Our Cloud telephony once supported a workplace in exile. Now it needs to support a workforce in flux. Following the events of 2020, and an unprecedented rise in remote working users, many are since looking to return to the office or instate a flexible working schedule as the impact of 2020 subsides.
The importance of company comms this past year cannot be overstated. Not only have they enabled us to keep in touch with clients and co-workers effortlessly, solutions such as Microsoft Teams have provided dynamic solutions to long-distance working. Yet as the world and the workplace continue to evolve, there’s so much more we can do with our Cloud telephony, to provide that competitive edge.
Calling, the Cloud and Continuity
Those businesses already benefitting from a Cloud telephony solution held a continuity trump card during the events of 2020. When COVID restrictions forced users to work from outside the office, those who typically worked from the desk could up sticks without forfeiting their contact numbers.
Cloud telephony is invaluable as a business continuity solution, not least if people or premises are ever compromised. Yet telephony is only one fraction of your company arsenal; there’s still the software, files and apps we rely on every day. Can Cloud telephony alone subsidise those?
Microsoft, recognising the software capabilities of modern handsets, has created Microsoft Business Voice. Similar to a VoIP solution, this Cloud telephony software mobilises work numbers, makes calls cheaper without the need for a PBX, and shrinks the Microsoft Teams environment into a mobile UI; enabling the file-sharing benefits of its desktop equivalent. Because it syncs with Outlook, users are instantly manageable by 365 admins and instantly connected to their Outlook contacts.
With solutions like these, Cloud Telephony is far more use to us now than as a humble office handset. But it won’t replace the desktop computer, nor a more personal approach to our comms…
Bridging the Gap Between On-Prem and Off
Many users are now ready to return to the office, but as long as others are more enamoured with their flexible working lifestyle, businesses face the challenge of uniting on and off-prem workers, partners and stakeholders, across multiple technologies.
Cloud telephony solutions certainly make this easier by making staff available wherever they’re working from. So do solutions like Teams, which allow the sharing of files and conversation from any mobile device. Yet despite the benefits of Cloud telephony, high-concept pitches or meetings don’t entirely translate over mobile devices.
Teams’ pervasiveness as one of the most-used office apps worldwide has opened the floor, and Microsoft’s Teams Rooms are designed to eliminate the technical barriers between on and off-prem users – wherever they work from.
The ‘Rooms’ are indeed literal; this hardware solution is designed for conference rooms of any scale and sees them befitted with Teams-enabled hardware; consoles, displays, even cameras. The idea is that anybody who isn’t in the conference room at the time can join with nothing lost in the process, thanks to Microsoft’s technologies.
This is achieved via a Teams Rooms console, which manages participants, audio and video – even configuring their paired devices the moment they enter the room via Wi-Fi. Like your users, your Teams Console is mobile, meaning your Teams Room solution can be too.
It’s the off-prem participants that Teams Rooms cater to the best. Content cameras can intelligently frame speakers, but also detect analogue whiteboards and project them into the Teams meeting space; perfect for those partners who don’t have digital whiteboard technologies.
While it sounds impressive – and it is, of course – it’s all built on the Windows 10 operating system, so there’s very little training involved for anyone familiar with Windows products.
Cloud telephony has gone beyond the VoIP benefits we already know and benefit from. To be agile, forward-thinking and competitive, businesses need to bridge the gap between workers and embrace new technologies that make working easier, in or out of the office.
Thankfully, it looks as if current options are making this easier than ever.