Blazing A Trail

Simon Wright

How it takes bold disruptors to drive game-changing progress

Microsoft Channel News
Blazing A Trail

Early adopters, influencers, innovators: they all score big in brave new worlds.

They have the foresight to see potential, the courage to follow their instincts, and the ambition to invest for the future.

Without them, progress is stifled and opportunities missed.

No fear of that in the tech sector, of course.

The pandemic has forced changed everywhere – particularly in communications – and the bravest of the bunch have responded with smart new solutions that have changed the way the world works forever.

From clever NextGen adaptations of existing technology to ingenious new applications that are redefining how we do business.

However, spotting that potential is one thing – having the expertise and the agility to act on it is quite another.

Almost 18 months ago – as the pandemic began to take hold and work from home restrictions were imposed – UK-based hosted telephony provider MyPhones was among the first to understand and act upon the potential for Microsoft Teams to transform collaborative communication.

It was struck by the limitations of Teams’ telephony features as well as a widespread lack of understanding of its wider, varied and, for some, quite complex capabilities.

As a result, MyPhones immediately began work on simultaneously integrating telephony functionality and simplifying deployment.

“When the pandemic struck and people were forced to work remotely, many went straight for Zoom,” says MyPhones Sales Director, Paul Gibbs.

“When organisations realised they had Teams as part of their O365 provision, they discovered it suited a business environment much more than Zoom and so user numbers began to soar.

“We spotted quite early that Teams was going to be a huge force for our partners but it was also clear that there was a significant knowledge gap among users and that it lacked telephony functionality.

“The other big problem was that resellers needed customer admin rights and a disproportionate degree of understanding of Microsoft’s configuration framework PowerShell in order to deploy Teams effectively.”

MyPhones worked really fast to bridge that knowledge gap and to engineer back-end shortcuts that made deployment easy.

It elegantly integrated all of its PBX telephony functionality and did a huge amount of work via its Academy self-service learning portal to make things as user-friendly as possible.

As a result, partners and customers were empowered with the knowledge and confidence to really leverage everything Teams had to offer as well gaining important clarity around pricing and costs.

“We had to act fast, but it paid off,” says Gibbs.

“There was risk attached to what we did, but it now feels good to have blazed a trail in that way. I’m super-proud of every member of our team who played a part.”

Not that that kind of innovation can ever be a job done.

Technology – particularly communications – evolves fast and simply keeping pace is a challenge in itself.

In the case of Teams, for example, updates occur frequently and will no doubt continue to do so.

Staying relevant; delivering on cost and service; and maintaining market share are constant imperatives in any business and, for many, the only things that matter.

But for the adopters, the influencers and the innovators; the picture is often a slightly bigger one.

Some of them (to their great credit) resist shouting too loudly about it at the time, but their foresight and dynamism are often vital catalysts for positive, game-changing progress.

For their partners and customers, that should be music to their ears.



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