.
  • Caller IDs – Choose how caller ID appears on the receiving end of your call. For example, you could choose for the person you're calling to see your dedicated direct phone number or the company's main number.
  • Routing numbers - When someone calls the company, customize the numbered options they can select from when choosing where they want their call to be directed.

Microsoft 365 and Other Integrations

In addition to the customization, ACO easily integrates with other services an organization might use. You can automatically sync your phone numbers listed under contacts in Microsoft 365 to ACO. This allows easy access for employees as soon as they log on. There's also integration with web browsing. Google Chrome users can download an ACO extension that allows one-click calling for numbers that appear on their screen when browsing. This makes it easy to contact people outside of the organization.

Importance of an Experienced ACO Partner

I learned about all these features and more, but my learning wasn't just limited to software. The presentation itself was a learning experience.

Tyler was engaging and efficient when demonstrating the software. He showed off a ton of features while not getting lost in the details, which can be very easy for a service with this much to offer.

Something else that impressed me was how quickly all the client's questions were answered. In the rare case they asked a question that needed a bit of research, Tyler was open and honest and told them he didn't have an answer and that he'd investigate it. This was refreshing to hear, as he didn't lie or make an uneducated guess just to sell them on something.

Learning a Lot in Just One Meeting

This meeting was just one example of me being a sponge for information in my first days at Innovative. It's been fun yet challenging learning all the new names, faces and procedures along with all the services that we have to offer. The demonstration I sat in on shows that you can learn a ton of information about any given product or service in only one hour. It's a testament to how important a good sales pitch or meeting is. 

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