5 Must-Have Features in a 3rd-Party Telephony System for Microsoft Teams
It’s that time of the year again when insurance companies send me offers promising the best coverage. And, while I usually shop on price comparison sites because they make it easy for me to compare quotes, I decided to pick up the phone and call the three insurers that sent me flyers this time.
I dialed the first number and got connected to the automated voice system that quickly guided me to a live agent named Dave, who was efficient and helped me with a new quote in about 5 minutes. I asked Dave whether he was working from home due to the pandemic or was back in the office, to which he confirmed the former. Surprisingly, he revealed how fast they moved to a work-from-home setup using Microsoft Teams, but griped about still using a separate phone system to deal with customer queries. I find it interesting how the lockdown has made people chattier.
Next, I phoned a popular UK insurer, and the interactive voice response system diligently routed my call to Gemma. After discussing my new quote, I inquired if the lockdown situation meant that she was home-based and was amazed to hear a similar account to Dave’s story earlier. Gemma also used Teams to collaborate with her colleagues but needed to switch to another system to take and make calls to/from clients which made it, in her exact words, annoying.
Last on my list to contact was a small insurer and the call, this time with an agent named Joe, was uncanny. Having reviewed my quote, I wanted to know if he too was using Microsoft Teams. I wasn’t surprised when he responded affirmatively but, to my astonishment, he even admitted that he could make and receive customer calls with Teams. He grumbled, however, about needing to bring up a different CRM system to add customer interaction details. That was more than what I needed to know.
In speaking with three different people, I gathered a few things. Firstly, there is no doubt that Microsoft Teams is evolving rapidly from being a chat and collaboration app to becoming a central communications hub. Its growth fueled by the ongoing pandemic and lockdown situation. Secondly, businesses are still doubtful of using Teams as a phone system for many different reasons. Finally, even if businesses opt for Teams telephony, the phone experience is marred when connecting them to business apps and CRM tech stacks.
For many organizations that have embraced Microsoft Teams, adding enterprise-grade telephony natively to the Teams experience seems not only reasonable but also a natural extension of the collaboration platform. This all-in-one toolset makes it simpler to run and maintain a single unified set of communications services to employees across all functional areas.
8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams enables enterprise voice calling in Microsoft Teams in a new, compelling way on desktops and mobile phones. It completes the final missing piece in Teams, adding a robust voice experience along with cloud-to-cloud direct routing integration with the Microsoft Phone System. That delivers superior voice quality, global calling plans, native contact center support, seamless integration with third-party enterprise applications, and call analytics that go beyond Microsoft’s and other vendor’s limited telephony offerings for Microsoft Teams.
8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams offers reliable enterprise-grade Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity. It runs over 8×8’s global infrastructure including regional, Microsoft-certified Session Border Controllers (SBC) across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
The top 5 features of 8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams include:
- Complete, centralized user management interface to synchronize Microsoft Teams users on the 8×8 telephony platform across the organization with a single click.
- Global footprint with full PSTN support in 38 countries, unlimited calling plans to 47 countries, and direct inward dial (DID) and toll-free numbers in more than 120 countries.
- Out of the box integration with third-party business applications, such as Salesforce, Zendesk, NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365, to automatically log all calls with the ability to attach details, recordings and speech analytics to any customer record.
- Native contact center support enabling cross-functional collaboration between agents and functional area experts on Microsoft Teams apps.
- Comprehensive reporting and analytics, including Speech Analytics and Quality Management, across all PSTN, calls using the 8×8 communications platform.
8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams consistent voice calling capabilities across the enterprise unifying all telephony users, whether they are Microsoft Teams users or not, on one communications platform for ease of administration, enterprise-wide reporting, and analytics.
It even makes life in lockdown that much easier for Dave, Gemma, Joe, and their IT admins.