Having a team voice
By Basha Pillay, Head: Modern Platform at Altron Karabina.
With remote working and remote communication needs rising as a result of the pandemic, organisations’ communication systems have become even more important than before.
These times have forced many companies into a new paradigm of how employees work. According to global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, remote working models are not expected to be going away any time soon. The firm found that about 40% of South Africa’s senior professionals want to move to full-time remote work, which can be seen as the catalyst for technology that enables this.
Ditch the traditional
For voice communications in the office environment, the standard solution was traditional PABXs. Things are, however, changing rapidly and because organisations now have a greater number of employees working from home, their communication platform needs have changed.
Microsoft Teams, with the added voice capability, is that platform. Because organisations are already pervasively using this platform for meetings and to chat with colleagues as well as engage internally, they can now do exactly the same as they would have done in an office environment from a PABX perspective, simply on the single Teams platform.
With the additional voice component, the platform changes the dynamic of also being able to communicate and collaborate outside of your organisation and outside of your peers that sit on the Teams tenant you currently engage on.
It essentially extends your communications – whether it is from a Teams client to a mobile phone or landline or any fixed number. It increases the capability of this single communications platform, making it the all-in-one solution that manages everything that you do. It simplifies an organisation’s communications infrastructure. There is no dependence on an on-premises PABX infrastructure that only facilitates voice calls if you are in the office.
Integrating call centre solutions with Microsoft Teams is one of the most common needs for organisations deploying Teams, as Teams acts as the hub for internal and external customer connection across its modes of communication. Looking to the future, the added voice capability will allow organisations to consolidate and run their entire call centre environment through Microsoft Teams. In addition, Microsoft already has the features to integrate Teams into existing call centre platforms available in the market.
It facilitates remote working, especially in large organisations that have some kind of a switchboard and need things like reception, call waiting, extension transfer, which can all be done through the platform, remotely, regardless of where employees are based in the world.
Another advantage Teams offers is increased security. The platform has native security built-in, which extends to the voice calling capability as well, providing more secure communications all around.
The solution has a further impact in terms of cost optimisation and how you are managing your voice quality within an organisation. It is common knowledge that Voice over IP (VOIP) is far cheaper than traditional voice services from telecoms providers. A massive potential cost-saving exists, apparent from the lower cost of a call and from streamlining the infrastructure and moving to a cloud-based unified communications platform. Organisations no longer need to maintain costly archaic on-premises infrastructure as everything is done in the cloud.
Teams is a game-changer in current times and customers should seriously consider its advantages:
- Simplifying how they communicate and collaborate.
- Cost-efficiency and cost-saving from a communications perspective.
- Security embedded in both the end-user and the platform from a remote working perspective.
- The management of all of that in a single platform.
From a licensing perspective, the platform forms part of the Microsoft 365 Suite and if you have an E5 licence you are already licensed for this calling capability. If you have an E3 licence or lower, you simply need to buy a bolt-on voice capability licence.
Working from anywhere really accelerates the need for communications in organisations and Altron Karabina, as a Microsoft partner, now has the ability to extend what our customers are already using on Teams all that much further.