A look back at how 2020 changed the demand for Unified Communications

The way that organisations work and collaborate is constantly evolving. Critical factors of technology and work culture shape new practices for how we improve productivity, each time iterating to lead to what is hopefully a more efficient way forward.

The past decade has seen widespread yet steady adoption of cloud-based Unified Communication (UC) products by organisations to better manage communication and collaboration across teams. Products like Slack and Zoom have become verbs while Microsoft’s Teams worked with customers to provide newfound capabilities to their familiar productivity suite 0ffice 365 that is nearly ubiquitous across industries.

And then came 2020.

As workplaces were forced to send their people remote, they quickly turned to UC solutions to help them collaborate from wherever they were.

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of cloud-based UC solutions to keep organisations in business. Imagine for a moment if this was COVID-91 instead of COVID-19.

Companies’ being forced to make the transition to remote work served as an injection of nitrous oxide for the UC space. In six short months — though everything in 2020 felt like an eternity — Microsoft reported that their daily Teams users shot up from 75 million to 115 million. Though the smaller player by far with 12 million daily users, Slack found itself highly valued when it was bought out by Salesforce for a whopping $27.7 billion.

But moving past the numbers and the hype, there were more than a few reasons why organisations of all sizes quickly turned to adopt UC tools into their workflow.

How UC Tools Supported Remote Workers in a Pinch

When the pandemic hit, the move to remote was anything but orderly. Organisations were scrambling to get their people online and minimize the hit to their operations.

Cloud-based UC tools played a big role in helping them to achieve these goals. With their infrastructure hosted on the cloud, it was a relatively easy lift to get employees online and able to access the same resources that they could at the office from their home devices.

Once they were logged into their accounts, employees could easily use products like Microsoft Teams to see who was online, organise virtual meetings with colleagues, communicate with them over chats, and basically carry on uninterrupted from their normal day-to-day.

It wasn’t exactly like being in the office, but it was close enough and to be sure, the benefits outweighed the downsides. By turning to these collaborative platforms like Teams and Slack, organisations were able to ensure that their employees stayed safe at home while the virus spread rapidly. This allowed people to continue at their jobs without feeling like they were risking their health and safety.

These platforms also allowed organisations to work securely with their remote workers. Data security measures and other important security features came built into Teams as a part of the Microsoft package, making it easy for these organisations to ensure that they were managing their risk responsibly.

With all of these advantages, there were still a few areas where Teams needed a little bit of assistance to provide a fully comprehensive solution to users.

NFON Fills in the Voice Gap for Microsoft Teams

Even as organisations were using Teams for running chats, VoIP calling, video conferencing, and a host of other day-to-day types of needs, they still required a little extra help to make the whole experience truly seamless when it comes to voice.

This is because Microsoft does not offer voice calling over the PSTN.

Instead, it works with partners to offer phone calling service that integrates with Teams. This allows employees to make the calls they need without having to leave the Microsoft Teams environment that they use for all the rest of their communication needs.

With their subscription service, Nvoice for Microsoft Teams by NFON provides a cost-effective solution for organisations looking to incorporate PSTN calling into their Microsoft Teams workflow.

Think about Nvoice like a PBX for your Teams environment, facilitating all your calling, IVR, and call queuing tasks. Nvoice adds all of those capabilities but all on a scalable cloud infrastructure that easily connects with your workforce no matter where they are across the globe.

To learn more about Nvoice for Microsoft Teams and the benefits of cloud telephony, the folks over at NFON have compiled a report, that discusses how organisations can become more agile in the new work environment.

VOIP stands for Voice Internet Protocol. VoIP is a software-based technology that allows telecommunication services to be made over an IP network, which is a internet broadband connection, rather than using traditional PSTN phone lines.


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