KEYPOINTS FROM ARTICLE:
- Microsoft Teams Phone has nearly 80 million users and has been at the core of digital transformation.
- Covid-inspired, hybrid-driven transformations provide the flexibility, reliability, and functionality organizations rely on to stay connected and productive.
- Operator Connect Mobile, a fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) solution which will allow mobile devices to become a Teams Phone endpoint.
- Operator Connect Mobile is network and device agnostic which means that workers can have a single number across mobile phones, desk phones and Teams applications.
- Teams calls can be made in native dial pads, not just the Teams in-app dialer.
Microsoft Teams Phone has nearly 80 million users and has been at the core of digital transformations across the globe. These Covid-inspired, hybrid-driven transformations provide the flexibility, reliability, and functionality organizations rely on to stay connected and productive.
Continuing in this tradition, Microsoft most recently has announced Operator Connect Mobile, a fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) solution which will allow mobile devices to become a Teams Phone endpoint. Operator Connect Mobile will preview and begin in Q2 of 2022, with general availability beginning in the second half of 2022, allowing a SIM-enabled number across mobile, desktop and Microsoft Teams. It is a fixed-mobile convergence that brings together a user’s carrier service and the collaboration platform.
Calls can be made across both voice and data networks, and users can switch between devices – for example, they can seamlessly move from a voice network-enabled call on a mobile phone to a video call on a laptop. Microsoft said that Operator Connect Mobile is network and device agnostic which means that workers can have a single number across mobile phones, desk phones and Teams applications. Teams calls can be made in native dial pads, not just the Teams in-app dialer.
A Seamless Way to Integrate Mobile Identities
The next phase in Teams Phone innovation, Operator Connect Mobile, is truly a seamless way to integrate mobile identities within Microsoft Teams, more specifically towards access, collaboration, and productivity. This first of its kind, fixed-mobile convergence is intuitive, device agnostic, and enterprise compliant.
This mobile functionality builds on the foundations of Operator Connect to better provide enterprise-grade connectivity, resiliency, network quality, and has a joint support model. Microsoft has already been working closely with BT, Rogers, Swisscom, Telia and Verizon to bring this capability to customers in their respective service areas starting later this year.
Microsoft said that Operator Connect Mobile will go into preview in Q2, with general availability expected in the second half of the year.
Operator Connect Mobile – Acknowledging and Empowering a Mobile-first Workforce
For many organizations, a key to resilience and competitiveness is providing the flexibility to work from anywhere. According to Microsoft, Operator Connect Mobile equips users with:
- HD Calling that Surpasses Traditional Providers: Provide reliable communication solutions with failover options allowing a mobile call to be prioritized on the cellular voice network or internet connection for better call continuity and quality of service. Users can seamlessly move between devices and Teams endpoints without dropping calls or losing context.
- Flexible Teams Integration/Hot-swapping: Operator Connect Mobile enables users to seamlessly “uplift” calls to Teams on any type of device (laptop, tablet, desk phone or mobile phone), creating valuable opportunities to collaborate — adding video, sharing content, recording and transcription, inviting new participants, and more.
- True Mobile Equality: Give users access to combined call history, unified voice mail and presence fidelity, across Teams and native mobile devices.
In addition to keeping your mobile workforce connected, Microsoft Operator Connect Mobile also allows your organization to benefit from:
- Single-number Simplicity / Flexibility on Devices, Location: Now, your users can have one business-provided number for mobile, desk, and Microsoft Teams, so they can work flexibly and securely from any location, device, or network. With Operator Connect Mobile, users can make and receive calls on their native dialer as well as the Teams app.
- Security, Privacy and Compliance: With Operator Connect Mobile, your organization can extend enterprise-grade business policies such as recording and retention to voice calls on native mobile devices. Calls from users’ devices can also be configured to appear as though they’re coming from the organization to avoid exposing users’ mobile numbers externally.
- Streamlined Support and Consolidation of Services: Operator Connect Mobile enables organizations to consolidate redundant fixed-line and mobile services, as well as reduce the number of devices and hardware to purchase, manage, and support.
Connecting Mobile Networks with Microsoft Azure
As you would expect, Operator Connect Mobile leverages Azure for Operators to establish deep connectivity between the operator’s mobile network and the Microsoft Office 365 cloud. Azure for Operators has now launched Mobile Control Point which combines the quality and reliability of mobile networks with the secure collaboration and productivity of Microsoft Teams.
Additionally, Azure for Operators has enhanced its Perimeta Session Border Controller and Managed Service for Teams Calling to support Operator Connect Mobile, accelerating time-to-market for mobile operator partners.
Building for the Future – Mobile Access First
Today’s announcement marks an important, first milestone for true fixed-mobile convergence. Operator Connect Mobile enables new opportunities for flexibility, efficiency, security, and compliance, which is particularly relevant in newly targeted hybrid workplaces. As Microsoft continues to expand functionality, the differences between voice calls and meetings, mobile and wi-fi networks, mobile and desktop devices, and office and field settings will continue to blur. Microsoft promises organizational mobility, and it’s being made possible with Operator Connect Mobile.
Operator Connect Mobile preview will begin next quarter, with general availability beginning in the second half of 2022.