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Hybrid Work is Here to Stay: Empowering Businesses with External Calling on Microsoft Teams

operator connect video call in the office

MetTel’s new partnership with Microsoft allows Teams users to make or receive calls from any number in the world, ushering in the hybrid working model of the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of our planet. But, even as much of our world returns to some semblance of normality in the years following its initial outbreak, there’s one area of our lives that, for many, has irreversibly changed… the way we work.

The sudden acceleration of hybrid (a blend of remote and in-office environments) working quickly gave rise to the rapid adoption of virtual tools to enable the levels of connection and collaboration needed to keep business running during the early stages of lockdown and beyond.

Microsoft Teams, for example, witnessed an almost unprecedented spike in adoption. Global users now number 270 million, up from 44 million in March 2020, just before the pandemic hit (a staggering 514% increase). Today, 145 million people use Teams on a daily basis, greater than the combined populations of France and the UK.

Thanks to tools and services like Teams, many organizations quickly realized that hybrid work didn’t just help to keep their lights on during difficult times, it allowed people to thrive – boosting productivity, employee satisfaction, and mental health and wellbeing.

Call any phone number all over the world: External calling on Microsoft Teams

It’s clear then, hybrid work is here to stay. But to remain ahead of the curve, forward-looking businesses are constantly searching for new ways to improve functionality and support for existing applications, such as Microsoft Teams.

Over 80 million people use Teams to place external calls. When compared to its overall user base of 270 million, that’s a lot of people not taking advantage of this critical feature on the platform.

MetTel’s recent announcement as a Partner for Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams now means channel partners and customers can take advantage of Teams’ full range of collaboration capabilities and support, including external calling, automated provisioning, and 24/7 technical support.  Get a new number anywhere in US or Canada or port your existing phone numbers.

In short, you can now take or make a call to any number in the world, natively from Microsoft Teams, regardless of whether they’re on the platform or not.  MetTel will help Microsoft Teams integrate PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) connectivity to the platform – including a private interconnection with Microsoft – meaning Teams users will have higher quality calls and more secure connections when making and receiving calls.

It even gives customers the potential to replace their current PBX (private branch exchange) system with a fully cloud-managed system, further supporting organizations looking to empower their people with the “anywhere, anytime” approach to work.

Rise of digital networks: Waving goodbye to POTS

Besides improving traditional voice service, another communications need for digital transformation is for emergency lines such as those for burglar and fire alarms, elevators, 911, etc. While Operator Connect for Teams doesn’t directly address this need, MetTel has a solution that does – POTS Transformation. POTS Transformation converts emergency lines from physical copper wires into digital lines that offer greater resilience even during power and Internet outages while saving up to 30 percent off of analog landline service. This provides a level of efficiency, reliability, and security that wasn’t previously possible – all at a lower cost.

No going back: Empowering the hybrid teams of the future

For many of us, we’ll never return to the 9-to-5 in-office working week that dominated our lives before the pandemic. Therefore, it’s become the duty and responsibility of organizations to not only provide their people with the tools to work effectively from any location, but to also constantly explore new features that will continue enhancing the employee experience.

MetTel’s Operator Connect partnership provides Microsoft Teams with the ability to take full advantage of voice services online, in doing so eliminating redundant phone systems and providing a hybrid working environment that will continue enabling organizations and employees to thrive in the digital-first future.

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