ECQ Success Stories: CT Link Managed Services Remotely Sets up Audio Conferencing for Customer Board Meeting

ECQ Success Stories: CT Link Managed Services Remotely Sets up Audio Conferencing for Customer Board Meeting

Right now, there are little to no physical meetings happening due to the need for us to practice social distancing. This has caused a spike into companies looking to put their meetings in the virtual space where they can be safely conducted. To others, however, video conferencing is not feasible for various reasons.  One of our clients fell under one of those reasons.

Customer Challenge

With the extension of the ECQ, our client would not be able to carry out their scheduled board meeting at their office.  This meant that they needed to find an alternate way to carry out the meeting which was scheduled in four days. One consideration they had was to use Microsoft Teams video conferencing capabilities. However, the attendees were not tech savvy individuals and asked their team if it was possible to join the board meeting using landlines.

Our Solution: Set up Audio Conferencing on Microsoft Teams

As they are currently a CT Link Managed Services customer for Office 365, our team set up an audio-conferencing facility using our own tenant to let them try and see if this met their needs.

Within a few hours, the environment was ready and a dedicated bridging number was provided.  Our engineer taught the customer how to use the Audio Conferencing facility. They tested the facility the following day and confirmed that is what they needed, especially because it is easy for non-tech savvy individuals to connect. They only had to dial the bridging number on their landline phones and provide a conference ID for them to join the conference. With this, we recommended the most cost-effective subscription that needs to be added to their Office 365 tenant.

Upon confirmation by the customer on the availment of the additional subscription, the Audio Conferencing was set up in their Office 365 tenant. The board meeting was scheduled and was held using the Microsoft Teams Audio Conferencing Facility. A CT Link engineer was on standby on the day of the meeting to assist with any connection issues.

Audio vs Video

Although video conferencing is now steadily growing in popularity, audio conferencing still has many advantages over its video counterpart. One would be what our client encountered, it is easier for users to connect to and can hold more participants (up to 250 concurrent users).  It is as simple as dialing the number to the join the conference. 

Audio conferencing is also more viable to those who have limited access to the internet, whether it be due to remote locations where connectivity is limited or if the user is currently roaming. Quality of audio is also much better when done through audio conferencing, so if your meeting requires no video aspect, it is usually much better to hold it as an audio conference.

Microsoft Makes Teams Available for Everyone in Light of Covid-19

With the flexibility of Microsoft Teams, there are many ways to collaborate with your colleagues remotely during the ECQ. We have been working closely with many of our clients during the ECQ to set up their Microsoft Teams’ journey remotely. Whether their interest be in a free messaging app, a better tool to share documents, or even to set up video conferences, it has been helping many of our clients improve their operations and productivity.

If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Teams or if you would like to try it for yourself for free, please get in touch with your CT Link account manager or you can send an email to sales@ctlink.com.ph / marketing@ctlink.com.ph and we would be happy to help you!


Images were provided by FreePik (1, 2, 3, 4) and Vecteezy (1, 2, 3, 4)

Microsoft Teams Turns One!

Microsoft Teams Turns One!

On March 12, 2018, Microsoft Teams celebrated its one year anniversary and what and eventful first year it was!  According to Microsoft, around 200,000 organizations in 181 markets (in 39 languages) are using teams to date and we can expect it to rise throughout the year with Microsoft’s additional features and updates to Teams this coming year.

Teams for Intelligent Communications and Collaboration

Being part of Office 365, Teams has been able to take advantage of many of its strength by being able to integrate with many other Office 365 applications while also tapping its 120 million user base.  Teams uniquely delivers on its many features, such as chat-based collaboration, meetings, calling (and soon, full enterprise voice features), at scale with enterprise-grade security and compliance standards to make sure that you are within global standards.  However, to improve on their vision for Intelligent Communications within organizations, Microsoft has announced that they will be implementing the following features within this year:

Cloud recording—Will provide one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members the ability to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback all or part of the meeting. In the future, it will also include facial recognition, so remarks can be attributed to specific meeting attendees.

Inline message translation—People who speak different languages will be able to fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.

Cortana voice interactions for Teams-enabled devices—Will enable you to easily make a call, join a meeting, or add other people to a meeting in Teams using spoken, natural language. This functionality will extend to IP phones and conference room devices.

Background blur on video—The ability to blur your background during video calls will allow other meeting attendees to focus on you, not what’s behind you.

Proximity detection for Teams Meetings—This feature will make it easy for you to discover and add a nearby and available Skype Room System to any meeting.

Mobile sharing in meetings—Meeting attendees will be able to share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device.

In addition to this, Microsoft will be adding new enterprise-grade calling features in Teams which will include consultative transfer and call delegation and federation.  Another feature that will be introduced is Direct Routing which will allow you to use your existing telephony infrastructure with Teams for calling.  To learn more about this you may read the original article here or you can contact us at 893-9515 to ask us directly!

Microsoft Teams: Improving an already good Collaboration tool

Microsoft Teams: Improving an already good Collaboration tool

It’s been close to 10 months since Microsoft has introduced Teams in an effort to help their customers improve their collaboration within the workspace.  Through these months, Microsoft has been slowly improving Teams through their observations and user feedback.  One example of this was the integration of third party applications such as Trello and SurveyMonkey.  Even now they are still updating Teams, recently they have released a new update in which they have integrated exciting new features which will surely help your company’s collaboration efforts!

New ways to utilize your apps in Teams

Include information from an app in a conversation

Be able to discuss content from a different app directly in Teams with the latest update.  Just like putting an emoji or GIF in the chat, you’ll be able to search and post integrated app information into chat and channels.  Be able search for a specific task in Trello, a work item in Wrike, or even a weather forcast, and even integrate them it into an interactive card.

Access a personal view of your apps

With the update, you can now easily access apps you frequently use and even see all items on those apps such as tasks in planner, issues in Jira Cloud and even conveniently find items you recently used such notebooks from OneNote.  This is made possible due to the addition of the personal apps space.  In addition, you can also find a new app in this space called Who, a new app powered by Microsoft Graph, which enables you to search for people in your organization by name or topic.

Find apps for Teams in the new Store

To make discovering and finding apps simpler in Teams by allowing users to search for apps by name, category, and integration type (like bots, tabs, connectors) in their new store.

Command apps, take quick actions, and search—all from the command box

Command apps from the command box

In the latest patch, Microsoft has added the function to query or command an app from the command box.   You are now able to search information in an app and easily place the results into a chat or channel in Teams.  More functions will be added overtime, one function they are working on is to create a task in your project management app over the Teams command box.

Take quick actions with slash commands

A convenient new function added to Teams would be the addition of slash commands to help you execute shortcuts quickly.


Contact us at 893-9515 to learn more about Microsoft Teams and how it can help you collaborate better with your own Team!

CT Link Systems, Inc. Adopts Microsoft Teams!

CT Link Systems, Inc. Adopts Microsoft Teams!

Office collaboration is becoming key to success in businesses right now.  Business mobility and workforce communication have become so important that it can lead to you losing a big sale to your competitors.  CT Link Systems, Inc. in an effort to improve their collaboration has decided to adopt Microsoft Teams.  Below are a few functions of Microsoft Teams that we are enjoying and helping us collaborate easier:

Chat

Chatting using Microsoft Teams is an improved experience if you are coming from other Microsoft Instant messengers like Skype for business.  One big difference is that unlike Skype you have an archive for your chat history.  You don’t have to worry that your chat between you and your superiors will disappear, you can always go back and check what was noted and even favorite a message for faster identification.  Files are not immediately deleted as well once your chat is finished, it saves itself on your OneDrive and you will have a tab where all your files from that particular contact will be saved to make it easier for you to find your files!  One feature missing from Teams so far is the capability to do video calls, however Microsoft has stated that they are working on it!

Teams

This is the main feature of Microsoft teams in which you can create a group, which serves as something similar to group chat but with more functions.  Within each group, there are different tabs which have different functions, the default would be the wiki and files.  The wiki tab would be the page where you can place your glossary for the group so that everyone has a reference area during conversations.  The files tab is where you can view all the files shared in the group and even real time edit the file such as word and excel.  You may also place more tabs per group if needed, any app available in Office 365 can be placed on it such as planner (a favorite in our office) to help remember deadlines and keep yourself on track.

These are just examples of ways teams helped our organization, however teams is still constantly being improved for better user experience so keep a watch out for it!  If you’d like to learn more, please visit our Microsoft page or contact us at 893-9515!