Call me, maybe? The importance of Enterprise Voice

Whether it’s adverse weather, public transport disruption or a zombie apocalypse, certain things happen in our lives that impact our ability to make it into our place of work (OK, maybe not that last one). 

21 March 2019

But in the past, your business operations would have ground to a halt as your staff struggled to fulfil their normal duties, unable to serve customers or communicate effectively with each other. And while we have best-of-breed solutions such as Skype for Business and Teams to help us get through any unexpected scenario, it’s important to remember how important it is for your staff to be able to make and answer a simple phone call.

Although Millennials and Generation Z now famously prefer instant access to information and the ability to make purchases in just one click, there is still a fair percentage of the population that are not only used to picking up the phone and speaking to a real-life human being, but want to continue to do so. Whether you’re a bank, doctor’s surgery or the customer service department of a retailer, having two-way telephone communication with your customers is critical. And with around 18% of the UK population aged 65 and over – and projected to grow to 20.7% by 2027, as well as reaching as many as 25% within 50 years[1] - it’s essential for businesses to remember that social media and live chat methods are often not the first port of call when a query needs answering or a problem needs resolving. That’s not to say that Millennials don’t want to phone you or that Baby Boomers won’t use live chat, but it is food for thought. However, this doesn’t mean that your investment in and adoption of Skype for Business or Teams has been for nothing as with Enterprise Voice, you can continue the conversations.

Microsoft Enterprise Voice from GCI turns your Skype for Business solution into a comprehensive phone platform. In simple terms, this means that you can use your Skype for Business solution for calling outside your organisation and even internationally, offering a best-of-breed experience without the need for expensive hardware refreshes or maintenance of your PBX phone system. A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution, it’s available in Cloud-based, on-premise and hybrid options to best suit your existing environment or to completely transform it into a new one. High levels of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery come as standard, and Enterprise Voice can even be used within Microsoft’s latest collaboration tool, Teams, to enhance the digital experience and allow you to communicate more effectively. Because it’s an add-on to Skype for Business, you’ll still get the same, familiar interface and functions such as instant messaging, presence, conferencing and video, all without having to invest in an additional UC platform. And with BT switching off their PSTN and ISDN networks by 2025 – which will mean customers will need to migrate to VoIP services – there has never been a better time to explore how your business will adapt.

A perfect example of how Skype for Business Enterprise Voice can be utilised can be seen with GCI customer, international law firm Osborne Clarke. The company wanted to reduce costs and increase agility for its staff, and therefore needed a replacement for its existing global Voice and LAN infrastructure, to consolidate its disparate phone and meetings systems, and to gain the ability to make calls in and out of the business via Skype for Business. This was a highly-complex, multi-site, international project which saw GCI implement a hybrid environment to encompass staff on the existing Avaya platform, those already using Skype for Business within Office 365, and those on the new GCI Skype for Business platform. The result is that no matter which platform the staff are using or where in the world they are, they can all easily communicate with each other and with their customers. Best of all, this highly-secure solution is helping Osborne Clarke comply with the strict regulations seen within the Legal sector.

This international-scale project from GCI goes to show that if a forward-thinking firm in a traditionally technologically-adverse industry are adopting advanced solutions like Skype for Business Enterprise Voice, it’s something that other businesses need to consider. Additionally, with household names such as Amazon, Toyota, JPMorgan Chase, Hilton Worldwide and Xerox making it into Forbes’ “The Top 100 Companies For Remote Jobs”, being able to offer a secure and effective remote working is becoming a “must have “ for prospective employees[2]. And with that, it’s important to remember how big a part the humble phone call must play.

Want to know more?

Read the full Osborne Clarke Case Study, or contact us at enquiries@gcicom.net for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation into how Enterprise Voice can help you better connect with your customers and each other.

Author: Naeem Azam, Product Manager at GCI


[2]https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2018/01/17/work-from-home-2018-the-top-100-companies-for-remote-jobs/#5862d72e76f0

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