En Pointe Technologies, Inc., a CA (News - Alert)-based IT solutions provider since 1993, expanded its cloud offerings in 2012 to include an enterprise-class hosted voice and collaboration service based on Cisco’s (News - Alert) Hosted Collaboration System (HCS). After achieving Cisco Cloud Provider Certification with a Cisco Powered HCS Service designation, the company announced the En Pointe Collaboration Solution (ECS), a subscription-based collaboration service that integrates voice, mobility, audio, web and video conferencing, presence technology and call center applications.
Cisco offers its voice and collaboration portfolio as a subscriber-based service through Cisco partners, including En Pointe and other service providers, systems integrators, wholesalers and resellers around the world. End-user organizations pay a fixed monthly fee to utilize the hosted services for their communications in lieu of purchasing on-premises equipment and incurring the associated monthly telecom and data costs. Hosted solutions are appealing to today’s businesses, not only for budgetary reasons (reduced capital expenditures, installation and energy savings, predictable per-user monthly fees, fewer IT personnel required), but also for the range of business productivity applications and built-in redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities and the ability to take advantage of innovative technologies as soon as these become available. Multi-site and growing organizations, in particular, appreciate the scalability of an on-demand, pay-per-user model and how quickly new locations can be up and running.
ECS Targets the Mid-size Enterprise
En Pointe has a national footprint and currently offers its cloud-based services across the U.S. via data centers located in Los Angeles and Chicago. The data centers are fully redundant with complete backup and load balancing to ensure call continuity and applications are always available. En Pointe’s Network Operations Center promises 7x24x365 support.
Though Cisco HCS is capable of scaling to hundreds of thousands of users, ECS targets mid-enterprise companies with about 200-2,000 users across multiple locations, a market segment where En Pointe sees good activity and opportunity.
The ECS hosted service includes subscription-based access to all Cisco HCS services, namely Cisco Unified Communications (News - Alert) Manager (telephony), Cisco Unity Connection (voicemail, unified messaging and fax), Cisco Unified Mobility (desktop and mobile clients), Cisco WebEx Meeting Center (voice, video and Web conferencing), Cisco Jabber and Cisco Unified Presence (presence and instant messaging) and Cisco Contact Center.
Additionally, En Pointe differentiates the ECS services with some unique partner solutions:
- Calabrio (Full Suite of Call Center applications, Call recording to Call Center Optimization)
- Spanlink (News - Alert) (Cisco Call Center Enterprise Specialization)
- Shore Group (Call Center Business Process and Support)
- Equinix (Worldwide Data Center and Colocation Services)
To complement the services, En Pointe offers Cisco’s line-up of IP telephones, namely the Cisco 9900 media endpoints with optional video camera, the high-end professional 8900 models, the established 7900 business phone series and the entry-level, energy-efficient 6900 phones.
A Complete Solution
En Point can deliver a complete solution for businesses that prefer to get all of their communications from a single vendor. The company has technical expertise in both on-premises and cloud solutions, including IT support and integration, solutions expertise in data center, Microsoft (News - Alert) software (full suite of Microsoft software including Lync), networking (Cisco backbone), storage and security, consulting and professional services and the recently added cloud-based collaboration services backed by Cisco. En Pointe can also act as a Service Provider since the company offers Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and local and long distance telephone service if needed.
Availability and Pricing
ECS cloud collaboration is currently available nationwide. Customers can subscribe to one of several packages for varying basic, mid-level and advanced requirements, ranging in price from $17.00-$29.99. Packages include a basic analog phone and fax service, an everyday office worker package, a conference room or shared office package, an information office worker package and an advanced package for mobile and collaborative professionals. The packages, including support and maintenance, are offered for 36-, 48- or 60-month terms.
Edited by Brooke Neuman