With the arrival of the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform (MDC), the Landis Technologies’ team regularly gets questions how a Microsoft Teams Contact Center relates to this new solution. When is the Landis Contact Center for Microsoft Teams the right solution? When is the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform the right solution? In this article, we will outline how the different solutions are currently positioned in the market.
This article will focus on call center scenarios specifically. There are at least 4 questions to answer to be a good fit for MDC:
- Can our Call Center be dependent on Dynamics 365 CRM?
- What are the user experience implications & limitations?
- Who should manage telephone/voice infrastructure & who has expertise to do so?
- How complex an architecture is realistic for our org to support?
Dependency on Microsoft Dynamics 365
MDC is accessed via Dynamics 365/CRM. Dynamics 365/CRM provides routing logic and client call control, so you need to be using it to use MDC. Many organizations use other applications like Salesforce, ServiceNow, HubSpot or other industry specific line of business applications. The Landis Contact Center for Microsoft Teams provides hooks so organizations can use the application of their choice to provide call pop functionality. The Landis Contact Center is not tied to a specific application.
User Experience Implications of being tightly tied to Dynamics 365 Client
Not only is MDC integrated to Dynamics 365, but the MDC client is also embedded in the Dynamics 365 application. There are some limitations of the voice client embedded in the Dynamics 365 client that you should be aware of:
- The agent needs to have the Dynamics 365 web client open to receive calls
- The Dynamics 365 web client does not have a toast that pops up to alert to incoming calls, so
- they will need to keep the Dynamics 365 web client open to see incoming call alerts
- Headset answer/hang up and mute/unmute buttons will not work
Practical IT/Voice Management Ramifications of being a Dynamics 365 Product
The architecture of MDC means that the Dynamics experts or consultants will manage the voice and video calling infrastructure related to the contact center. One challenge with this is that Dynamics consultants are not usually experts in voice & video. On the flip side, Microsoft Teams are the ones with voice and video expertise but are not proficient with Dynamics. MDC calls will not be visible in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center to troubleshooting and other diagnostics.
This challenge is exacerbated by several items:
- The complexity of the MDC platform requires many components to complete it
- Because MDC is a platform, the pieces need to initially be put together and then supported
- Lastly, MDC is separate from Microsoft Teams, which means MDC and Teams calls & video will need supported using separate support tools
A few of the components that will be needed to complete an MDC:
- Dynamics 365
- Calling Platform: ACS (Azure Communication Services)
- Telephone Number provisioning
- Call Flow Designer: Power Virtual Agents (MS Power Virtual Agents)
- Microsoft Bots
An organization considering MDC needs to ask these questions:
- Do we want our Microsoft Teams or Dynamics group to manage our contact center solution?
- Does our Dynamics group have the capability & expertise to not only manage a contact center, but a contact center platform involving multiple tools that need to be tied together?
- Can our organization handle supporting and troubleshooting voice and video calls on both MDC and Microsoft Teams?