One of the biggest themes at last year’s SkySwitch user conference, Vectors, was not only how its partners can give businesses the tools they need to communicate effectively, but how to make them easy to use. Among the biggest issues with new communications and collaboration tools is getting people to use them, and part of solving that problem is integrating different pieces of the communications environment to simplify things for users. The more users have to switch between different applications, the less likely they are to use them to their full benefit.
Team collaboration solutions, like Microsoft Teams, have been gaining momentum as businesses continue to transition to the cloud and look to modernize their communications environments. Not surprisingly, Microsoft has seen a significant increase in Teams usage over the past several weeks, as an unprecedented number of people are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, even through collaboration platforms are seeing increased adoption – and despite what many believe – voice is still a critical part of business communications, and the PBX still has a very important role to play in enabling it.
So, understanding the need for usability, the problem Micah Singer set out to solve with his latest venture, TeamMate Technology, was how to unify the PBX and collaboration solutions. The result is cloud-based software, running in Azure, which speaks both SIP and APIs, and effectively turns team collaboration platforms into softphones for any SIP PBX.
“The promise we have heard about for so many year is different kinds of business and enterprise solutions coming together in one place, including communications,” he told me at Vectors. “So, what we’ve done at is integrate the PBX with team collaboration software.”
Singer also noted that one of the keys to SkySwitch’s success is its ability to stay current with market needs and giving its partners the solutions their customers need. In fact, he added that SkySwitch was among the first to understand the benefit of connecting PBXs with collaboration suites and would be an early adopter of the solution.
Now, the two companies have formally announced a relationship between the two that will make TeamMate Connector available to SkySwitch resellers and MSP partners, enabling them to unify SkySwitch’s voice platform and Teams for end users.
SkySwitch partners will be able to extend their voice services to Teams users, who will be able to access not only their Microsoft functionality, but the full feature set of the SkySwitch voice platform, through their Teams softphones.
"The Teams calling features work just like any other telephone on the SkySwitch platform, maintaining rules, queues, voicemail and settings of each user,” said SkySwitch founder and President, Eric Hernaez. “With the TeamMate Connector, we’re adding value to our cloud platform, providing additional functionality via Microsoft Teams to the company’s Unified Communications service.”
Regardless of the devices they are using – smartphone, tablet, or PC – users will be able to place and receive calls using their Teams soft client, with the full functionality of the PBX.
“Let’s face it, the PBX has really evolved and it’s becoming more integrated with desktop computing and mobile, but voice isn’t going away,” said Singer. “It will continue to evolve and it will present very nicely in some of these other collaboration tools.
For SkySwitch, it’s all about extending the value of its cloud voice platform for its MSP and reseller partners, to help them increase their value to customers. The ability to bring Microsoft and PBX functionality into a unified platform simplifies communications for uses, ultimately ensuring increased use and value for businesses.
Growth opportunities and extending value for MSPs is the singular focus of MSP Expo, part of the TechSuperShow. The 2020 edition of the event recently concluded in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and the 2021 edition will take place at the brand new Miami Beach Convention Center, February 9-10, 2021. The Miami event will focus not only on solution and product offerings, but will heavily feature marketing, customer acquisition, benchmarking and metrics, compliance, and other key areas of business growth for MSPs.
Edited by Erik Linask