Every business needs effective communication methods and channels to help them reach their employees, partners, and customers. But sometimes, a select voice solution or tool is unable to meet the individual needs of the business right out of the box due to industry-specific needs or business desires. And unfortunately, not all businesses have access to the right tools or manpower to help tailor a system or tool to meet their unique communication needs. In fact, most solutions that are designed to address a business’ specific communication needs may be either too expensive or too difficult to customize. And it's even trickier to build a tool from scratch. This lack of access to affordable, customizable communication solutions is often the reason why businesses (especially small and medium-sized businesses, or SMBs) fall short in engaging with their teams, partners, and clients.
Zang seeks to level the playing field with their latest solution, Zang Workflow. A subsidiary of Avaya, Zang recently announced this new easy-to-use drag-and-drop development tool that allows businesses to create smart communication apps that fit their exact business needs. In this article, Zang discusses what their latest offering can do for businesses and shares how Zang is transforming business conversations.
What is Zang Workflow?
Zang Workflow is described as “a graphical design tool that enables business customers, especially non-technical employees, to execute an app idea without the need to learn or understand programming languages.” It helps simplify the app building process and brings features and functionalities that were traditionally built only by developers familiar with APIs and XML that utilized the power of CPaaS solutions. Now through Zang Workflow, a wider, more business-oriented audience can get their hands in application building. "Adding Zang Workflow directly from our Zang Cloud portal equips the more business use case-driven knowledge worker that may feel less confident in their technical skills, with a powerful tool that combines both the enablement of communication services of voice and SMS alongside the higher level 'application building' experience of drag, drop, and connect," echoed Jeff Hodson, the Senior Director of Zang Cloud and Avaya Engineering.
By simply ‘dragging’ and ‘dropping’ different communication functionalities into the design tool, businesses can build communication apps and workflows easily on their own, helping to reduce operating costs and streamline the development and deployment of new apps. As mentioned above, Workflow is also a standard feature in Zang’s robust communication platform-as-a-service, Zang Cloud. So when businesses sign up for a Zang Cloud account, they instantly have access to Workflow. In fact, it’s free to sign up and build workflows/apps with Zang: all fees are based on usage, so businesses only pay for what they use.
This makes it a good pick for smaller companies, as it's often the case that these businesses may not always have a budget for ready-made apps or a developer to make them from scratch. But with Zang Workflow, the process is much more simplistic and user-friendly so that anyone can have a hand in creating an application. Alex Misevski, the Zang Product Marketing Manager, stated: "Business can leverage existing employees, regardless of their skill set, to create new communication apps."
Hodson agreed. "Leveraging Zang Workflow greatly simplifies and shortens the development needs required, and therefore lowers the cost of delivering," he said.
What Can Businesses Do with Zang Workflow?
The Zang Workflow tried-and-tested graphical design tool was first created for Avaya Breeze, a virtualized and secure application platform for developers and programmers, and is known in the market as Avaya Engagement Designer. "Since Zang Cloud is a fully owned affiliate of Avaya, it only makes sense that we leverage and exploit only the best and proven assets from our parent company known for their quality, depth of communication IP, and product portfolio," said Hodson. Now that it is integrated within the Zang Cloud platform, businesses can tap it for a wide variety of businesses applications. Whether it’s to improve contact center customer service, sales enablement, or administration, Zang Workflow is an excellent platform for organizations to enrich and build their communications apps and workflows with the following features:
- Play Audio/Voice Announcements
- Play and Collect
- Make Calls
- Drop Calls
- Forward Calls
- Allow Calls
- Announce and Block Calls
- Suspend Calls (Pause)
- Send SMS/Text Messages
- Send Emails
Zang Workflow can be used for free with a Zang Cloud account, and businesses can start building apps or workflows at no additional charge (they are only charged when their app is used). Rates for the different communication functions are as follows:
||Phone call rates
||Phone number rates
|Local - Free inbound per SMS
||Local - $0.010 inbound per min | $0.015 outbound per min
||Local - $1.00 per month
|Local - $0.005 outbound per SMS
||Toll-free - $0.030 inbound per min | $0.015 outbound per min
||Toll-free - $2.00 per month
Custom pricing plans are also available for high-volume users. See provider for details.
Customizing Business Communications with Zang
According to Mohammad Nezarati, the General Manager at Zang, today’s business communications are vastly different compared to the traditional ways companies used to communicate. For one, many businesses today increasingly prefer cloud offerings to on-premise communication solutions. This could be due to a host of reasons: accessibility, mobility, flexibility, real-time collaboration, or any other host of benefits that the cloud offers to businesses. Another major difference is that today's organizations now (and more than ever) require technology that gives them the ability to support virtual offices and remote workers, as well as solutions that allow cloud-app integrations. Such evolving business communication needs have inspired Zang to offer innovative products for modern enterprises.
In addition to Workflow, Zang also helps transforms conversations and businesses further with their suite of communication tools:
- Zang Spaces - A cloud-based team collaboration and meeting app, Zang Spaces makes on-the-go collaboration possible and effective for users. It combines voice, video, tasks, and sharing functionalities into one app, which users can access from anywhere.
- Zang Office - Nezarati says, this solution is “a completely customizable, cloud-based business phone service that's reliable, affordable and very simple to set up.” Features such as voicemail, call holding, transfer and forward, pickup, park, caller ID, fax, do not disturb, extension dialing and more are available to users from any extension or any device.
“Both apps are hosted in the Cloud, enabling businesses to offload the responsibilities of maintaining on-premise infrastructure,” he said. Zang Spaces is free to use and users can choose to unlock additional features by signing up for plans. Zang Office is priced per user, per month and businesses can completely customize their plans to fit their needs.
Where are Business Communications Headed?
Like all other aspects of business, Nezarati believes that the consumption of communications solutions will also continue to change, driven largely by cloud adoption. He shares the following predictions on where the market is headed:
- Core solutions like Public Branch Exchanges (PBXs) will be easy to sign up and use and we are seeing adoption in all market segments.
- Applications delivered typically on top of PBXs will also be easy add-ons or separate solutions. For example, traditionally, businesses needed a PBX to buy contact center, but today many of the cloud contact center providers will simply let you subscribe and use the solution.
- Parallel solutions will start (if they haven't already) to add communications as a native part of their solutions (e.g. customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing automation etc).
- Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will define a new standard for communication solutions and legacy companies who don't react to this new standard will become obsolete quickly.
An Avaya company, Zang offers innovative communications solutions for businesses and individuals that help transform conversations. Their suite of products includes Zang Spaces (a team collaboration and meeting app for seamless integration of voice, video, tasks, and more) and Zang Office (a cloud business phone service that comes with included features for all devices and extensions), and Zang Connect (a unique collaboration solution). Visit Zang’s website to learn more about their solutions.