Many organisations have adopted Microsoft Teams during the coronavirus pandemic as a communication and collaboration tool for their employees. Enterprises are enjoying the advantages of cloud solutions and the on-premises mentality seems to belong to pre-Covid-19 times.
Teams is now being used by people to connect with colleagues and customers while working remotely, and the platform is playing its part perfectly both from a video conferencing and messaging point of view. But what happens when it comes to large enterprises, having contact centres with hundreds or thousands of internal calls to manage? The call management options natively available in Teams would just partially fulfil their needs.
Contact centre operators need to manage huge amounts of calls per hour and we have been studying their habits and preferences for more than 15 years to understand their operational needs and managers’ expectations.
For this reason, some months ago we decided to integrate our professional contact centre solution with Teams. Recently, we have also been working on an attendant console that is planned to be available soon as an application in Teams AppSource. Teams is already a well-established communication platform, with millions of users around the world who feel more and more confident with its interface, and the worst thing we could do is change their habits. Instead, operators would use the same interface that they have in Teams, with the addition of all the essential call management functionalities they need in their everyday working activities. They will be able to see the list of waiting calls, information on the queues and the option to choose the ones they want to work on, without leaving the Teams client.
To use Teams as a professional tool for unified communications, integrating a supervisor console with real-time data on calls, queues and agents’ activities is not an option. Enterprises using Teams as a professional communication platform will need to control all data related to calls and operators’ availability and activity, such as the number of active and waiting calls, maximum and average waiting time, and number of free logged agents.
Extra call management functionalities cannot currently be integrated into Teams, as the relevant application programming interfaces are not generally available yet. This is why we have decided to approach the integration of our call centre solution using the functionalities provided by Teams-certified session border controllers, such as Ribbon’s Session Border Controller Software Edition Lite (SBC SWe Lite).
In these times, it is of the utmost importance that enterprises can deploy this type of application in the cloud. Their availability in Azure Marketplace is therefore an added value, as it would ease and accelerate adoption of new applications to end users who are currently working remotely.
Giovanni Nieddu is business development manager for Mida Solutions
This article was originally published in the Summer 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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