Microsoft Teams Integration Lucrative Draw for Channel

Teams is Microsoft's biggest ever application.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

November 4, 2021

4 Min Read
Microsoft Teams

CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — Microsoft Teams integration presents a big channel opportunity, and many VARs are adding valuable technology and features to the Teams stack.

During a deep dive session at Channel Partners Conference & Expo, CallTower and partners Microsoft, Bigleaf Networks, Five9, Conquest Cyber and Singlewire talked about UCaaS and the power of Teams.

William Rubio, CallTower‘s chief revenue officer, moderated the session.

“Everyone is really starting to collaborate around Microsoft Teams,” he said. “It’s been probably the largest-growing application that Microsoft has had ever in its existence. Everybody up on this panel brings an integral part to the success of any customer’s operations.”

The panelists included: Parker Smith, Microsoft’s vice president of business development for Metaswitch UC, Azure For Operators; Jeff Burchett, Bigleaf‘s co-founder and chief revenue officer; Jake Butterbaugh, Five9’s vice president of global channel sales; Jeffrey Engle, Conquest Cyber’s chairman and president; and Brice Drogosch, Singlewire’s channel manager.

Microsoft Teams Integration

Singlewire‘s InformaCast, a mass notification system, is integrated with Teams.

“We integrate with Teams in quite a few ways,” Drogosch said. “When someone is moving and they’ve got $1 million invested in an intercom system and they want that to be part of their phone system, and we provide that. But also when you look at it from an emergency situation, you want to be able to reach as many people as possible and as quickly as possible, and as intrusive as possible. So we’re also integrating in Teams users and Teams channels, and things like that where you incorporate that same messaging to pop up in Teams so they get that message.”

Conquest Cyber has built a cyber resiliency platform specifically designed for critical infrastructure and highly regulated industries.

“A lot of that ties into how you protect your data from the Chinese, the Russians and everybody else who wants to steal it,” Engle said. “We are a close partner with Microsoft and CallTower to be able to help integrate those solutions in the cyber resilience ecosystem.”

Bigleaf is an SD-WAN overlay platform purpose built for applications like Teams and other SaaS environments.

“We ensure the reliability and availability of those applications over public internet connections,” Burchett said.

Five9 offers CCaaS. It integrates with Teams for improved customer experiences.

UCaaS, CCaaS ‘On Fire’

Butterbaugh said UCaaS and CCaaS are “on fire” because people need to transfer from on premises to cloud, which brings them to Microsoft.

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.

“They’re looking for somebody who provides full service around that,” he said. “A lot of buyers need that holistic experience and that’s where CallTower comes in.”

There’s more than one aspect of looking at your communications hub, Rubio said.

“That’s what Microsoft Teams is,” he said. “It’s not just about voice, video, applications or file sharing. There’s a lot more to it than just a software piece with Microsoft. There are a lot of those value-added solutions that you can provide and layer on. And at the end of the day, you’re just trying to make it more seamless and better for your employees, your end users.”

CallTower Is the Foundation

CallTower is the foundation with Microsoft Teams and then can add CCaaS, security, emergency notification, network optimization and other capabilities via partnerships, Rubio said.

“All those solutions are all cloud-based,” he said. “That’s very important because the pandemic accelerated people’s plans to go hybrid. What they want to make sure that they have is when I am an employee and I’m in the office, on the road or at home, I want my same experience. I don’t want to have to log into something different or buy another piece of equipment. I don’t want to be my IT guy at home trying to work. And all these applications do that.”

Paging is available via InformaCast, and Conquest Cyber provides security, Rubio said.

“You want to have optimized network at the home because it’s critical for it to be continuously up and working,” he said. “You get that with our partnership with Bigleaf. And CCaaS is not very big yet, but a lot of employees that are agents are basically working from home. And Microsoft does a nice job of helping tie all of this together.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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