Fuze Streamlines User Packages

by Sandra Gustavsen

Fuze, a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) provider based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently streamlined its user packages down to two offerings to help simplify its multi-tenant UCaaS offer for mid-size and larger businesses. By pricing the solution as a true software solution with all-inclusive features, Fuze customers can budget communications and collaborations costs more accurately and spend less time reconciling complex pricing models, according to the company.

The new “Fuze Voice” and “Fuze Collaboration” user packages consolidate the legacy ThinkingPhones and FuzeBox bundles. Back in November 2015, ThinkingPhones acquired the Fuze cloud video conferencing company, and subsequently changed the corporate name to Fuze to better reflect its range of cloud-based services that deliver (i.e. “fuze”) voice, text, data and video on a single platform. Since then, the company has been working to integrate the Fuze web and video conferencing technology with its UC services, including the development of a new unified client that enables access to various modes of interaction (voice, email, SMS, video, etc.) via a single screen.

At the same time, Fuze continues to launch its multi-tenant UCaaS offer in new regions to accommodate the company’s growing number of larger, multi-site customers with international offices. Recently, Fuze announced expansion into Latin America, opening a new data center in Sao Paulo, Brazil and bringing the total to nine primary data centers across four major regions – North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the Asia Pacific (APAC). Per Fuze, about half of its customers are mid-market and larger organizations with between 500 and 5,000 employees, and a growing number of sales are now coming from outside North America. Currently, about 65% of current Fuze customers are based in the Americas, with the remainder in EMEA and APAC.

New Packaging

The Fuze UCaaS services now come in two simplified user packages, as follows:

  • Fuze Voice replaces the legacy ThinkingPhones Basic, Core and Power user packages, providing access to popular telephony and voicemail features, but also to more advanced functionality like desktop and mobile client applications, messaging (topic-based chat and group chat), analytics (real-time reporting on usage and activity), file sharing, click-to-call browser integrations and Fuze’s Contextual Insights and enhanced Caller ID which combs through a large number of public and private data sources to display in-depth profiles for incoming and outgoing calls (technology from the Contactive acquisition in 2015). Fuze Voice also includes PSTN access and Direct Inward Dialing (DID) service. Users manage personal settings and features via the Hub user administration tool. Unmetered calling plans are available for an add-on monthly fee.
  • Fuze Collaboration replaces the legacy Fuzebox Premium service, providing group video conferencing for up to 1,000 participants, screen and content sharing, and webinar and meeting recording. Like Fuze Voice, the Fuze Collaboration package also enables messaging (topic-based chat and group chat) and incorporates the company’s in-house analytics (real-time reporting on usage and activity). Users manage personal settings and features via the Hub user administration tool.

Fuze’s UX unified user interface (for iOS, Android mobile devices, Mac computers and Windows PCs) provides a single access point for Fuze Voice and Fuze Collaboration users to access all media channels (voice, video, messaging) for both internal and external communications. For users subscribing to Fuze Voice only, the video icon will be inaccessible (will not appear on the UX home screen). Similarly, users that subscribe to Fuze Collaboration only will not see the dial pad or call icons. Subscribers to both Fuze Voice and Fuze Collaboration will gain access to the full suite of telephony, messaging (chat), analytics and video/web conferencing services; volume discounts are available.

Fuze will continue offering separate packages for attendants and contact center agents and supervisors, as well as for room-based video conferencing. Customers can subscribe to the Fuze UCaaS services directly through the Fuze sales team or indirectly through one of the company’s wholesale partners that can choose to brand and tailor the offer as their own under a white-label/OEM program.

2017 and Beyond

Fuze Connect is the company’s new integration solution that ties together enterprise applications such as CRM or customer service applications with the Fuze UCaaS platform. The API integration enables call control and management directly from the application, eliminating the need to toggle between applications or perform manual look-ups. For example, contact details, activity records and notes from a CRM or service desk application will display on the screen for an incoming call. After the call, activities are saved directly into the integrated application. Ten pre-built integrations are currently available, including for Salesforce, Netsuite, MS Dynamics, SugarCRM, ServiceNow, Jira, ZoHo, Zendesk and BullHorn.

In addition, Fuze recently announced tighter integration with inContact, its partner for more complex call center environments. New product integrations include Virtual Prefix Routing that routes calls to the closest Fuze and inContact data centers globally, Presence Adapter that updates inContact My Agent eXperience-MAX availability and Dynamic Directory Sync that lets inContact agents utilize the Dynamic Directory Sync address book of all Fuze users. Call quality and security between Fuze UCaaS and inContact platforms has also been enhanced through the establishment of private connections between Fuze and inContact data centers in North America, EMEA and APAC. This eliminates the need to transmit calls via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or the public internet. (Note: Fuze also offers its own call center offering for less complex customer requirements.)

Look for a new solution in the team collaboration space, with the re-launch of the former LiveMinutes team application as Fuze Spaces. Fuze is currently working to perfect this application for mid-size to large enterprises, the company’s target market. Fuze has a topic-based persistent chat capability which is a step toward the full launch of the Fuze team collaboration solution, but is not yet announcing a general availability date for Spaces. Stay tuned.