These days, whenever I’m out on the road visiting customers who are heavily invested in Skype for Business, the same questions keep coming up. You’ve guessed it – they usually want to ask about the announcements that Microsoft made at Ignite in September 2017 about Microsoft Teams becoming their future platform for cloud voice. My latest business trip proved to be no exception to this.
I always enjoy visiting Switzerland. It’s a real treasure, what with its breathtaking scenery, the tranquil atmosphere and – of course – superb food and chocolate. Last month I found myself in Zurich, visiting a customer who I’ve enjoyed working with for the past few years. Peter is the IT manager at this company, a well-known player in the luxury goods field that is currently looking to purchase a substantial number of IP phones to complement the existing infrastructure. Over coffee, Peter was, as usual, keen to catch up with what’s happening in the telecoms industry in general. But it soon transpired that what he really wanted to know was how I see Microsoft Teams fitting into the overall unified communications (UC) big picture. Is Microsoft Teams really the future?
The reason for Peter’s concern was clear when you look at his company from the UC perspective. For several years, they have been using Office 365 with Skype for Business Online as their UC platform. After some initial challenges, mostly related to adoption issues among the less technologically-savvy members of their workforce, migration to the cloud had been smooth and their satisfaction with Skype for Business was very high. Peter admitted to me that the thought of starting again with a new UC platform was slightly daunting, but that his first priority was to ensure that any decision vis-a-vis future IP phone acquisitions would be fully compatible with the move towards Microsoft Teams.
Luckily, I was able to reassure him. We at AudioCodes have always invested a lot of time and resources into staying ahead of the game, so our current range of IP phones are all certified for Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. Not only that, our brand new C450HD IP phone is a native Microsoft Teams high-end executive device.
At this point, I felt it was also important to explain to Peter that Microsoft Teams and Teams phones are an ideal platform for knowledge workers, since they combine a work group’s documents, data analytics and contacts in a single pane of glass. And those workers who only need to use their phones for calls and calendar management can also be won over by the correct choice of IP phone, one which incorporates a legacy-like look and feel. Fortunately, this is exactly where AudioCodes can help.
AudioCodes’ IP phones effortlessly bridge the gap between these two seemingly contradictory employee profiles, with the previously mentioned AudioCodes C450HD being especially suited to this scenario. With its large 5” color touch screen and integrated Bluetooth and Wi‑Fi, the C450HD can be deployed as a native Teams IP phone to enable the full range of Microsoft Teams features. Alternatively, it can also be used with 3PIP software for a legacy-like experience that everyone can be comfortable with. Furthermore, all AudioCodes’ 400HD series Office 365 Online certified IP phones allow you to connect and work with Teams using a legacy-like look and feel interface, which will keep all the workforce onside during the transition to Microsoft Teams.
After hearing my explanation, Peter’s expression visibly relaxed. He could see that his company’s future adoption of Microsoft Teams would be even smoother than it was for Skype for Business. As an AudioCodes Business Development Manager, I have full confidence in our ability to solve our customers’ problems, but it’s always great to see on a personal level how our products and solutions can impact on another person’s life and make things that much easier. This is probably one of the things I like the most about my job.
The following day, it was time to head for home, and I settled back in my seat as the plane climbed over the Alps. I thought again about my meeting with Peter and it suddenly struck me that the best solutions are almost always the simplest ones. If you want to see simplicity in action, check out the AudioCodes line of Microsoft Teams/Skype for Business certified IP phones and give your employees the voice that they deserve.
To learn more about incorporating AudioCodes’ devices and room solutions into your UC journey, click the button.