O2 Voice for Microsoft Teams – Enabling the new hybrid working model?
Soumya Unni, Solution Architecture, UC and Collaboration Manager at O2
Throughout 2020, I’ve relied on a number of applications and tools that have helped me to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, and remain productive, whilst working from home. Many of these have grown in reputation and capability in record time, as we have all had to learn to work in different ways.
The widespread adoption of Microsoft Teams is a great example of the shift towards flexible working. Like me, you probably read that Microsoft Teams now (as of Oct 2020) has 115 million daily active users and a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day, a 200% increase from the usage in March 2020.
However, when we look back at 2020, I think we’ll come to recognise that it precipitated, or ‘fast tracked’, a new way of working. In what seems like such a short time, we’ve moved away from standard Unified Communications as a Service towards workstream collaboration technologies and Microsoft is leading this revolution with Microsoft Teams. For supporting collaboration between team members, it’s hard to think of anything better suited.
This month, O2 is proud to launch O2 Voice for Microsoft Teams, which is a Fully Managed Direct Routing Service built for enterprises to enable inbound and outbound, domestic as well as international calling for Microsoft Teams, so organisations can extend the functionality of Microsoft Teams to collaborate externally as well.
With so many organisations using Microsoft 365, it’s unsurprising that Microsoft Teams has been so widely adopted. But while organisations have been quick to adapt to a hybrid way of working, it’s interesting to see that many still rely on traditional telephone systems for incoming and outgoing calls.
Changes are coming that may force some of them to change. As you will almost certainly be aware, BT plans to switch off its legacy voice network in 2025, and will be accepting no new orders for PSTN, and ISDN2 and ISDN30 services after September 2023. This might still feel like a long way off, but if you are to fully embrace the new, hybrid way of working, now is the time to be considering the most effective ways you can deliver it.
Depending on your circumstances, one option might be to switch to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), enabling you to connect some, or all, of your existing phone system to the public network via IP data services. Another would be to replace and consolidate existing legacy systems with a Cloud based service, transforming your employee experience.
O2 Voice for Microsoft Teams is the solution for the way we will work in future. It delivers a single, unified communication and collaboration capability, with a consistent user experience across the board. One interface, accessible by anyone, regardless of their location, or the device they are using.
We are seeing customers of all size and scale adopting Microsoft Teams, right from small medium businesses to mid-market to the large enterprises. Some of the key drivers for customers have been:
- Consolidating their existing estate of legacy PBXs, disparate solutions
- Cloud transformation enabling reduced total cost of ownership, no upfront capex for hardware and reduced administrative overhead
- Turn of events over the last 10 months, enabling flexible and hybrid working
- Improving employee experience by enabling seamless collaboration across all personas in an organisation
O2 Voice for Microsoft Teams can provide customers the flexibility for enabling more sophisticated and complex features and functionality such as:
- Leveraging Microsoft Phone System for replacing existing PBX capabilities including calling, conferencing, voicemail, call transfers, simultaneous ringing etc
- Adopting Cloud Auto Attendant for answering calls, playing back an automated IVR menu to find users and transfer calls to them
- Eliminating the need for a third-party call/contact centre for enabling standard call distribution of voice calls, playing greetings/music on hold and standard call queue management
- Adding on services such as compliance recording, contact centre integration, enabling front office/back office collaboration for faster first call resolution, advanced operator console capabilities, and many others
Find out can find out more about O2 Voice for Microsoft Teams. Or if you like to talk to us about how O2 Voice for Microsoft Teams can work for your organisation, you can call us on 0800 955 5590.
O2 are currently working with a number of organisations on planning their migrations to Microsoft Teams with OVMT service. We would love to hear from you about your business requirements and strategy for Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions.