Managed telephony has saved the day for many rising to the challenge of Covid-19. The need to mobilise thousands of employees has had many organisations thankful they had the capability in place to roll out – at speed and at scale – a solution that will work for teams suddenly needing to work from home, that would rival that of the office.
We’ve seen a massive uptake in our own Call2Teams offering – PTSN capability from within MS Teams – and we thought we’d pull together the top five takeaways from these deployments and feedback received.
One – Simplicity and efficiency
With one single interface to work form, users now just click and call. No more having to break off to interact with the deskphone makes things quick and seamless, saving time and boosting convenience. Plus the option to add video into the call has helped with more engaging collaboration and for many has accelerated the adoption of video conferencing as a standard for meetings.
For some that represents a significant opportunity
“Our business has shifted. Before you would be in the office unless you needed to be elsewhere. Now the whole approach has changed and you work from home unless there’s a genuine reason to go into the office. Hopefully that will stay going forward.”
Two – Familiarity and optimisation
Key to the general success of Call2Teams is that it’s been hard for anyone working from home to spot the difference in the actual telephony provision. That’s because all the enterprise tools have just been extended beyond the office walls – conferencing, call transfer, hunt groups, call recording and call reporting. And because they’re using them everyday, they’re getting comfortable with them and more confident in their application – which could have positive long-term implications.
We’ve heard similar sentiments to this already
“Because we adopted Teams, we’ve been able to do all our customer face-to-face meetings on Teams, and customers have been really receptive and happy with the experience. Many have said they want to continue in this way as it cuts down on travel time and expenses.”
Three – Positive adoption
The success of any technology project lies in how users respond to it. Given the massive stressor of the pandemic generally, with employees needing to adjust personally and professionally to a much-changed life, the last thing any organisation could afford was confusion and hesitancy around a primary communications and collaboration channel. But the reality was a zero training requirement and very rapid, enthusiastic uptake, with just the odd minor grumble about headset usage.
This client’s experience was typical
“We went from 300 office staff using deskphones in the office, plus another 100 field-based business development staff, to an initial 400 staff able to work from home using PSTN calling on any device within Microsoft Teams. Literally overnight.”
Four – Management and control
Organisations have had to be very agile during the pandemic, not only to meet the day-to-day needs of a naturally more challenged workforce, but also to maintain service and standards for customers. That means ensuring visibility of call handling and associated data sets – peak times, wait times, dropped calls etc – and so call reporting tools like Akiksi have been integral to driving, and even improving, performance.
Take this example
“The combination of the PSTN calling and the call reporting from Akixi has allowed us to streamline inbound calls and give even better customer service. We’ve been able to move from calls potentially being answered by a possible 90 different people across 12 different physical offices to a dedicated reception team working from home, who are able to answer calls within seconds. We can see how many calls are coming into the business, all the peaks and troughs, so that we can make the right decisions on manning reception to ensure a consistent service standard.”
Five – Rapid, risk-free migration
Telephony is a critical communications channel at any time, even more so in times of uncertainty and unease. So, it’s essential that any potential service-impacting migration happens in such a way as to accelerate and de-risk the process. Disruption is not an option.
For users of our VoIP Unity system, the addition of Call2Teams has taken, on average, 48 hours, with no interruption to service and no burden on the customer.
As one described it
“It was such an easy adoption. Once the contract had been signed, there was nothing for us to do. Within 48 hours all our users had access to PSTN calling from within Teams. From the IT team’s perspective as well as for our users, it was such a simple journey and exactly how we’d like a new deployment to run.”