Bring Your Own Carrier’s BYOC solutions have taken the world by storm as the changing demands of the evolving communications environment have led companies to prioritize more flexible, adaptable ways to create the best UC environment.
Microsoft Teams is one of the leaders in this universal communication space. First, the company offered a direct route to add other carriers to Teams via PowerShell connections. Operator Connect was then introduced to simplify the end-user experience by allowing them to manage their resources in the Teams admin center.
Now that mobile connectivity is on the rise, Microsoft has also introduced a new addition to the Teams calling platform. in 2022 Launched in the second half of the year, Teams Phone Mobile is a fixed-mobile convergence solution that enables businesses to turn their mobile devices into a Teams phone endpoint.
Introducing Teams Phone Mobile
Microsoft announced Teams Phone Mobile as the next step in its Teams Phone strategy. It provides businesses with seamless integration of mobile functionality with the productivity and collaboration features of Microsoft Teams. Teams Phone Mobile is a “first-of-its-kind” fixed-mobile convergence offering.
The Teams Phone Mobile experience builds on the foundations of the existing Operator Connect system. This means operators provide a managed service to their customers using APIs and back-end connections to deliver their own experience on the Teams platform.
Microsoft initially started rolling out SIM/eSIM functionality with a few carrier partners such as BT, Swisscom, Verizon, Rogers and Telia. More operators will be introduced in the future as carriers complete their application to the Operator Connect partnership program.
It should be noted that the service is not the same as a call forwarding or SIM calling service. Mobile device PSTN functionality will be provided through Teams and the relevant operator. This means that both incoming and outgoing mobile calls will be routed directly through Teams, providing a single call history, voicemail and presence experience. Microsoft also plans to introduce SMS functionality in future Teams Phone Mobile packages.
What are the benefits of Teams Phone Mobile?
Similar to the standard Operator Connect app, Teams Phone Mobile provides users with a native Teams communication experience. The system connects mobile phone numbers to the Teams infrastructure, so all mobile calls go through Teams, giving you access to all the productivity, collaboration and other features offered by Teams.
Users can set caller ID preferences to hide personal cell phone numbers and display only work profiles. In addition, users can turn audio calls into video calls with the click of a button, and calls you’ve answered on your device can be seamlessly transferred to your desktop. Participants can also access screen sharing, busy functions and high-quality audio.
Vendors participating in Teams Phone Mobile will be responsible for managing all integrations and API calls in the backend, reducing customer effort. The user’s mobile phone simply rings at the same time as the Teams desktop client, and they can answer using any device and switch devices at will. This service is provided as part of the Teams voice license, so there is no need to purchase or download additional software.
“Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile is an important opportunity for mobile operators to increase their business customer base and attract new subscribers. Anecdotal experience has shown that the number of business subscribers of an operator with FMC has doubled. Our Dstny colleagues have decades of experience in fixed/mobile convergence (FMC) in the Nordics. A fully integrated FMC solution (as Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile will be) increased mobile penetration by 90%. this region is ahead of most of the world in FMC adoption.
The cost of integrating Microsoft’s deployment operators is not trivial. The Dstny team uses their expertise in Operator Connect Accelerator together with their extensive knowledge of the major mobile operator platforms to deliver a plan to deploy Teams Phone Mobile on each of the major platforms (Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, etc.) .) to help operators directly.
– Mark Herbert, Partner Innovation Manager, Destiny Automate
Teams Phone Mobile offers a unique opportunity to provide an increasingly mobile, agile and distributed workforce with mobile calls that just work. Some of the key benefits of Teams Phone Mobile include:
- Extensive mobile functionality: With truly native mobile integration, users get a fully optimized mobile experience with presence accuracy and voicemail across all native mobile devices and Teams instances.
- One number simplicity: Users have the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere with a single business number for mobile, desktop and Microsoft Teams instances. This is essential for the age of mobile work, so there are no confusing apps or tools.
- Excellent privacy and compliance: Teams Phone Mobile enables organizations to extend the business policies implemented in Teams for privacy, security and compliance to the mobile environment. This means that call recording and retention policies can be implemented, and calls can be configured to appear corporate.
- Simplified support: Teams Phone Mobile also enables end-users to consolidate various redundant landline mobile services and reduce the number of new devices and endpoints that need to be purchased, supported and managed.
- Great partner opportunities: For Teams Phone Mobile partners, this service provides a new way to extend the functionality that service providers can offer their users. This means that they can reach a wider range of customers in different areas of business.
How will carriers access Teams Phone Mobile?
Access to Teams Phone Mobile for partners and suppliers will be provided in a similar way to the standard Operator Connect application. This technology leverages the Azure for Operators environment to provide deep and local connectivity between the mobile network and the Microsoft cloud. The Azure for Operators environment now offers Mobile Control Point and an enhanced Perimeta Session Border Controller and Managed Service solution.
Of course, as with Microsoft Operator Connect for telephony and conferencing, operators need to ensure they have the right strategy in place to leverage the program and support their users. Vendors must ensure that they comply with the API and communication requirements set by Microsoft for Operator Connect partners. Having access to a comprehensive communications management environment will also be essential.