2021 Vonage Pitstop: A Guide to Vonage

2021 Vonage Pitstop: A Guide to Vonage

Vonage is a popular communications company, best-known for offering versatile solutions in the cloud environment. Committed to constant evolution and change, the Vonage brand has pioneered a number of powerful tools for its customer base, including high-performance VoIP technology, and mobile communication tools.

The Vonage company, based in America, supports companies across the globe. As of 2020, the company reported consolidated revenues of around $1.25 billion, maki0ng it one of the larger cloud communication providers available today.

Today, the Vonage portfolio features a range of products and solutions intended to make communications easier. Vonage products usually fall into the categories of Unified Communications and UCaaS, Contact centers and CCaaS, and communication APIs.

The History of Vonage

Vonage originally started life as Min-X.com, a 1998 VoIP exchange solution founded by Jeff Pulver. Jeff recruited Carlos Bhola and Jeffrey A. Citron to the team, who invested $1 million each, and joined the business as board members. The group then raised another $11 million in funding and pivoted the company into becoming a full-service VoIP provider.

Citron took over the role of CEO, and Bhola became president, before the business changed its name to Vonage Holdings Corp in 2001. The organisation also moved headquarters during 2001, from Edison in New Jersey to Holmdel in New Jersey. By 2002, Pulver left the company to start his next VoIP venture.

Key facts:

  • Launch Date: 1998
  • CEO: Rory Read
  • Trading Name: VG
  • Headquarters: Holmdel, New Jersey
  • Website: Vonage.com
  • Employees: 2,400
  • Revenue: Approx. $1.25 billion

Major Moments in the Vonage Timeline

Vonage identifies itself as a company that’s constantly evolving. The original business brought VoIP to small businesses and families. Today, the company delivers UCaaS, CCaaS, and other communication technologies to enterprises around the world.

The primary aim of the Vonage brand is to make communication easier for everyone, whether you’re investing in a cloud contact centre or a unified communications ecosystem. The team commits to offering a simple, but feature-rich solution to brands across the globe.

Over the years, Vonage has made several strategic acquisitions to help push the company to the next level. In 2013, Vonage acquired the Vocalocity SaaS provider of cloud-based communications. Additional acquisitions included:

  • UCaaS company Telesphere
  • UCaaS provider iCore network
  • UCaas service provider SimpleSignal
  • Nexmo, the world’s second-largest CPaaS company
  • gUnify, the cloud-based communications service provider
  • CCaaS company, NewVoiceMedia
  • Voice and conversational AI innovator, Over.ai

Initially, the Vonage brand started offering subscription services to UC solutions in the United States, before gradually expanding to Canada in 2004, followed by the United Kingdom in 2005. The company went public during 2006. In preparation for the initial public offering, the former president of ADT Security Services, Michael Synder, replaced co-founder Citron as the new CEO.

Vonage offered stock shares to existing customers before the initial public offering too, which made the company unique among many communication brands.

Vonage UCaaS Offerings

Vonage offers UCaaS in the form of Vonage Business Communications, or VBC. This cloud-based offering supports companies in accessing extensive team messaging, voice, and meeting technology, with a unified communication experience, and consistent quality of service.

The Vonage UCaaS solution starts with a comprehensive phone system, including features like click-to-dial, paperless fax, call monitoring, virtual receptionists, call flipping, and local or geographic numbers. Like most UCaaS providers of late, Vonage also offers a host of collaboration features alongside the telephony option through Vonage Meetings. Vonage Meetings is a tool for desktop and mobile which offers video and voice collaboration, meeting scheduling, and recording.

Features include:

  • SD-WAN bandwidth prioritisation and encryption
  • Firewall optimisation and security
  • Congestion prevention
  • Performance statistics
  • Redundancy
  • Microsoft Teams direct routing
  • Smart numbers with customizable workflows
  • Programmatic call routing
  • Custom communication applications
  • Real-time transcription
  • Third-party integrations
  • Chatbots
  • Tight integrations with leading hardware providers
  • Business phones and accessories
  • Mobile connectivity
  • Omnichannel conversations
  • Find-me, follow-me
  • Desktop and mobile applications
  • Call forwarding
  • Voicemail to email
  • Call announce, monitoring, and groups
  • Conference bridges
  • Vonage meetings
  • Call screening
  • Call hold and park
  • Busy lamp field
  • Do not disturb
  • Call queues
  • Call recording and call logs

On top of all that, companies also get a convenient dashboard where they can view the status of all account users, track HD voice information, and access an advanced receptionist console. You can unlock click-to-dial functionality, call blocking, and caller ID blocking, and choose from a range of numbers based on your geography and unique needs.

The Vonage Meeting system, available on desktop or mobile, can support up to 100 attendees for webinars and training, with voice and video collaboration built in, and support for recording and sharing meetings. You can even connect to your calendar.

As an extra benefit, Vonage also operates as a direct routing provider for Microsoft Teams. This means if you want to build your communication strategy on an existing Microsoft Teams investment, you can.

Vonage CCaaS Offering

Similar to the UCaaS solution available from Vonage today, the CCaaS technology is extremely comprehensive, with a flexible, scalable, and reliable environment for businesses of all sizes. Otherwise known as the “VCC,” or Vonage Contact Centre, the CCaaS offering supports high productivity with a complexity-free setup experience.

You can access a range of easy-to-manage omnichannel features within a central environment and design your own ideal migration to the cloud. There’s support for a range of integrations, including native connections with CRMs like Salesforce. You’ll also have access to a comprehensive range of AI tools, to help with offering better customer experience. Some of the feature of Vonage CCaaS include:

  • Auto-logging and call recording
  • Customer detail access for dynamic routing
  • Omnichannel support for video, voice, and digital channels
  • AI insights for better customer service
  • Self-service and chatbot technology
  • Agent assistant during calls
  • Dynamic routing technology
  • Post-call analysis
  • Local number or geographic number
  • Click-to-dial and auto-dial within the CRM
  • Custom agent dashboard
  • Access to whisper and barge-in function
  • Agent performance tracking
  • Transcribing and recording for conversations
  • Tagging for customer calls
  • Multiple migration routes for the cloud
  • Exceptional global voice quality
  • Integration with your UCaaS technology
  • HIPAA, GDPR, ISO, and other compliance levels
  • Support for Microsoft Teams, Dynamics, Service Now and Salesforce
  • Robust KPI interface
  • Common call controls
  • User directory
  • One-click log-in
  • Presence and availability features

A comprehensive contact centre for the digital age, the Vonage CCaaS solution gives agents and business leaders everything they need to solve customer problems and leave a lasting impression on their audience. Unlike other CCaaS solutions, Vonage can integrate directly into the tools you use daily for customer service, like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. You can also unlock a new level of productivity by combining your front and back-end communications and aligning Vonage UCaaS and CCaaS technology.

The biggest benefit of Vonage for many companies is the ability to bring all communications together in one environment. The AI back-end in Vonage CCaaS means you can easily route customers where they need to go across a range of channels, and track the customer journey on every platform. There’s even access to things like click-to-dial and auto-dial within your existing CRM technology, and auto-logging for calls when you need to manage compliance and reports.

Vonage Differentiators

Vonage is one of the most innovative communications providers in the cloud market today. Capable of offering highly flexible solutions for communication in the contact centre and the business back-end, Vonage can handle all parts of your communication stack. Following the acquisition of the CPaaS company, Nexmo, Vonage also became a pioneer in the API environment.

With the Communications API landscape, Vonage allows companies to build the perfect solution for communications, capable of delighting agents and customers alike. There’s a range of API options to choose from within the Vonage ecosystem, including one for voice, video, SMS, and customer connectivity. You can even link your communication strategy with common tools like WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Some of the major differentiators of Vonage include:

Microsoft Teams Integration
Vonage is a powerful tool on its own, but it’s even better when it can work alongside the solutions you’re already using. With Vonage, you can turn your Microsoft Teams environment into a UCaaS tool, with enhanced premium calling experience, and access to all of your existing contact and directory information. The solution comes with access to high-level administrative control, end-to-end encryption, and quick, easy set-up.

Smart Numbers
Smart Numbers is the unique service from Vonage which allows companies to customize their cloud phone system according to their unique needs. This includes access to chatbot enablement, programmatic call routing, custom communication applications, real-time transcription, and custom voice and messaging flows. You can even link to third-party systems.

SD-WAN technology
SD-WAN technology is offered as a standard part of the Vonage UCaaS experience. The “SmartWAN” technology means companies can prioritise bandwidth-intensive cloud applications, reducing the risk of communication and call quality issues. The SD-WAN features include firewall optimisation, encryption, bandwidth prioritisation, redundancy, congestion prevention, and performance statistics, for real-time insights.

AI innovations
Thanks to constant innovations in technology and strategic acquisitions, Vonage can also offer a behind-the-scenes look into your communications system. With either your UCaaS and CCaaS system, you’ll get access to AI-enhanced reporting features. This makes it easier to track things like employee performance, calling trends, and even connection quality.

Excellent agent experience
Vonage doesn’t just help companies to put customer experience first – it also considers the needs of today’s employees. The Vonage environment comes with access to gamification tools, employee monitoring, training systems, and call logging, recording, and transcribing features too. You can even create a contact centre where supervisors can jump in on employee calls and offer assistance when a conversation stops going according to plan.

UCaaS and CCaaS Connections
As mentioned above, Vonage is one of the more flexible providers of communications tools on the market. This doesn’t just mean offering more integrations and API connections, however. The Vonage environment is a perfect landscape for businesses keen to unlock new opportunities by connecting their UC and contact centre ecosystems. You can access a common call control and directory system for both UC and Contact centre. You’ll also get a one-click login and single interface for both tools and a complete insight into employee presence and availability.

Simplicity

Vonage makes it easy to unlock some of the most powerful technology in the communication environment. You don’t have to spend a fortune on IT insights and maintenance to make the most of your technology. Vonage will help you build an all-in-one environment for communication that adapts to your needs. The Vonage platform is also infinitely scalable so that you can span your business across countries and territories without a problem.

Security
Vonage takes security seriously. You can take PCI compliant payments with ease and rely on an encrypted environment for storing all the information you collect online and offline. The Vonage landscape is fully compliant with things like GDPR, HIPAA, ISO 27001 and SOC 2 standards, and the company continues to build on its security and privacy credentials too.

Innovation
One of the defining features of Vonage as a communication brand is the commitment it has to constantly pioneering and discovering new functionality for customers. Already, users of Vonage have access to a fully reliable and compliant environment for global communications and contact center support, but the company continues to invest in new technology and strategic acquisitions for future growth. Currently, the company has 236 US patents and 71 patents across over countries.

How Is Vonage Placed?

Vonage is constantly earning awards as one of the market leaders in the communication marketplace. The company has a variety of cloud contact centre awards with G2, such as the position of mid-market leader of contact centre technology. Vonage is also has the:

  • UC Today Best CPaaS platform award for 2021
  • G2 Best software award in the top 50 products for sales and customer service in 2021
  • 2021 Gartner Peer Insights award for “Voice of the Customer” in UCaaS
  • Gartner Global CCaaS Magic Quadrant Leader for 2020
  • Aragon Research Globe Leader position for 2020
  • ContactCenter World 2019 award for agent experience

The business is frequently recognized by Aragon, IDC, Frost and Sullivan, Gartner, and other major market leaders for offering a sensational service and reliable experience. What’s more, Vonage has more than one million registered developers to its name, serving over 100,000 businesses worldwide, and managing over 25 billion messages and minutes each year.



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