1272 Bond Street, Naperville, IL 60563 630-505-7500

Q4 is upon us, and we’re entering the home stretch for the year—and the decade. Businesses of all sizes are looking back on 2019 to audit crucial infrastructure and evaluate performance and cost-effectiveness to inform both their short-term organizational investments as well as long-term planning.

The adoption of cloud computing will sustain its acceleration through the new year as organizations continue to explore and fine-tune the mixture of on-premise and managed cloud services and applications that work best. In the past year, an increasing number of businesses have opted for multi-cloud and hybrid IT environments as a way to leverage the strength of various cloud solutions and deployment models based on data and application requirements as well as cost, compliance, performance, and future sustainability.

Flexera reports that 45% of enterprises deployed some sort of hybrid solution in 2019, and 31% utilized public cloud. (31% public; 9% on-premise private cloud; 6% hosted private cloud.) Last year, 30% of all IT budgets are being allocated to cloud computing and by 2020, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud (Forbes).

Nearly 90% of businesses predict their IT budgets will grow or stay steady over the next year. Over $20 billion was reportedly spent in one quarter in 2018; companies are spending on cloud solutions to improve customer experiences, drive operational efficiencies and improve employee productivity. Cloud communications solutions such as CCaaS and UCaaS, for example, are not just tools for communications; in fact, streamlining communications—even with true omnichannel capabilities—is only a small portion of the collection of benefits organizations see. Other benefits include reduced IT workloads and scalability and enhanced analytics. Forrester reports nearly 7 out of 10 IT managers feel that improving the experience of their customers is a top business priority, and PricewaterhouseCooper reports “nearly 80% of consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience.”

Innovation on the horizon for cloud communication solutions includes the increasing maturity of artificial intelligence and its ability to interpret large quantities of unstructured data. For example, a contact center might field thousands of calls in a given day; AI can analyze every interaction and, based on trends, potentially identify opportunities in real-time. Be it quick fixes or new product features, AI can reduce the lead time it takes a business to adapt and deliver value back to the customer.

Similarly, IVR (interactive voice response) will continue to make headway in 2020—powered by AI, of course. With the ability to interpret accents and tones with better accuracy than traditional speech recognition software, intelligent IVR is one of the major contact center trends for 2020. AI-powered IVR systems can also benefit customers who are hesitant to wait in a call queue by assigning the caller to specific agents or departments on a case-by-case basis.

Again, in deference to customer experience, surveys have shown that customers have a strong preference for self-service solutions over agent support. As such, self-assist tools, including FAQs and tutorials that help customers to self-troubleshoot generic issues, have gained favor from consumers because they can quickly resolve the majority of simple concerns before a live agent needs to be involved. A rise in the adoption of self-assist tools is predicted in 2020, as most organizations are working to free up their agents to focus on more time and resource-intensive tasks.

Lastly, more organizations will be looking to leverage high-end message filtering technology that reduces the number of error messages and misinformation without impacting customer experience or experiencing loss of time or money. The utilization of message recall technology is a major milestone for call center business. While message transmissions can be delayed by a couple of seconds, the result could be worth millions of dollars in savings annually, depending on the size of the organization.

MarketsandMarkets reports that UCaaS will grow to over $28 billion by 2021. The market is only 16% penetrated and cloud-based contact center is growing at 25.2 CAGR resulting in a 20.9 billion market by 2022. 


Network Services
A combination of certain technologies can provide exponential benefits when bundled together; an example being SD-WAN, a natural fit for Unified Communications to improve voice and video call quality, providing more deployment options, efficient bandwidth use and potentially, lower costs.

Research firm IDC predicts that, over the next several years, cloud-driven solutions will present businesses with the potential to significantly improve performance or increase productivity. In addition to cost-effectiveness and quality of service, SD-WAN and UCaaS, both as-a-service solutions, allow a pay-as-you-grow model that can easily adapt to expanding teams and offices—and easily scale down during slow periods.

1. Better Routing:

SD-WAN addresses issues that contribute to lower QoS (quality-of-service) such as jitter, packet loss, and latency with dynamic traffic management across multiple network links in real-time. Some SD-WAN solutions provide both redundancy and QoS to networks and improve the quality of an organization’s connection via cloud-managed router capabilities.

2. Extra Reliability:

SD-WAN often serves as a cost-effective backup solution because it enables an active-active configuration, which enables operational continuity in case of link failure. This allows for near 100% up-times as well as superior voice and video quality.

3. Improved Security:

SD-WAN enables the security of UC solutions in several ways. Primarily, WAN segmentation, which can reduce the instances of some of the most prevalent cyber-attacks that can occur in UC systems. By isolating traffic by application, it’s also more difficult for some threats to identify and/or attack core applications. Not only does SD-WAN enable increased security protocols, but it also provides a cleaner flow for UC traffic.

4. Better Monitoring:

While emails, normal web browsing and most file transfers can handle jitter and packet loss with fairly minimal loss of productivity, with UCaaS, the same jitter and packet loss when dealing with voice or conference and video results in a noticeable slow-down of productivity and frustrates employees and customers alike. With SD-WAN, traffic prioritization can be managed so that tasks that can wait are automatically put on the back burner to highly prioritized traffic, such as a web conference or phone calls.

5. Compliance:

Together with UCaaS, SD-WAN helps to ensure that compliance regulations are met for industries such as healthcare and finance—even PCI-DS and GDPR—due to the inherent redundancy and traffic prioritization traits of the solution.

6. More Services:

Reliability and prioritization also make adding other cloud-based solutions easier without needing to increase the amount of bandwidth. This is particularly true for organizations utilizing SD-WAN in a multi-office environment.

Interested in learning more about UCaaS with SD-WAN specifically? Download our e-Book.


Improve your communication, collaboration, and customer experience with RingCentral [Webinar]

RingCentral, the industry-leading provider of cloud-based unified communications solutions, will discuss the latest trends in UC and show you how Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) can streamline your customer interactions. 

Join us to learn how connecting your customers, partners, and teams — anywhere, on any device — can improve your customer experience and your bottom line.


Wednesday Feb 27, 2019 1:00 PM Central

*Stay until the end where we will raffle (3) $100 Amazon Gift Cards for attendees!


From ATI

An ATI on-site white glove implementation:


  • Planning and design
  • Configuration and testing
  • Go-Live deployment
  • Hands-On training
  • Ongoing support

Schedule a no obligation Cloud Connection Review with ATI today.

cloud phone systems

ATI Cloud Connect

Your ATI Cloud Connect team is dedicated to making your transition to a new cloud phone system a smooth one. Our team will lead you through the implementation process from start to finish.


  •  Network site survey, call flow design, LAN readiness
  •  Managed services turn-up, network install, porting
  •  On-site, install system, assign phones

Learn more about our cloud phones here.


While most businesses have adopted some type of cloud-based technology, not all of them have implemented a unified multi-media communications platform that integrates phones, chat, email, web conferencing, and file sharing into a single cloud-based platform. UCaaS offers many benefits such as mobility, improved voice quality and exceptional reliability that Broadsoft predicts more than half of all organizations will adopt by 2020.


There are several ways that you can optimize your customer’s business savings by deploying UCaaS, outlined below are three considerations.




Enable Global Collaboration. UCaaS allows businesses to take geography out of the equation when hiring talent. With unemployment rates low, it’s already difficult for organizations to fill vacant positions from limited talent pools. Out of necessity, some employers are using alternative methods to find talent by utilizing freelancers and contractors and actively recruiting non-traditional workers.


UCaaS enables employers to readily hire contract workers and employees alike that reside in different time zones—and even different countries—while retaining the ability to offer a collaborative, team environment. Some of the ways UCaaS can enable collaboration and communication include:


  • Intelligence-based productivity features. These features can include automated access to information and files team members need.
  • Mobile features like multimedia meetings that integrate features such as video conferencing, screen sharing and video chatting as well as click-to-call options.
  • Built-in project management capabilities that allows users to assign tasks, attach files or communications, or create projects.

As an illustration of this, a global manufacturing company with more than 300 locations around the world had separate voice and video infrastructures in place, which was hindering global collaboration between teams. They also had numerous third-party endpoints and gateways as well as complicated integration requirements.


The solution was to implement a single UC solution throughout the entire organization. Once the UC solution had been deployed, the company gained a unified global dial plan integrated with business video to support any-to-any collaboration. All of their existing third-party endpoints were integrated, and today full interoperability exists between Tier 1, Tier 2, internal, external, polycom, and desktop video endpoints and devices, thus enabling simple and robust means of immediate global communication and collaboration throughout the organization.




Incorporate social media. Social media can be integrated with cloud UC functionalities, so that organizations can better understand the mindsets/needs/wants of their customers.


According to Jimmy Rohampton, Forbes contributor, millennials have a strong preference for social technology-based modes of work, including social tools for employee recognition, workplace learning, and collaboration. Employee engagement as well as customer happiness can be improved with a UCaaS solutions by encouraging:


  • Real-time feedback. Increase agility by leveraging social media’s real-time features to promote internal collaboration and engage with employees and customers immediately.
  • Improve customer service. By leveraging your CRM together with social tools, you can aggregate customer feedback from various social media networks, enabling your organization to more fully understand your customers’ needs and potentially be empowered to proactively address problems.

A mid-sized company, which helps its customers create custom photo books and gifts, realized the number of inquiries they were getting via their social media channels (primarily Facebook) was outpacing their “temporary” workflow, which involved their Social Media Specialist copying the messages and comments received, pasting them into an email which they then forwarded to the Customer Support department. Those emails were then put in a queue via their CRM with all the inquiries from the website and inbound calling center. Once Customer Support had responded to the Social Media Specialist’s email, they then had to go back into Facebook and post the appropriate response and/or direct them to reach out to Customer Support directly—every single time. If a conversation ensued, this could get very cumbersome, and the immediacy of the platform was completely negated.


By integrating the social media platform with the UCaaS solution, the Customer Support people were able to engage directly with their customers via Facebook, and there was a noticeable uptick in leads converted from social media in the months that followed. 




Improve the security of mobile technology. As BYOD (bring your own device) becomes more commonplace among organizations of all sizes, there is a corresponding increase in the security challenges being faced by IT departments. A cloud UC system allows access via a single app rather than juggling a variety of apps that haven’t been approved by IT. Companies can reduce or potentially eliminate risks associated with unapproved file-sharing software or employees who may download data directly to their personal devices by implementing cloud-based access to sensitive information.


Although BYOD security concerns aren’t eliminated with UCaaS, providing employees a central point for accessing work-related communications does decrease the risks associated with the BYOD movement. Additionally, by providing a convenient, centralized way to securely access information, it does encourage employees to behave in more secure ways.


Take for example a small midwestern school district who didn’t have enough computers for every student and wanted to enable a BYOD program to their schools. To do this, the district would need to make a variety of improvements to their network, including replacing multiple PBX systems at the various buildings.


The district began by deploying a UC solution in the district office and connecting schools one at a time. By implementing a UC system, they managed both the wired and wireless networks simultaneously and continually save money on technician visits, since the network administrator can manage various systems from a single platform.


UCaaS allows business of all sizes an incredible amount of flexibility and money-saving options to expand their communication and collaboration tools. UC can be scaled up or down in real-time while also having the ability to adopt new technologies, immediately. There is also a huge benefit from mobile-first, user-friendly tools that are designed to evolve alongside the evolution of a company’s collaboration habits.


We’ve highlighted only three of the many solutions and features that can be added to a UCaaS customer over time, based on ever-changing business and technology needs. Ensuring you are well-versed in the multiple ways UCaaS can help solve various challenges—alone or in conjunction with an integration—you are setting yourself (and your customer) up for success. Delivering a single, globally-accessible communications platform is setting the stage for you to play a starring role in your customers’ digital transformation journey.



Time to review your voice initiatives?


  • Premise, Cloud, or Hybrid solution
  • Features that are vital to your business
  • Providers that would be a good fit
  • Contact Center analysis
  • Cloud migration strategies

Schedule a no obligation Voice & UCaaS Review with ATI today.


ATI Hosted Phone Systems

We’ve vetted hundreds of providers and have chosen the right ones for your unique considerations


  •  Voice & UCaaS
  •  Contact Centers
  •  Migration Strategies

Learn more about our cloud phones here.

Network Services, UCaaS, Voice

The Power of SD-WAN with MPLS and UCaaS


Demand for SD-WAN continues to grow. Fueled by organizations need for greater bandwidth, increased usage of cloud-based applications and continued trend of remote workforces. End-users needs are changing network traffic patterns and, in turn, require a more efficient connectivity solution that offers a sophisticated foundation for productivity, voice, and data quality.


IT leaders are realizing that the technology doesn’t need to replace MPLS or other connectivity solutions. Instead, SD-WAN complements them and enhances network functionalities, providing transparency and a better end-user experience. When implementing SD-WAN, your existing network does not go away, but instead becomes the underlay technology. MPLS, for example, is still needed for guaranteed QoS end-to-end, particularly for verticals that require secure and compliant transmissions of data.


SD-WAN is a perfect match for latency sensitive voice and video applications, such as UCaaS. SD-WAN can improve voice quality, reducing issues around packet loss, jitter, etc. that make for a poor user experience. For example, a voice application can run on one internet connection and be failed over to another in the event there’s an issue, maintaining the voice session, without the user being impacted.

No Cost. No Obligation. SD-WAN Assessment. Sign Up Today.

SD-WAN should be paired with MPLS when:

• You have an existing MPLS network with a diverse and growing portfolio of applications. SD-WAN would allow for traffic segmentation of critical applications to MPLS while offloading less important traffic such as web browsing to best effort cable circuits.
• You do not have auto-failover. SD-WAN architecture is inherently designed to support auto failover because it accepts multiple WAN links, drastically reducing failover time from MPLS to MPLS or public IP.
• You want visibility into the applications running across the network, as well as control of the paths they can/cannot take.
• You have remote branches with limited IT staff. SD-WAN enables IT staff to manage routing functionality and traffic prioritization at all sites from one web portal.
• You have less intelligent IT systems at the branch and do not want to pay for MPLS bandwidth for non-critical traffic.

SD-WAN should be paired with UCaaS when:

• You do not have a solution in place to route traffic and apply priority for voice solutions. SD-WAN routes traffic via business policies to enhance performance, reliability and customer/user experience.
• You are using two different providers for network and voice. SD-WAN encrypts users traffic, further protecting information transmitted.
• You have multiple locations using voice and growing. SD-WAN easily scales, so user can quickly add cloud-based services.
• You are looking for cost-effective, SD-WAN functionalities for its voice solutions. SD-WAN delivers voice and video apps using any cost-effective, readily available transport method (Cable, DSL, etc.)



The New 8×8 X Series

The New 8×8 X Series transforms the customer experience by providing the enterprise with the ability to intelligently and quickly collaborate across any channel and easily access the company’s most critical data, analysis and experts.

With customer and employees interacting in one system of engagement, enterprises can now optimize valuable moments of engagement with one system of intelligence. X Series accelerates your company’s ability to innovate, respond and serve customers and results in an exceptional experience for both employees and customers.

8×8. The experience is everything. Learn more about 8×8 here.

The New 8×8 X Series also includes an all new Collaborative Contact Center, Transition from “I don’t know” and customers repeating information they’ve already provided to a collaborative contact center that drives speed to resolution through simple collaboration and complete context.

From ATI
ATI was recently featured in the RingCentral Partner Spotlight Series. We’re excited to continue our relationship with RingCentral and to provide great voice service to our customers.

View the full PR here:

ATI seeks reliable, built-in-cloud provider, finds that and much more with RingCentral Partner Program

Based in the Chicago area, ATI has been connecting its customers with the right products and solutions since 1983. Its solid base of customers has trusted ATI to recommend, sell, and install phone systems, as well as to handle all of the ongoing support, for many years.


The value of cloud—and RingCentral partner

ATI knew it needed to add a unified cloud communications solution with a customer- and partner-focused provider to its portfolio in order to meet client demand while capitalizing on an exponentially growing market. After careful evaluation to determine which solutions are up to snuff and to the immaculate standards of its ownteam, ATI chose to add RingCentral to its portfolio for its complete solution set.


Winning together

ATI and RingCentral worked together to close a complex, on-premises replacement deal within an 88-day sales cycle. How did they close such a difficult deal so quickly? ATI differentiated itself by bringing engineering resources to the table, performing consulting services, helping with the install, and finding extraneous technology costs that could be displaced with RingCentral’s all inclusive solution, which replaced the customer’s end-of-life Cisco system. “We provided this customer with onsite service and support and worked with RingCentral in a unique way to ultimately cinch this deal,” says Mike Bergin, Sr. Sales Executive at ATI. ATI partnered with RingCentral to perform the implementation and adoption services for this customer and trained the users on how to use the new technology to ensure a smooth transition away from the previous provider.


A partner and a customer

As of last month, ATI is now a RingCentral customer itself. Previously a ShoreTel onpremises customer, ATI performed its own due diligence to determine who the best provider is in the market and who the team would be most comfortable migrating to while moving offices, and ATI determined that its ideal solution is RingCentral. “It certainly goes a long way when we talk to customers and we say ‘Hey, we were with ShoreTel but now we’re moving in a month and we’re migrating to RingCentral,'” says Bergin. “There’s definitely a good story there.” So, as ATI moves into its new facilities, every team member will be on the RingCentral platform. The transition will be simple and straightforward, as well. With on-premises, it would have been extremely expensive and taken a significant amount of time—and we all know the negative effects that down time has on businesses. Fortunately, RingCentral Office® is quick and easy to configure compared to conventional on-site business phone hardware. A three-step onboarding process helps with details such as network configuration and transferring numbers. This comprehensive process ensures that cloud phone service is implemented quickly and with minimal business disruption. It’s a true partnership that benefits RingCentral Partners and their customers.

Learn more about RingCentral here.