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Contact Center for Microsoft Teams

With the advanced features of their cloud PBX, Microsoft provides a simple automatic call distribution to one or more call groups as well as different call destinations within and outside business hours.

For companies using professional ACD solutions or attendant consoles with their existing telephone system, the range of functions offered by the Auto Attendant and Call Queues is not sufficient. Numerous Microsoft partners close this gap and offer certified Contact Centers for use with Microsoft Teams.

How do these solutions differ?

It can be assumed that a certified Contact Center integrates with Microsoft Teams in whatever form. I would like to pick out a few decisive criteria and support IT professionals in evaluating the multitude of solutions on the market with my technical perspective.

The integration model

Microsoft distinguishes between two integration models so far and three in the future.

Connection ModelThe connection model requires a certified Session Border Controller and a PSTN connection via Direct Routing on the customer side. Customers who have implemented their PSTN connection via Microsoft Calling Plans or Operator Connect cannot use these solutions.
Extend ModelThe Extend model relies on an integration of the Contact Center via the Microsoft Graph API. The customer is free to choose his PSTN connection.
Power ModelThe Power Model is intended to enable even deeper integration of partner solutions into the Microsoft Teams infrastructure in the future.

The frontend

Every solution shines with an individual UX design. One technical differentiation criterion here can be the platform of the client app: Does the solution offer a Teams App or does the provider rely on a complementary or separate, usually web-based front end?

Pure ACD solutions usually offer a Teams App, while omnichannel solutions prefer a supplementary or separate front end for the additional communication channels.

The communication channels

Which communication channels are relevant to the company’s business model? Does the new solution need to distribute calls only or does the company also thrive on central customer contacts in social media, on the web and via mail?

Here I share an overview* in which I have assigned the above criteria to the solutions: Solution provider | Certification status | Integration model | App platform | Communication channels.

*This overview has no claim to completeness and correctness.

Published by Natalie Jeschner

Natalie quit her profession as a social worker 2000 and started her IT career as a support employee. She sticked to error analysis and troubleshooting in enterprise infrastructures for 15 years and discovered her passion for Collaboration, Unified Communication and VoIP during that time. Her focus is on the design and implementation of VoIP infrastructures with Microsoft UC solutions for several years now.
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