UC companies share their latest thoughts on MS Teams customer engagement and contact centres
Hans Kramer, Global Head of Marketing at Anywhere365: “Microsoft Teams is disrupting customer engagement, as it creates a hub for companies to connect people both inside and outside a company effectively.
“Companies who have already invested in the Microsoft 365 stack can simply leverage that investment, which was probably made from an internal collaboration perspective, for their business communications and customer engagement ecosystem. All of a sudden, they don’t need specific architecture and legacy systems for contact centers.”
“Simply adding intelligence and communications capabilities to their existing Microsoft architecture enables them to route voice and text interactions to anyone, from anywhere and on any channel or device. It will cut costs, speed up customer service resolutions, transform the future of work and upgrade their customer’s experiences.”
Spokesperson for Enghouse: “One sure way to improve your customer engagement is to implement technologies that better serve the customer. With customer journeys becoming even more complicated, Microsoft Teams has removed the barriers to delivering the result the customer is looking for.
“Teams can support the level of collaboration needed to solve complex queries by connecting the frontline agents with the middle and back office (showing who is available to seek advice from), allowing agents to complete their jobs successfully.
“And with the maturing APIs adding the ability for third parties to join forces and seamlessly integrate to Teams, customers are offered seamless technology experiences using best of breed products built to take care of the job.”
John Antanaitis, VP, Portfolio Marketing at Vonage: “We have seen a fundamental change in the way businesses communicate and interact with customers, employees and partners.
“We’re now in an age where customers (internal and external) expect ultra-fast, seamless, and engaging digital experiences catered to their preferred channel of communication at any given moment.
“With that in mind, while MS Teams is a central hub for communications, customer engagement with Teams can be further enhanced by adding a full calling experience to the solution that enriches the overall experience and speeds communication and collaboration. This includes features such as direct routing, a receptionist console, visual voicemail, and compliant call recordings.
“As a result, businesses will be able to use the same platform for all customer interaction needs across all communication channels, and it will integrate seamlessly with customer data in their CRM platform.
“The outcome: faster communications, richer collaboration and a more engaging experience for everyone involved.”
Philipp Beck, CEO of Luware: “Teams is breaking up old contact center silos. With the shift to Teams, organizations are consolidating their old PBX landscape and simplifying their IT infrastructure.
“Increasingly, they are also integrating their contact center into the platform. Teams has encouraged the transition towards serving all customer touchpoints in a single platform.”
Hans Kramer, Global Head of Marketing at Anywhere365: “There are multiple business opportunities. For those companies already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, a Teams Contact Center reduces IT costs and simplifies architecture.
“Secondly, we see very high adoption rates among agents due to people’s familiarity with Microsoft interfaces. This increases productivity.
“Security is also an important benefit, e.g. our Teams Contact Center solution is delivered as a platform straight from the Azure cloud. Agents can work from anywhere without security managers having to worry about the safeguarding of data.
“Without customer support managers having to worry about omnichannel communications environments, voice and text channels can be handled from a single screen in the Teams client.
“The biggest advantage, however, is that you can move away from a typical contact center scenario and organize customer engagement around the customer. Every Teams-powered user can easily become part of any customer interaction, whether consultative or direct.
Spokesperson for Enghouse: “Microsoft Teams has enabled businesses to shift successfully from on-site, to remote, to now our new normal of hybrid.
“When you implement a Teams enabled Enghouse Contact Center you’re taking advantage of the best of breed of two world-class systems built to interact seamlessly together.”
“Incorporating the superior collaboration tools that Teams offers – workplace chat, video meetings, shared file storage, and application integration, with the superior contact center and reception solutions like Enghouse, businesses benefit from a more seamless working environment.
“Offering improved worker satisfaction and empowerment ultimately reduces attrition rates, but when required Teams also reduces the time to train and onboard all new hires.
“Its cloud-based users can also access anything (files, emails, calendars, or each other), from anywhere, on any device.”
John Antanaitis, VP, Portfolio Marketing at Vonage: “Teams serves as a hub to which everything else can be connected, opening up many possibilities for custom integrations and development.
“As a result, partners like Vonage can use highly augmented communication, collaboration, and contact centre solutions to expand the functionality and usability of Teams.
“With enhancements to an already robust product offering, organisations can access premium calling features, SMS and MMS and rich customer data through contact centre and CRM integrations. This allows employees to continue working as they are accustomed to and where they are most productive, without disruption – from anywhere.
“By uniting the powerful collaboration benefits of MS Teams working across all company SMEs and internal resources with the external reach of the contact centre and CRM, business transformation efforts take a giant step forward. First-call resolution becomes the norm for customers (not the exception) and everyone benefits.”
Philipp Beck, CEO of Luware: “There are lots of opportunities. For one, when organizations integrate their contact center into Teams, they get access to the best technologies from Microsoft.
“They can use all the different Teams channels – calling, video and screen share to drive customer engagement and, for example, implement web-based, on-demand video sessions.
“There is also an opportunity to bring all employees onto a single platform. When all employees are on Teams, customer service agents can easily consult with internal experts, and every employee becomes a potential customer touchpoint.”
Hans Kramer, Global Head of Marketing at Anywhere365: “There is a lot of talking about bringing Microsoft Teams to the contact center. However, more and more enterprises embrace the fact that there is a bigger leap they can take if they bring contact center capabilities to all their Teams-powered users. This shifting paradigm continues to become a new normal.
“Being a widely accepted tool for dialogues, Teams offers the most intuitive interface, and it is the easiest UC platform to adapt. Every user can be a ‘contact center agent’ if you integrate a native and fully featured communication platform like Anywhere365. This will drive productivity as well as customer experiences.
“Connect the above context with the (current and forecasted) adoption of Teams, and you’ll find that the future for Teams in the customer engagement space is a no-brainer within organizations that put customers first and want to execute excellent engagements.”
Spokesperson for Enghouse: “Microsoft Teams is still evolving rapidly, but a recent Morgan Stanley chief information officer (CIO) survey reports that over half of organizations have standardized on Teams and are along for the journey.
“With over 270 million active monthly users, almost 80 million of those users on Teams Phone (placing over a billion calls monthly), Microsoft Teams has fast become the communications platform of choice for businesses today.
“No matter what legacy communications platform businesses are using today (Cisco, Avaya, NEC, etc.), most are entertaining the transition of all their communications to the Teams platform.
“Most customers move to Teams for collaboration first and then extend this to utilising Teams for all their calling, including contact centres.
“There has never been a better time to modernise your contact centre and reception with powerful and reliable solutions enabled through trusted platforms like Microsoft and Enghouse.
“Teams provides agents with a full suite of communication and collaboration tools, and by combining this with superior contact centre and reception solutions like Enghouse they benefit from a more seamless working environment.”
John Antanaitis, VP, Portfolio Marketing at Vonage: “MS Teams exploded throughout the pandemic, reaching 270M active monthly users by January 2022. Based on that success, the continued demand for collaboration solutions, and the growing number of available integrations for the platform, we fully expect MS Teams to remain pervasive.
“By layering in additional capabilities to MS Teams, such as superior call capabilities, phone system features that businesses depend on, and the integration of voice with customer data within a CRM platform, the value increases across the entire customer ecosystem.
“MS Teams customers can simplify their efforts with one platform for messaging and voice communications to achieve high-value outcomes. The benefits include streamlining the agent experience and administration with SSO and driving first contact resolution by enabling agents to easily find and consult with SMEs who use MS Teams.
“MS Teams also simplifies workflows with bi-directional presence, synchronisation between agents and Teams users and improve call quality and reliability with Microsoft Teams Direct Routing (not required).”
Philipp Beck, CEO of Luware: “Extremely prevalent! Teams is growing increasingly fast, and consequently, there will be more and more businesses using the platform to engage with customers.
“The fact that there is a certification program for Teams contact center solutions shows that Microsoft believes in this approach of integrating CCaaS into the UC space. We are now the second extended contact center certified for Teams, but I’m sure this market will continue to grow.”