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Microsoft and Enreach – putting Teams and Operator Connect in the spotlight

8 Jun 2022

Enreach’s Microsoft expert Tonny Siemons recently sat down with Remco de Kramer, Product Marketing Manager, Modern Work, Microsoft, and talked about how the two organisations work together and the benefits for customers. In particular, they focused on the benefits of the Operator Connect program, of which Enreach is now a member.

The duo started their discussion by saying while Teams can be the primary interface for users’ working days, many of them are unaware of its telephony features. Remco provided these examples of how these features could be helpful: “Have a hybrid meeting with people joining in from an office and their homes, or simplify your ICT infrastructure and use Teams as your PBX. It is no longer necessary to switch from a device or an application when you want to call somebody on a mobile or fixed-line.”

However, Remco stressed that telephony is a feature — not a product — and that it has to be connected to infrastructure to work, with one option being a Microsoft calling plan. This is a quick and easy way to get users started using Teams for telephony, but, as Remco pointed out, “When you onboard multiple users, it can get quite expensive, and it doesn't contain a rich feature set. When you have traditional telephone systems already in your organisation, it's really hard to connect that via Microsoft calling plans.”

So, instead, Microsoft’s focus is to work with telecom operators and use their expertise to deliver additional telephony benefits. The result is Operator Connect, designed for organisations such as Enreach to join forces, integrate infrastructure, and create an enhanced service for customers. Remco explains what that could mean in practice: “We are able to offer a much better experience, for example, to a company administrator. So, they see numbers provided by Enreach in the Teams admin centre, and they can easily allocate those numbers to users.”

Remco also described some advantages to organisations like Enreach: “We offer you reporting tooling where you can really trace calls end to end. We have several APIs that enable you to provision numbers within the shortest possible amount of time. So Operator Connect is the evolution of how to work better with operators.”

Mobile is, of course, a big focus for Enreach and its customers, and the good news is that it is now part of Operator Connect. Remco explained, “Partners already live in Operator Connect can extend it with Operator Connect Mobile. We integrate your core mobile services with the Microsoft cloud, and that enables different, new user cases, for instance, a unified call history: you can see what calls you made, regardless of the network you used. You can start a call on your mobile number and then uplift it to Teams because you want to involve a colleague or use video. There are a lot of extra functionalities which are being unlocked.”

Tonny added, “I am so looking forward to that because FMC (fixed mobile convergence) offers so much rich functionality. Also, as Enreach, we already have integrations with Teams, mobile and FMC through the direct routing part. So I can’t wait to be part of the mobile program.” (Enreach will, of course, continue to provide direct routing options too.)

Operator Connect is part of Enreach’s continued strategy to work with best-of-breed technology partners, such as Microsoft. The aim is to help their shared customers make the most of their technology investments as IT and communications converge into one seamless environment.

Watch full vodcast interview below.