Today we’re announcing the general availability of Telstra Calling for Office 365 – and I‘m convinced it’s going to have a significant impact for employees and enterprise.
Microsoft Teams is already unlocking new ways of working; it’s empowering workers and helping them collaborate and communicate. For millennial workers in particular it speaks their language. Now employees can take the next step and actually speak to one another from right within Teams and our other productivity and collaboration tools.
In March we announced our partnership with Telstra to deliver native voice calling services from the Microsoft cloud and we’re pleased now to have this solution available to our customers in Australia.
More than 200 organisations were involved in the preview program for Telstra Calling for Office 365 and we’ve had an enthusiastic response from the 30 customers who took part in our Early Adopter Program. Companies like Peet, RM Williams, Downer Group have all embraced the solution along with public sector organisations including the Supreme Court of Victoria and the City of Fremantle in Western Australia.
Deeply integrating cloud-based voice communications with solutions like Microsoft Teams means people can connect across the country or across the world, when, where and how they want. Let me give you an example; when I am in a Microsoft Teams session I can emphasise what I mean with highlighting, or even throw in a GIF or two. But to make a quick voice call – right there and then from within the application – is the simplest way to collaborate with no compromise of flexibility or mobility.
The nuance that adding voice – right at the point you need it – allows for direct, clear messages to flow and ensure everyone’s on the same page. It builds empathy and grows respect within teams leading to more impactful relationships.
It’s voice as a service directly out of Office 365 with no need for any on premise equipment meaning organisations can get up and running fast and friction free.
All the usual collaboration tools that are part of Office 365 within Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business are included, like multi person video, screen sharing, document sharing and co-editing and are immediately boosted with voice integrated at the heart of the collaboration. It’s quick to set up, a highly affordable as-a-service solution making it accessible for all sizes of business – and it inherits all the security that comes as standard with Office 365.
Cloud voice boosts agility, flexibility and responsiveness
Collaboration tools are widely deployed in Australia. A ZDNet survey found that 53 per cent of IT decision makers have invested heavily in collaboration and mobility tools already.
And there’s clear appetite for cloud voice services as well. More than 85 percent of respondents to the ZDNet survey agreed communications over audio, video, and cloud calling increased work productivity. We recently engaged Capitalis to survey organisations with 250-1,000 employees, and it found that 73 per cent already used some type of cloud voice in parts of their organisation – many embracing the approach to boost agility, flexibility and responsiveness.
I’m convinced that even more magic comes when you bring the two together – productivity and collaboration platforms like Teams along with deeply integrated voice. Telstra Calling for Office 365 turbo charges people’s ability to work together and get things done faster and better.
This is digital transformation at the coal face – and it’s already having an impact for early adopters.
Peet’s IT Manager Justyn Bridge said of the solution; “Our teams use the rich productivity features of Office 365 every day, they’re in the office, or out on the road. They can collaborate with colleagues wherever they are and now make voice calls from right within Office 365. The solution allows them to be more accessible, more productive and the already familiar Skype for Business interface contributes to the simplicity and adoption of Telstra Calling for Office 365.”
At the City of Fremantle, Western Australia Joel Hurst, IT Manager explains that; “Our future is fully digital, fully mobile, activity-based working. We want staff to be empowered to work anywhere anytime from any device. Telstra Calling for Office 365 made sense to us. We can reduce our office footprint. Our staff feel included.
We’re also genuinely delighted at the strength of the supporting partner ecosystem that is developing around this solution. We have multiple channel partners signed up today and we are investing to grow this partner base even further.
Telstra Calling for Office 365 is already shifting the dial on collaboration for our early adopters – and now everyone can empower their employees to achieve more.