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Microsoft Teams Growth: A Strategic Opportunity for UC Service Providers

July 15, 2021

Microsoft Teams’ growth has been substantial during and in the wake of the pandemic. According to recent statistics, Microsoft has witnessed a dramatic increase in the adoption and daily use of its communication and collaboration platform. Teams now has over 145 million1 daily active users (DAUs). With over 870 third-party apps, Teams is also becoming the fastest growing ecosystem of integration applications.

As a UC service provider, these figures may force you to think about developing strategies to sell against Microsoft. However, the drawbacks of Teams open several opportunities to cross-sell your PBX solutions and enhance your sales.

Why a PBX in Microsoft Teams?

People Don’t Readily Change Their Habits

While Teams does offer voice service, the chances are that end-users most likely won’t prefer this app for making calls. Research shows that 80% of employees abandon enterprise mobile apps after the first use, while less than 6% of employees actually prefer to use the IT-provided UC apps for making calls. Research also shows that about 70% of employees prefer a native dialer instead of a mobile UC client for calling. Having a PBX platform, therefore, ensures a better employee experience and engagement.

Not Everyone Is a Knowledge Worker

Teams is a great solution for knowledge workers. However, it might prove inefficient for other workers or call locations such as warehouses, room phones, call centers, retail outlets, or fields. For such workers, VoIP or PSTN telephony technologies make the most sense.

PBX Features That Microsoft Teams Lacks

Although Teams makes it easier for everyone to collaborate and communicate, there’s a whole suite of important PBX features that this platform lacks at the moment. For example, with PBX, your customers get access to the contact center, reporting, recording, and analytics. The system also facilitates powerful call routing and is more configurable and customizable to unique business needs.

Service and Support

With Teams, there’s also a concern about the service and support. Your customers don’t really have control over the product and its features. With a lack of control, your customers will receive limited diagnostics support. Owning a PBX platform helps customers control the experience and enables you to deliver high-quality support services.

Possible Integration Options With Microsoft Teams

While several integrations are possible, here are a few preferable options you can consider as a part of your Microsoft Teams strategy:

Microsoft Native

All Microsoft

This approach is about using the Microsoft Teams software interface to make or receive calls. The solution is more useful and affordable for small businesses with less complicated PBXs.  

Direct Routing – Trunk

One option you can use with direct routing is trunk integration, which requires you to connect a SIP trunk to your PBX or SPC. Trunk integration requires a compliant SPC, which can run in single-tenant or multi-tenant mode depending on the size of the enterprise.

Direct Routing – PBX

Direct routing through PBX is similar to trunk integration, except instead of a trunk registration, a SIP user is registered. The calls application in Teams’ desktop mimics a softphone and allows end-users to get notifications from the PBX. 

Cross-Launch

Teams With External SIP Client

This method starts with creating or deriving an Azure enterprise application from an app store or custom-designing it, which should integrate with the client. Teams users get calls with a multi-application workflow and access to various UC tools. 

Teams With WebRTC

WebRTC is a way to initiate communication through a webpage. A custom application and a WebRTC application connect to a background server, which converts the WebRTC to SIP usually. While the workflow is easy, this approach is not reliable for mobile apps.

What Is Your Microsoft Teams Strategy?

Looking at the rapid Microsoft Teams growth, it may seem like a threat at first. But the drawbacks of this collaboration platform offer potential opportunities to cross-sell your existing unified communications solutions. Teams can also be a part of your extended portfolio to support the platform’s business use case or even compete in situations where your customers require greater control over their business communications. 

If you’re in the hosted PBX, SIP Trunk, audio/video conferencing, UC, or call center markets, it is necessary that you develop your strategy to build new communication solutions that complement the rapid Microsoft Teams adoption.

The Cloud Communication Alliance (CCA) is a global, peer-to-peer platform that keeps you updated with all the latest information, trends, and to-dos in the cloud communications industry. Browse our upcoming events or become a CCA member today to gain deeper insights into the industry.

Sources:

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1033742/worldwide-microsoft-teams-daily-and-monthly-users/
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