MSP-IT Solutions Provider
Nick O’Hara used to think that onboarding new clients to Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) was just too difficult. He couldn’t find a UC provider that could offer him a decent price or easy integration.
"We tried to work with another UC provider, but we were never able to get anything off the ground with them. Their pricing tended to be high. The integration at the time was never really that great."
Once O’Hara started working with SherWeb, he changed his mind.
"SherWeb came in after we closed the deal, worked with the customers directly to do the onboarding and there was very little back and forth. After the deal was finalized, we knew exactly what needed to happen as far as numbers being ported, services being set up, phones being shipped. It was very easy."
O’Hara is a cloud engineer for IOTAP, a Managed IT Services Provider based in Reston, VA. The company, which also has offices in the United Kingdom, Oman and India, has been in business for 15 years. IOTAP offers solutions for Business Process Automation as well as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Dynamics. The company has about 80 clients in the US and is a Tier-1 Provider for Microsoft and a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.
It’s a great collaboration tool. The applications and services in UCaaS allow employees to communicate and collaborate across their devices, no matter where they’re working. UCaaS gives them access to services like video conferencing, file sharing and instant messaging through a single, streamlined platform.
Tools in a UCaaS solution can vary from one organization to another. James Welburn, SherWeb’s Technical Solutions Advisor for VoIP, said the company has created a valuable UCaaS solution by integrating its own Cloud PBX with Office 365 and Dynamics 365.
“By leveraging our partnership with Microsoft and offering a full integration with our Cloud PBX solution, we really can offer customers the best of both worlds. Being able to access more than 50 business-grade features and use Microsoft Teams is an incredible advantage for both our partners and their customers.”
O’Hara said IOTAP, which has been a SherWeb partner for almost two years, first learned about SherWeb’s UCaaS solution while it was shopping for a new distributor for Office 365.
"We first became aware of Sherweb before we became a direct CSP with Microsoft – Sherweb is an Office 365 distributor among other things, and that’s actually a big part of our business. We learned about the UCaaS solution Sherweb offers, and we surveyed it. We thought, ‘This is good; we can pitch this.’"
O’Hara said his first UCaaS client, a software developer, was already using a VoIP solution. However, many of the company’s 50-member staff worked remotely and needed a better way to collaborate from different locations. Integrating a solution with Microsoft Teams seemed like an obvious choice, but O’Hara was hesitant because of the complications involved with hosting Skype, acquiring licenses and programming and setting up the physical phones.
"Getting a UC solution up and running, particularly in Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business…we didn’t do a lot of it before. It used to be a fairly painful and costly process – particularly around physical phone integration."
SherWeb was able to avoid this problem because its UCaaS solution has connectors that bridge its Cloud PBX system to Microsoft Teams. This means SherWeb can take care of all the backend work without intervention from either the customer or the partner. All the customer must do is log into their Teams- enabled devices using their Office 365 credentials.
"SherWeb came to the rescue and said, ‘Hey, we can do (online) presence, across the board, link everything back into Teams.’ People can call with headsets and then we have a simple phone solution. As well as porting the numbers over, we were able to work with the customer directly to do the onboarding, program the phones and ship them to the customer. The customers plugged them in, and they just worked. That was very much the onboarding process in a nutshell."
SherWeb was also able to avoid an overlap in services, something O’Hara said is quite common in this kind of system transfer.
"Some of the other clients I’ve heard about have had to have two systems running at the same time or -- worst case scenario -- the new solution kind of sits idle for up to a month. The phone process was super easy. We just plugged it in, and everything ran. There were no headaches for the set-up process. SherWeb just took care of everything."
O’Hara said his client is really pleased with its new UCaaS solution.
"They really like what the actual unified communication service provides versus the VoIP service they had before. It’s all one application and they are technical people and they really like that. When you’re not working in an office with someone, having the idea of presence, being able to simply look and say ‘Hey, is this person busy, is this person away from their desk, is this person available?’ They really like that functionality."
So, what would O’Hara recommend to other MSPs who are looking for a solid UCaaS provider?
"Go with SherWeb. They’re the best UC solution available. If your client already has Microsoft Office 365, you are selling them short of a tremendous amount of quality and productivity features that you won’t find with any other provider."