UC Today – January 26, 2022
MS Teams Integration: The Three-Step Guide to Merging Communicative Brilliance with Business-As-Usual Functionality
Big thinkers VOSS on how to make 2022 the year of hyper migration to the world’s favourite comms platform
There’s nothing quite like proof of concept to fuel popularity.
Two years ago, Microsoft Teams was a little-used ‘nice-to-have’ application luxuriating in a corner of O365.
Today, it is the global go-to collaboration and communication platform for millions of enterprises.
The result of a mix of commercial licensing imperatives and user ease, those enterprises’ reliance on its functionality continues to underpin its vital place in the stack.
But, there’s a but.
Users wed to MS Teams’ ubiquitousness who are keen to kick-on in the never-ending pursuit of productivity and efficiency must now integrate it with more (ideally ALL) of their core communications systems, CRM platforms and applications.
For many, that means embarking on a strategic journey of discovery, migration and redesign.
Get it right, and 2022 could deliver a level of transformational change not seen since the dawn of cloud computing itself.
“They may be dedicated Cisco or Avaya or Mitel or Alcatel users, but organisations are now just as dependent on Microsoft Teams too,” says Tim Jalland, Solution Manager at global digital workplace management software provider VOSS, which is leading the thinking in this space.
“For the past two years, organisations have been understandably frugal, but we believe 2022 will spark investment.
“There will be a desire to continue to leverage all of the MS Teams functionality whilst at the same time integrating it with existing business-critical telephony systems, apps and other popular video conferencing and collaboration platforms.
“Think about it as organisations bringing the inside and the outside together.
“The world now communicates in a myriad different ways on a myriad different platforms. Achieving that kind of compatibility with MS Teams will be the focus for many larger enterprises who will require support, guidance and the technological tools to make it happen.”
For larger enterprises, Jalland suggests a three-phase approach.
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Feature Migration – the integration with MS Teams of specific BAU functionality such as national dialling, international dialling, call distribution and and chat.
Feature Redesign – the bespoke integration with MS Teams of functionality not supported by the platform as standard, for example: the migration of users with multiple contact numbers.
Feature Dependencies – more complex integration with MS Teams of functionality that is dependent on inter-operability, for example: simultaneously moving across call centre managers and their assistants or all users in a call group in a way that does not break the critical communicative chain.
“For all of MS Teams’ brilliance, some of the integrations that enterprises will want are not easy to deliver,” says Jalland.
“Some enterprise IT departments will have the resource to do it themselves, but many will need to outsource to specialist partners able to provide the expertise, automation and the tools required.
“For some organisations, the journey to full integration could take 12 months. A proper, structured process is required in order to phase delivery logically and at the right pace.
“It is very important to invest in the right tooling and it’s also advisable to appoint a specialist internally who can own and oversee the process and drive the right outcomes”
The end game – however long it takes to achieve – is of course the holy trinity of commercial objectives: increased productivity, reduced costs and improved customer experience.
To that end, enterprises will doubtless be deploying everything tech has to offer in order to continue to push performance.
Ironically, as the world begins to think about living with the pandemic, it is the tech to which we all turned in the early days which will likely power a re-energised 2022.
Time to ensure you have the right plan – and partner – to ensure you capitalise.
To learn more about how VOSS can help your and your customers’ businesses adapt and thrive, please click here.