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Phones Are a Critical Part of Microsoft Teams Hybrid Work

Phones Are a Critical Part of Microsoft Teams Hybrid Work

The rapid adoption of the hybrid workplace concept has completely upended long-cherished assumptions about the way we work. More and more organizations are understanding – and indeed realizing – the huge productivity benefits that this model can deliver when executed properly.

In fact, Metrigy’s global Workplace Collaboration 2021-22 study of 476 end-user organizations found that almost 80% of companies are planning for a hybrid future in which employees will work in the office, at home, or shift time between each location depending on desire and need. The rapid, pandemic-fueled, growth in remote and hybrid work has led to a drastic increase in the use of cloud-based unified communications and collaboration platforms providing calling, video-enabled meetings, and team messaging to distributed teams. Our data shows that more than 47% of companies now use, or plan to use, UCaaS for their calling needs, while 82% use video for all or most meetings.

Against this backdrop, many organizations have adopted Microsoft Teams for all or part of their communications and collaboration needs. In July of 2021 Microsoft reported approximately 250 million Teams active users across the globe, with 80 million uses of the Teams Phone System calling feature sets. Our data shows that Microsoft Teams Phone system is the most widely deployed UCaaS solution, and that Microsoft also holds top adoption spots in for both meetings and team collaboration.

Given the rapid shift to cloud, and the integration of calling into desktop and mobile apps that also include meetings and messaging, many prognosticators and pundits have declared that the age of the desktop phone is dead, that software apps, coupled with headsets and/or speakerphones, are all that anyone needs for successful communications experiences. The reality is a bit different.

Among those using Teams for calling, almost 64% are deploying or planning to deploy desktop phones to support their Teams Phone System users. Deployments typically are based on specific personas, with reception, contact center and customer service agents, sales, and those with a personal preference for a physical phone being most likely to use a traditional device. From a network provisioning standpoint, dedicated phones configured on their own VLAN are still easier to manage, and to provision support for necessary Quality of Service parameters to minimize latency and jitter. Physical phones also more easily support shared line instances and provide commonly used features like speed dial and message waiting indicators.

We also find that about 20% of our research participants are provisioning desktop phones for their remote workers with drivers including higher quality voice experiences (again by enabling prioritization of voice traffic over a VPN), features, and a user preference for a traditional phone.

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Successful Microsoft Teams Phone System implementations should not just allow for desktop phones where they are required, but provide IT support groups with the ability to easily provision, manage, and troubleshoot them. We find that companies who invest in performance management tools for their calling platforms reduce mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) by up to 16% with performance management tools, and by up to 25% with administrative management tools that provide support individuals with access to phone configuration information. In addition, the use of administration management tools reduces provisioning time by 31% on average.

Those adopting or planning to adopt Microsoft Teams Phone System shouldn’t ignore the desktop phone. Rather, they should adopt a proactive strategy that supports deployment of phones for specific use cases or to meet user need, and they should invest in tools that automate provisioning, administration, and performance management of their phones for both in-office and remote employees.

ABOUT METRIGY: Metrigy is an innovative research firm focusing on the rapidly changing areas of Unified Communications & Collaboration (UCC), digital workplace, digital transformation, and Customer Experience (CX)/contact center—along with several related technologies. Metrigy delivers strategic guidance and informative content, backed by primary research metrics and analysis, for technology providers and enterprise organizations.

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About the Author

Guest post by Irwin Lazar, President and Principal Analyst at Metrigy 

Irwin Lazar is President and Principal Analyst at Metrigy where he develops and manages research projects, conducts and analyzes primary research, and advises enterprise and vendor clients on technology strategy, adoption and business metrics.




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