Keeping Scattered University Students Connected During Global Pandemic: How Channel UC and Leading CSP Provide Teams Direct Routing to Students Stranded Across The Globe

As a result of COVID-19, businesses in all sectors globally have been forced to re-think, react and readjust their approach to day to day operations. It has been a case of sink or swim in many scenarios, but with the unforeseen evolution in Unified Communications, service providers have successfully equipped enterprises with communication tools, enabling users to collaborate and remain connected, regardless of their location.With thousands of people scattered across the globe, it was no longer a simple case of just upgrading to a NEW solution, but rather a case of identifying HOW we can equip customers with sufficient communication tools, catering for the architecture already in place.With the above in mind and as the demand to provide diverse and robust communication solutions soared rapidly, Channel UC introduced Teams Direct Routing to their bouquet of offerings.















We chatted to VTS IT, a leading CSP about their experience when providing Teams Direct Routing through Channel UC and how the solution has positively impacted the way their client operates.VTS IT has recently implemented a Teams Direct Routing solution for a client of theirs within the Education Sector. As a result of the pandemic and border closures, this institution was forced to shift solely to remote learning.


PAIN POINTS BEFORE THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE TEAMS DIRECT ROUTING SOLUTION:

“Our client, who operates in the Education Sector, was utilising a complex and outdated, self-hosting solution, which was complicated to administer. Having started to experience ongoing technical issues which were out of the control of both the technical team and service provider, frustration was increasing. Not only was the current solution a logistical and administrative nightmare, the solution had now been announced end of support. It was time to seek alternatives, which COVID-19 catapulted.”


WHAT CRITERIA DID THE SOLUTION NEED TO MEET IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL?

“The solution had to be robust, future-proof and stable without the requirement of additional hardware, whilst remaining price conscious. Ideally, the new solution would complement their existing suite of software, therefore providing their staff with the ability to seamlessly complete their duties and communicate remotely across the globe.”


WHAT EFFECT DID COVID 19 HAVE ON YOUR CLIENT? DID THIS AFFECT THE SOLUTION THAT DECIDED TO PUT FORWARD?

“With the closure of international borders, the client experienced a decline in enrolments. This forced the organisation to shift to remote learning in accordance with the Government restrictions in its response to the pandemic. This highlighted the importance of implementing a solution that provided reliable communications and contact whilst working from anywhere. A major request from the client was that the solution was to be provisioned and serviced remotely, with little to no interruption to organisation functionality.”


SERVICES CONSIDERED WHEN LOOKING TO PROVIDE A SOLUTION:

“The client explored several different options, including the use of a hosted PBX ,with the use of Softphone clients. Another option that was considered, was the ability to self-host a solution within their Azure Cloud.”


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE CHANNEL UC TEAMS DIRECT ROUTING?

“Having completed our due diligence, we felt that Teams Direct Routing from Channel UC was the appropriate solution to provide, given that the client was already utilising the Microsoft Office platform. We were able to remove the self-hosted hardware, and could seamlessly implement the solution with minimal impact on the organisation – all of which could be carried out remotely. The simplicity of the structure of the Channel UC Teams Direct Routing offering ensured that we remained competitively priced and assisted us in educating the customer about the solution available. Associating truly UNLIMITED call plans to the offering was ultimately a game changer.”


DEPLOYMENT OF THE SOLUTION AND AFTER-SALES SUPPORT:

“Channel UC understood our clients’ requirements and worked on a solution that would allow inter-tenant calling on their SBC. Channel UC was able to efficiently provision the services, which enabled us to commence the deployment of the clients’ tenancies and meet the required deadline. Channel UC’s support team were hands on to address queries and resolve issues that arose throughout the deployment.”



BENEFITS OF THE SOLUTION. HAS THE SOLUTION INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY AND REDUCED COSTS?

“The client has seen an internal shift towards the preference for this solution and has successfully driven positive changes to their systems and processes. This has resulted in increased team-orientated productivity, whilst seeing a reduction in the traditional fluctuation of monthly costs – the significance being a more predictable operational investment.”

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Mia Distribution wins Cisco SMB deal

Distributor joins Alternative Channel Partner program

Mia Distribution has signed a deal with Cisco selling its networking gear to small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMB).

The Sydney-based company will join the vendor’s new Alternative Channel Partner (ACP) program for 2019, selling routers, switches and access points to channels not used by Cisco’s existing partners.

The ACP replaces Cisco’s Low Touch Model program for distributors, with partners enabled and managed by the vendor’s distributors Comstor, Ingram Micro and Dicker Data.

“We are very excited to be onboarded as part of the ACP program by Cisco,” Mia sales and product manager Matt Milne said. “We now have the ability to offer our channel market leading networking gear that bodes very well with our current unified communications offering.”

Mia will also have access to Cisco’s MSP programme, Fast Track and Commercial Xcelrate programme which rewards Mia partners for purchasing Cisco products via its web portal.

The announcement comes as Cisco embarks on a heavy push into the SMB space in Australia.

At Cisco Live, the vendor revealed a partnership with NBN Co that will reward MSPs with cash rebates for deploying Cisco and National Broadband Network (NBN) bundles to SMBs.

“Cisco is committed to helping SMB’s with their digitisation efforts in Australia and New Zealand,” Cisco A/NZ SMB segment drector Nykaj Nair said. “The Alternative Channel Partner (ACP) Program leverages the unique ecosystems that these partners have to serve the SMB market.

“This partnership with Mia Distribution will help to share Cisco’s small business technology range, which is a comprehensive solution set for to their customers.”

 

Eleanor Dickinson (ARN)

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