Integrating with Teams and collaboration platforms

Integrating with Teams and collaboration platforms

Integrating hosted voice offers with Teams and other platforms enables better user experiences, as it allows user status to be more accurately shared with others, via ownership of the MSIDN, fixed numbers – and network triggers.

Collaboration continues to surge – and users select different solutions

The staggering rise of collaboration platforms has given business users an array of choices. Driven partly by the pandemic and partly by the need to enable effective interaction between distributed teams and peers, the last 12 months or so have brought collaboration to the centre stage. There’s no sign of the appetite for online meetings (essential or otherwise…) abating.

Indeed, it’s much more likely to continue this upward trend. At the same time, while Teams is used by many organisations, there are plenty of alternatives and business users can find themselves hopping from one platform to another, depending on the preferences of the organisers.

Integration brings different identities together

We see this reflected in the different integrations that our customers have adopted. Integrating a mobile or cloud PBX with a collaboration platform adds convenience and allows users to seamlessly switch between channels, or to use their MSIDN as another form of identity. Integration matters, because platforms such as Teams cannot simply determine status for users that are on different devices.

Teams’ users can see the availability and status of other users in their organisation, but that’s derived from the client they are using. If they are not logged into Teams, or are not a Teams user, the status cannot be discovered by Teams. The same is true for any other platform that gives status indications.

But, by integrating with our Cloud PBX, this can be resolved, so that the status of all users within the organisation can be determined, whenever necessary. We use network information to determine if someone is busy (or not), as well as the manual and automated indicators of availability (at lunch, on holiday, in a meeting) to update and consolidate information and then to update the Teams status accordingly.

Overcome the limitations of independent collaboration tools

Put simply, Teams cannot on its own discover whether someone is on a mobile or fixed voice call. Integration with the mobile PBX enables this information to be obtained. While this provides obvious value, it really does matter, because, despite the popularity of Teams, it’s far from the only channel that people use. It’s great for scheduled events, but people are equally likely to be engaged in ad hoc activities, for which the mobile or other voice interfaces is a key channel.

For operators – which manage the MSISDN and fixed numbers of users, integration of Teams with their hosted voice services helps them deliver a better user experience, because they can correlate these identities with their teams’ profiles.

Choose the platforms that you integrate with – Teams and more

Similar integrations can be achieved with other platforms that are essentially closed user group tools. Because of the proliferation of these, an operator can play a key role in bringing them together, according to the needs of their customers, while delivering the core voice services over mobile and fixed connections.

As we continue to embrace collaboration, some have concluded that these independent platforms are a challenge to operators. Perhaps if we compare time spent on, say Teams, with that spent on mobile or fixed voice, it may appear that this is correct. But it’s misleading, because operators can bring different domains together, because they manage other key identities.

In fact, operators can  - and should - play a key role in creating a more converged experience by leveraging key assets and federating them with different platforms. The ability to bring these together means that they can add value to their customers, helping them to make the most of both classical channels and newer or emerging tools.

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