The move enables screen pop at the start of inbound Teams Phone calls
Microsoft will introduce CRM Record Pop to inbound Teams Phone in November 2022.
The innovation is similar to screen pop, a popular feature within most CCaaS solutions.
When an employee accepts a PSTN call from a customer, the solution presents the relevant CRM record or case information associated with their number.
As a result, call handlers have critical information for resolving queries at their fingertips. Moreover, customers do not need to repeat themselves – a pet peeve for many.
In launching this feature, Microsoft brings CCaaS features to those outside of the formal contact center – which is perhaps ideal for businesses that do not require a feature-rich CCaaS solution.
Sharing his perspectives on LinkedIn, Tom Arbuthnot, Microsoft MVP and Co-Founder of Empowering.Cloud, said:
I know a lot of customers would like this. If it works alongside Auto Attendant and Cloud Call Queues it’s a really nice feature for the ‘in-the-box basic contact center’.
Indeed, the possibility will excite many SMBs as CRM integration has proven tricky for many Teams users.
Conventionally, the process involves PowerShell commands and other complex functions that have deterred potential adopters.
However, this innovation may make it much more accessible, allowing Teams to interact with Salesforce, HubSpot, SugarCRM, alongside many other CRM vendors.
Unfortunately, the need for middleware is unlikely to go away. Yet, thanks to this new announcement, the capability to merge Teams with a CRM is much more palpable.
Microsoft Teams leads the UCaaS market, with 270 million users worldwide.
As such, many CX vendors sense an opportunity to enhance the Teams experience faster than Microsoft can.
Look at CCaaS. Cisco, NICE, Five9, and many more high-profile companies have developed native Teams solutions to open themselves up to this giant userbase.
Many other examples also exist. Consider document management. Vendors – such as Box – have grown significantly by doing this better than native Microsoft apps.
So, will CRM providers soon follow suit and innovate around the Teams experience?
It is very possible in this age of interoperability, with a palpable desire for tight integrations between CX platforms, to lower complexity and simplify workflows.
Microsoft is likely preparing for such a reality. Yet, this latest innovation also underscores its desire to pull UCaaS and CCaaS closer together. Doing so will enable enterprise connectivity.
Of course, Microsoft boasts a CCaaS platform of its own – which offers Teams swarming. However, not every contact center needs all the bells and whistles that come with a large-scale solution.
Recognizing this, the tech pioneer is enhancing Teams to offer a lite CCaaS solution. Whereas the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform meets broader needs.
As such, Microsoft may soon support SMBs, mid-market businesses, and large enterprises in their customer contact operations.