Preparing for a permanent hybrid working model

Mayur Pitamber, director of product marketing at 8×8, talks to Comms Business about the opportunities the channel community has to add value to the Microsoft ecosystem.

Comms Business Magazine (CBM): What does the rapid adoption of Microsoft Teams mean for the Channel?

Mayur Pitamber (MP): “Indeed, it was. Microsoft estimated earlier this year that it had over 115 million daily active users on Teams globally, which is incredible. And it’s not just businesses, but also schools, hospitals, public sector organisations, local councils: the list goes on. Lockdown has significantly sped up technology adoption and the use of video for collaboration – I’ve not seen anything like it in 20 years in the industry.

“For channel partners, it means a continuing growth in Teams usage, which in turn creates additional opportunities for value-added consulting, assessment services, and integration services. There are also opportunities to talk to customers about additional licences from the Microsoft portfolio (for example CRM integration with Dynamics 365, or Azure Cloud Services), as well as third party solutions, like 8×8’s telephony for Teams and certified contact centre services.”

CBM: Have there been any recent Microsoft updates that have advanced your own offerings?

MP: “From an 8×8 perspective, the ability to offer a certified for Teams contact centre solution is hugely interesting. We can provide a really robust solution to organisations needing omnichannel contact centre capabilities that work no matter where their agents are located.

“We see this continuing to be a requirement as many organisations move to a permanent hybrid working model. Microsoft Operator Connect is another interesting development – a new operator-managed service for bringing PSTN calling into Teams.”

CBM: What is it like to be a Microsoft partner, and what else would you like to see in the future?

MP: “Microsoft is a great organisation for 8×8 to partner with. As well as delivering the industry leading solutions our customers rely on, they provide all the support and training partners like us need to create the value-added services our customers and our own partners are looking for.

“As for what could be improved, well, I’m always ready for some exciting new Teams backgrounds!”

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