Microsoft continues to increase its presence in the UCaaS and Contact Center markets. Just as Microsoft fully unveils its Digital Contact Center, it posts earnings that reveal the Teams Phone has over 12 million PSTN users.
Microsoft Digital Contact Center
Back in April of 2021 Microsoft acquired Nuance with a view to:
Powering omnichannel engagement and smart self-service
Safeguarding and personalizing customer interactions
Enhancing agent performance and modernizing case management
Opening new company revenue streams through increased customer acquisition
Simplifying infrastructure with extensibility and modernization
This move to Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 represents Microsoft’s full push into customer engagement and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) with Nuance filling the contact center piece, AI (e.g. Voice Biometrics) ; Power Platform providing Low-Code App Development (Power BI); Teams for Collaboration (obviously) and Azure managing the supporting infrastructure. Microsoft seems intent on providing a robust contact center solution by integrating supportive technologies and offering them to their enormous 365 customer base.
Microsoft Teams Hits 12 Million PSTN Users
The relevance of this increased market share can’t be underestimated. While Microsoft’s Digital Contact Center is poised to offer full omnichannel engagement, the raw number of PSTN Teams Users highlights the fact that voice communications are still highly preferred by customers. The likelihood is that customers will always want to talk to an agent for a number of transactions because it will always be the fastest, most intuitive way to ask questions and make decisions.
Microsoft Teams Momentum
With roughly 270 million monthly active Teams users, this is the first time the number of PSTN users has been isolated and reported. Back when Microsoft was touring 80 million monthly users, the number was combined between VoIP and PSTN. Significantly, breaking these numbers out so we can see how many are using PSTN connections tells us that Microsoft’s growth is not just expanding but branching inside of the almost 350 million Office 365 subscriptions.
A Lot of Moving Parts
There's more than just an increase in Teams users to keep an eye on. A number of large enterprises are putting their time and money behind delivering infrastructure for affordable broadband to underserved areas in an effort to bridge the digital divide. It's perhaps speculation at this point, but it's safe to say that the long-term effect of broadband’s expansion will be increased access to education and employment opportunities. This is likely to increase the number of knowledge workers employed globally, many of whom will be on MS Teams.
Mind you, MS’ Digital Contact Center Platform isn’t a new Teams-centered contact center product, but a well integrated communication bridge between Dynamics and Teams. This will ignite features like embedded teams chat for Dynamics agents which supports greater organizational integration for customer inquiries and Dynamics 365 records.
This ensures that Microsoft not only spurs adoption of the Teams platform within existing Office 365 subscribers, but that the subscriber base itself grows giving Microsoft an even greater foothold in the global communications market.
Increased Recording Needs and The Growth of MS Teams
The need for recording will naturally increase with this expansion of Teams accounts. Between the introduction of the Digital Contact Center, the branching expansion of the Teams platform, and the outward growth of broadband services, compliance officers are going to have their hands full. This increase in the number of PSTN accounts as well as the introduction of the Digital Contact Center is going to have a deep impact on customer-facing compliance, and the reason for that is simple.
There will be more credit card numbers, permissions requests, and compliance statements going over the phone than ever before. This will test the flexibility and scalability of compliance recording platforms and speech analytics applications. Knowledge workers coming from areas that were previously information deserts will necessitate training and quality curriculums as companies hire from a larger sampling of the global workforce.
Speech Analytics Go Critical
Speech analytics began as a bright and promising concept years ago, but in order to maintain compliance and quality as well as a competitive edge in customer service, speech analytics are rapidly becoming the only way to tackle the untold sums of data coming from our recorded interactions. Machine learning can aid compliance where information needs to be protected or redacted. Advanced keyword recognition can sift through transcripts to intelligently collect actionable data points from every conversation. Well-designed analytical functions can assemble that data for an accurate big picture of customer sentiment.
Put simply, if we think the amount of data that we are collecting now is enormous, then we should prepare for the exponential explosion update that will be hailing from contact centers in the not-at-all distant future.
Enterprises and Service Providers Should Be Inspired
More communication is always a good thing. Clear understanding from those communications is a great thing. Increased customer satisfaction, company revenue, and security for all is inspiring. To get the most out of your Communications requires some time and effort and understanding not only what analytics platforms can offer, but specifically what you and your company and its given industry should be looking for. We here would love to talk to you about how to get actionable insights from your call interactions. Reach out to us today at miarec.com to learn more about our platform and what it can do for your business.