While Microsoft Teams does not have a fully fleshed out native contact center, organizations can often integrate their existing cloud-based contact center with Teams. This integration enables companies to still use the collaboration capabilities they rely on, such as voice over IP features like call queues and auto attendant, while still supporting functionality needed for contact centers agent needs.
The general premise behind a Teams-contact center integration is to provide the contact center with Teams capabilities, such as routing, presence and system configurations, and functionalities like skill-based routing.
But not all integrations are the same. Microsoft offers three models to connect and use a contact center alongside Teams.
1. The connect model
This model uses session border controllers (SBCs) and Direct Routing to integrate a contact center with Teams' calling infrastructure. The approach uses Teams Graph APIs and Microsoft Graph cloud communication APIs to enable features, including the following:
- agent presence visibility
- transfers and group call support
- multi-tenant session initiation protocol trucking
2. The extend model
The extend model offers companies more capabilities in using a contact center within Teams and uses the Teams phone system for all contact center calls. This integration model uses the Teams client platform, Teams Graph APIs and cloud communications APIs to enable contact center organizations to use Teams for internal and external communication, as well as to design workflows.
Some of the features of this integration include the following:
- analytics, workflow management and role-based experiences for agents;
- integrated chat and collaboration experiences;
- Teams client calling for all call controls; and
- Teams-based app for agent experiences on web and mobile.
3. The power model
In this integration model, Microsoft enables service providers to create an Azure-based voice app using the Teams calling infrastructure and client platform. The features of the power model for a Teams-contact center integration include:
- omnichannel communication with the Teams SDK;
- Teams collaboration services for agent and customer communication; and
- direct conversation control and integration with users during Teams conversations.
Choosing the right integration model will depend on a company's chosen contact center vendor, the functionality offered by the platform and whether the vendor participates in Microsoft contact center certification program. Each contact center vendor will also have its own preferred integration model.
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