Earlier this year, IT leaders around the globe were forced to reprioritize their roadmaps, resources, and budgets to equip employees for remote work practically overnight. Suddenly, the use of video communications skyrocketed. People adjusted quickly to moving meetings online, but one of the most notable challenges driven by the shift to remote work has been to maintain the personal connections that come from the ad hoc and serendipitous conversations that happen in the physical office.
In fact, studies show1 that a person’s voice is the signal that builds personal connections and creates clarity, which is why actually speaking with colleagues and customers is more important now than ever. The use of Teams Calling has skyrocketed as well, with Teams users making over 650 million calls in October, up 11 fold over March of this year. And on average, calls are just one-fourth the length of a typical meeting, making calling a quick and efficient way to reconnect and collaborate.
Today, we’re announcing several enhancements to Teams Calling that make it easier for organizations and their employees to strengthen connections and create new ones with just a quick call.
Get more out of every call, with a rich calling experience
Calling alone is a great way to reconnect and quickly share information. However, when you integrate calls with different modes of communication, they can act as a productivity force multiplier. We’re introducing several ways to create a more powerful and streamlined calling experience.
Provide advanced calling needs for your business
Some parts of the business require additional calling capabilities and workflows. Whether that’s keeping mission-critical operations running or resolving key customer issues, Teams supports a broad range of needs across your business with help from these new capabilities.
Stay connected with a portfolio of high-quality devices
Teams provides a great integrated softphone experience on both mobile and desktop, and a robust lineup of hardware options allow you to choose the right physical endpoints for your needs. From low-cost phones, to traditional desk and video phones, to Teams displays, there are options to fit every user and calling need. We’re excited to share a few new ways this device ecosystem can help you stay connected, no matter where you’re working.
Do more with the power of partners
We have seen strong growth across our Teams partner ecosystem and have more than 300 specialized partners with calling solutions for Microsoft Teams, a 100% increase over the last year. These partners assist our customers with a wide variety of services and solutions including Direct Routing as a Service, deployment, adoption, devices, managed services, and network monitoring and reporting. Examples include our Partner of the Year award winner Continuant, and finalists Enabling Technologies, Communicativ, and Orange Business Services.
Continued commitment to Calling
These innovations are examples of our ongoing commitment to support spontaneous collaboration and personal connections that voice enables. We are honored and humbled to be recognized as a Leader in the 2020 Gartner Unified Communications as a Service Magic Quadrant. We will continue working hard to make Teams the most trusted and reliable voice solution available. Now more than ever, we all need a seamless way to stay connected with colleagues and customers, and with these capabilities, you can restore personal connections and manage the most critical calls for every part of your organization. Learn more about how Accenture, Australia Catholic University, ENGIE, and Tony’s Chocolonely are using Teams Calling to stay connected.
Lastly, with all these great capabilities coming to Teams Calling, it’s important to keep in mind that Teams Calling can be rolled out in weeks—not months or years—as Lumen (formerly CenturyLink) showed by rolling out Calling globally to over 40,000 users in 4 weeks. You can always reach out to your account team for more information, and the links below provide additional information and guidance.
1Harvard Business Review, “Type Less, Talk More ” (October 5, 2020)
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Source: Office Blog