OneVoice for Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams: Revolutionary solution to maintaining human connections in a digital world
By David Behr, Group Chief Digital Officer, Liquid Intelligent Technologies
Globally, businesses have entirely overhauled their technology options and adapted their operations to meet the new demands of accelerated digital transformation. Technological advancements, coupled with globally developing trends, including the disruptive impact of the pandemic, have led companies to agreeing that remote or hybrid work is the future of business.
Regardless of their size or how dispersed their workforce is, companies’ focus on seamless collaboration is increasing. This means that for workforces to be successful in the remote/hybrid work environment, they need to have the same tools and capabilities as they would have in the traditional office set-up. With around 145 million daily active users, Microsoft Teams has fast become the collaboration tool of choice for flexible work. Through this central application, staff can collaborate effectively, conduct virtual meetings and conferences, and now, they can even call domestically or globally as they would with a regular fixed line extension.
OneVoice for Operator Connect is a new offering from Liquid Intelligent Technologies that aims to enhance collaboration in the remote/hybrid work environment by integrating traditional telephony calling within the Microsoft Teams ecosystem. Businesses in Africa can entrust Liquid to manage this contemporary integration solution as Liquid is Microsoft’s only OneVoice for Operator Connect distributor on the continent. The offering is being piloted in Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Human interaction and idea cohesion are at the core of business productivity. The in-office corridor chats, the desk-to-desk ‘quick catch-ups’ and informal customer conversations that we used to rely on to maintain person-to-person connections now need to happen digitally. What has become apparent as the world evolves is that communication is on the rise. People are talking now more than ever before, and the dynamics of these engagements will only improve as technology enhances. OneVoice has emerged as the modern solution to stimulate human connections in the new digital business world by seamlessly integrating voice calling on a ubiquitous collaboration platform.
How does it work?
OneVoice effortlessly automates public switched telephony network (PSTN) calling within the Microsoft Teams platform, providing Liquid customers centralised access and control of traditional voice calling on their current Microsoft 365 suite. The offering provides a more straightforward platform for calls via Teams, improving user experience and simplifying communication options by eliminating bulky IT equipment such as private branch exchanges (PBXes) and session border controllers (SBCs).
The offering improves the business beyond just the end customer experience. It supports the company’s back-end by reducing procurement and licensing costs and eliminating the purchasing and installing of hardware. Additionally, it mitigates IT risks such as fraud and cyber theft of voice minutes, enabling clients’ end-to-end vetting, which further protects them from risk and affords the customer increased control over the use of their voice minutes.
Why choose OneVoice?
One of the key benefits of OneVoice is better cost accountability for businesses. The offering gives businesses better control over voice minutes. With OneVoice, IT departments have unprecedented access to monitoring and managing calls according to their needs. What’s more, as part of OneVoice, Liquid is offering a flat-rate calling for domestic plans and competitive rates for international plans that will give customers better budget management for their calls.
Customers’ IT departments need not concern themselves with the service’s administration as Liquid will provide a fully operational service team to assist with set-up and maintenance. This will reduce the client’s time and effort spent internally administrating the service. Thus, businesses can focus on being viable and productive, and their IT departments can repurpose resources to identifying revenue generation streams for their organisations, among other areas to explore.
Furthermore, because OneVoice is set up in the cloud, it expands many business data analytic possibilities. For example, a call centre business can conduct cloud-based call recording and analyse calls stored on the cloud to improve customer engagement. The company can even apply AI learning to enhance client satisfaction.
OneVoice is ideal for any business looking to improve cohesion and collaboration, regardless of its size. Small businesses benefit by having a central system to manage file sharing, meetings, mail and voice calling. Larger enterprises, which have likely already purchased the more extensive Microsoft E5 suite, have the added benefit of voice at no extra cost.
OneVoice is a step further in the digital transformation of voice infrastructure. It will keep businesses agile in a rapidly changing environment of flexible work arrangements. The offering is arguably one of the most secure ways of telephony, owing to the combined and extensive cyber security measures of Microsoft and Liquid. OneVoice will make companies more resilient to significant security threats associated with traditional telephony, such as fraud and hacking, while improving customer convenience. Liquid customers will benefit even more by maintaining existing contracts or negotiating new agreements, depending on their budget and needs, while enabling a modern, unified calling experience.
For more information, visit: liquid.tech/onevoice
David Behr, Group Chief Digital Officer
David Behr is a leading internet pioneer and entrepreneur in Africa, having founded ZOL in 1995 and grown it into the largest ISP in Zimbabwe. David joined Liquid Intelligent Technologies in January 2012 through the acquisition of ZOL as an Executive Director and currently is the Group Chief Digital Officer.
He is responsible for building Liquid's "C2" Cloud and Cyber Security business across Africa through partnerships with global cloud providers, local independent software vendors and strategic acquisitions. He drives the organisation's vision that 'Africa's Cloud is Liquid' and has built a dynamic team to deliver the organisation's next significant phase of growth. Accountable for group-wide digital services, strategy and execution, guiding all OpCos and group functions to deliver results.
Under his guidance, his team creates sustainable value for customers by solving their biggest technology challenges through innovative products and solutions. Currently living in London, Behr was born and raised in Zimbabwe. He has a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Bristol, focusing on telecommunications and computer science, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.