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American Technology Solutions Arizona

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American Technology Solutions welcomes Premier Building Solutions!
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American Technology Solutions welcomes Phoenix Express!
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American Technology Solutions welcomes Compass Group USA!
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My Take on Premise vs. Cloud Unified Communications (UC) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – Myth vs. Reality – Post 7.

On Final Analysis the “Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)” claims by Cloud UC Providers is based on incomplete fair and balanced information!
American Technology Solutions (ATS) counter to these claims by Cloud UC Providers offers some points to take into consideration when the time comes to perform a fair and balanced review of TCO – Premise vs. Cloud.
1. Upfront Costs;
a. Onsite Infrastructure – Are upgrades necessary for;
i. Communications Cabling?
ii. LAN Data Switches Power over Ethernet?
b. Hybrid Infrastructure offered by AVAYA offers more options so a company may consider Investment Protection vs. complete forklift replacement;
c. Browser based support by AVAYA offers BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) support for PC’s, Laptops, MAC, iPad, iPhone, Android. This works in both a VoIP and Hybrid environment with Digital Phones.;
d. AVAYA IP Office offers up to 2000 users at one site or 32 sites in a network. Growth beyond these capabilities may be addressed by using the AVAYA Aura platform and maintain significant investment protection and growth beyond 100’s of thousands of users.;
2. Ongoing Support;
a. Does the Cloud Provider include the costs of Move, Add and Change remote and onsite in the initial offer?;
b. Do they include Service Level Agreement (SLA) time intervals that will meet your business needs?;
c. What kind of remote support coupled with onsite support options do they offer (24X7X365)?;
d. What about the call accounting and real time statistical reports they offer, are they additional costs and if so how much?;
e. Do they really deliver the timely professional services they claim?
3. Faster Install Time;
a. Data Access Line, do you need to upgrade and or replace to meet the needs of VoIP?;
b. Do you need to replace the Router/Firewall to accommodate the necessary Quality of Service (QoS) metrics and Security measures?;
c. Is the current T1/PRI Service reliable and meeting your needs? Are you in the middle of a multi-year contract that would be costly to terminate? If so, then keep these services and consider changing to SIP when the contract is nearing end of life. To add SIP it is only a software addition.
4. Training Costs;
a. Training costs are in AVAYA’s favor;
i. Customer may be upgrading from AVAYA vintage to new AVAYA, gentle learning curve;
ii. Train the trainer concept for onsite subject matter experts;
iii. YouTube training videos, make these training video’s part of the new employee onboarding process;
iv. Phones and features are intuitive and easy to use;
v. Phones with buttons vs. forcing all users to control phone via the PC or MAC, not all users are accustom to controlling the phone this way and will possibly cause the loss of very experienced and successful employees;
vi. Onsite training is nowhere near the costs of the claims by the Cloud Providers;
vii. Make sure you compare apples to apples.
5. Premise Based Equipment vs. Cloud Based Equipment;
a. Router/Firewall, in some instances you may have to upgrade this to meet the needs of Cloud Providers internet access needs;
b. Both solutions require LAN & WAN equipment, but in many cases Cloud Providers require forklift upgrades;
c. Statements claimed by Cloud Providers regarding Premise Based provider onsite servers are overstated. New technology is designed with Energy Star parameters and are very efficient. Cost to run for the latest technology is significantly lower than being claimed.;
d. Many companies have installed their servers at offsite data centers. Adding the Premised Based voice servers is easy to do.
6. Full Time Equivalent Costs;
a. How does the Cloud Provider support the following service needs;
i. Onsite Data Communications Support;
ii. Onsite Move, Add and Change (MAC) Support;
iii. Remote or Software MAC Services and how quickly are they performed if provided by Cloud Provider Service Level Agreement (SLA’s);
iv. Custom Reports to meet end customers required SLA’s for their customers
In the final analysis, make sure that you reach out to both sides and ask the same questions. Share the current and future needs of your business. See to it that they each answer with empirical data, not assumptions and claims. Ask for references from each and contact those references. Have the references answer these three questions; 1) Did they deliver on the claims made in the sales process? 2) Did they track and measure any Return on Investment (ROI) claims? 3) Was the decision to move forward considered a good or bad one? Check to see if the information proposed and claimed is specific to your needs. It is not unusual to receive a proposal that is generic and not a custom representation of your current and future business needs. There is a significant amount information out there. Often each are written from a spin that supports the specific viewpoint that meets the needs of the company selling the solution. Good luck in filtering out the “Myth vs. Reality.”
This is the Final Post in a series of 7 Posts coming daily this July.
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American Technology Solutions welcomes Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix!
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My Take on Premise vs. Cloud Unified Communications (UC) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – Myth vs. Reality – Post 6.

Support Staff savings claimed by Cloud Based Providers is often overstated vs. the reality!!!
American Technology Solutions (ATS) has found this claim assumes that the customer IT staff is somehow displaced completely because the Cloud Based Solution Provider service takes care of all IT site support. That is not ATS understanding. Is the replacement of IT staff covered in the end user bundle fee from the Cloud Based Provider or are these services at additional costs? Make sure you understand and ask about this. Your company will still require IT support for the following;
• LAN and WAN equipment move, add, change and support services;
• The voice solution move, add and change service for onsite changes;
• Voice software only changes for move, add and change remote service
If the answers to some or all of these questions is yes, then what deliverable metrics, Service Level Agreement (SLA’s), does the provider commit to for these service needs; same day, next day, three days, 5 days, etc.? Often the SLA’s do not meet the need of a fast moving company that may need to add new employees quickly. If your needs are ad hoc and need to be done expeditiously, will the SLA’s from the Cloud Based Provider meet the needs of your business? ATS has enjoyed the great fortune of customers retreating from the Cloud Based Provider solution due to the ongoing service support not meeting the needs of their business or the costs were found to be prohibitive to meet those needs. This is another area in which checking with Vendor provided references is very important. Don’t short change your business by making a fast decision only to find later that a few phone calls with the questions that your business needs are asked and answered.
This is Post 6 in a series of 7 Posts coming daily this July.
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My Take on Premise vs. Cloud Unified Communications (UC) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – Myth vs. Reality – Post 5.

How much equipment do you really need onsite with Cloud Based vs. Premise Based???
American Technology Solutions (ATS) views this claim being unique to each situation, but here is ATS fair and balanced comparison. Comparing Apples to Apples; an all new VoIP solution by both Premise and Cloud based must have a router and PoE data switches. The only difference is typically a 1 or 2 Rack Mount Unit (RMU) Server in the equipment room of the customer. If the customer desires resiliency then you might have to double that. Therefore, these claims of significant power savings are likely overstated. An AVAYA IP Office single site with 2000 Users would require space for 4 RMU to house 4 Single RMU Servers and provide resiliency. Power consumption’s claims for tens of thousands of dollars in energy savings are not reality. The claim by Cloud Based routing calls to another location quickly in the event of a customer site disaster is interesting, does your company have another location sitting idle or would you have to setup temporary operations at a Disaster Recovery Site? The latter being the likely case both Premise and Cloud based solutions are in the same situation, but in the case of the Premise Based Solution rerouting of calls will be provided by the customers Service Provider to a Disaster Recovery site. In some cases these Service Providers offer Business Continuity Service Centers and therefore, in the event of a disaster you may be able to restore business operations in hours or a day. Disasters do happen and Business Continuity Plans should be considered for companies providing mission critical services. Although, there may be some cost savings in energy consumption, don’t plan on tens of thousands of dollars. Be very careful and look closely at the solution provided by both companies and use actual manufacturer specifications to acquire an accurate assessment of the power consumption for the premise based equipment necessary for each solution.
This is Post 5 in a series of 7 Posts coming daily this July.
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My Take on Premise vs. Cloud Unified Communications (UC) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – Myth vs. Reality

Premise based training costs may be significantly exaggerated by the Cloud Based Solution Providers…
American Technology Solutions (ATS) has found that AVAYA has the largest installed base of any premise based solutions, therefore, two factors to consider; Number 1, it is possible that the vintage system being displaced is an AVAYA legacy system. Therefore, the terminology, phones, features, and voicemail interface may be very similar or in some cases the same. AVAYA is often able to support the existing vintage phones on the new platform and therefore not only is training a user how to use the phone not a factor, but the costs associated with product and labor are eliminated. Number 2, AVAYA unlike many Cloud Based Solution competitors does not attempt to place minimal button phones in place of many button phones rich with the many features that users have grown accustom to using and therefore, require the user to access the features via the PC or MAC. This works fine for most of the younger generation, but in some instances it may be intimidating to the older more experienced veteran. With the AVAYA solution you can almost do everything directly from the phone with an easy to use interface as compared to the Cloud Based end user being forced to use the browser based portal. It is ATS belief that AVAYA offers a more flexible solution that is easily tailored to each unique user’s preferences vs. pigeon holing them into one interface. Another factor to consider is that due to AVAYA’s over 100 years in the business the likelihood of some or many of the users having already used an AVAYA system is a high probability; therefore, the learning curve for those individuals is minimal. AVAYA being an industry leader is blessed with not only AVAYA produced YouTube training videos, but AVAYA has over 2,000 business partners that some have produced their own YouTube videos. The access to this plethora of self-help training videos is a clear training advantage and provides low cost or even free access to train AVAYA end users.
This is Post 4 in a series of 6 Posts coming daily this July.
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My Take on Premise vs. Cloud Unified Communications (UC) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – Myth vs. Reality

An installation interval of faster to market is an interesting claim by the Cloud Based Solution Providers!!!
American Technology Solutions (ATS) finds that Cloud Based Solution Provider ride a pure data/internet access line. Most customers have internet access, but they have not been sized to provide the addition of the VoIP service requirements necessary for the Cloud Based Solution. Therefore, a change to this service is likely necessary. The interval for making changes to the internet access by a service provider is therefore a factor in the other direction. Adding to this could be costs for a Router/Firewall that will support VoIP and Quality of Service (QoS) features that may or may not be available on the current customer provided Router/Firewall. The claim that the Cloud Base Solution shortens the interval for the install is a false claim in ATS experience. In fact, a new premise based solution may re-use the existing T1/PRI’s of the current premise based solution and that would not be the case with the Cloud Based Solution provider. Therefore, reality is that in many and most instances Cloud Based Solution installation intervals are longer. If you couple this with an upgrade of the cabling and data communications infrastructure, the costs additions may be prohibitive and the timeline even greater.
This is Post 3 in a series of 7 Posts coming daily this July.
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