Where does the Dynamics contact center fit in the market?

Microsoft caused a stir by announcing it would add voice channels to Dynamics 365.

The vendor called the new offering an “all-in-one digital contact center solution,” leaving many wondering if Microsoft was planning a full-blown attack on the customer experience market.

UC today sitting with Chris Bardon, Chief Software Architect at ComputerTalk, to see how and where Microsoft is positioning the offer.

ComputerTalk’s flagship product is Ice contact center – an omnichannel contact center offer that integrates with Microsoft Teams.

Bardon said that at first glance, he doesn’t expect a whole wave of organizations to abandon their current contact centers for the new Dynamics-based offering.

He expects it to specifically attract companies that are already designed to run entirely on Dynamics.

“I don’t think this is a loose game on Microsoft’s part,” he said. “I think this is really a product for Dynamics users.

“If you are a Dynamics customer and your users live and breathe Dynamics, it might make sense, but companies also need to make sure that Dynamics will provide them with what they need in a contact center.”

“I think it also depends on buyers’ expectations. I think the Dynamics offering could work well with businesses that are very CRM-centric and just want to add very basic contact center features like voice.

Likewise, if you have a business that uses Dynamics customer records with four people in their help desk, they could probably turn on Dynamics Voice and do pretty well, but businesses with specialized contact centers will still have need a specialist supplier.

How does this fit in with the teams?

An interesting aspect of the news is how the new Dynamics contact center solution will fit into a Microsoft software portfolio including Teams, which has relatively basic CX capabilities and partnerships with a number of CX vendors. .

In announcing that this voice will be added to Dynamics, Microsoft said Teams could be integrated into the Dynamics platform, but did not go into too much detail on the degree of integration of the two.

Bardon said companies shouldn’t underestimate just how disintegrated the two platforms really are.

“They are separate silos, really,” he said. “What works with Teams and what works with Dynamics are two different things.

“Dynamics’ new omnichannel feature does not work with Teams the same way as the Teams contact center. Your agents in Dynamics take calls in Dynamics, not Teams.

“The only integration is that you can make an over the fence call to a Teams user; it is minimal integration.

Bardon said this can make implementations complex for customers, as they would likely need a professional services company to create a bespoke offering and manage the deployment – something specialist contact center vendors are day after. day.

He said, however, that the voice in Dynamics could evolve into a tool to work with with other contact center providers – in the same way that the contact center providers that were supposed to compete with Teams now integrate.

Most importantly, he’s encouraged companies reshaping their customer experience to assess what’s available outside of the Microsoft ecosystem.

“There is more to the world than Dynamics, just like, for us, there is more to the world than Teams.

“Teams is a priority for our business, but there is a large part of our install base that is not on Teams and that’s okay because we’re still able to provide them with a contact center. as a service because it is our core business.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about connecting a company’s customers to their business in a way that has the least possible impact on end users.

“I think a lot of clients will take a look at it – and they should validate it because it will be the right thing for the business, but if you’re a bigger business with 50 agents, I don’t think Dynamics will scale. unless they’re doing something very personalized.