Ilya Bukshteyn is a person familiar to many in the Microsoft Teams community for his previous roles as General Manager for Microsoft Teams devices and then VP for Microsoft Teams devices. He has now been promoted again into an expanded role of VP for Microsoft Teams Calling and Devices.
In this new and expanded role, Ilya is responsible for the strategy, product delivery, and business results of Teams Phone, the service, and Teams Devices, including Microsoft Teams Rooms, Teams Phones, Teams Displays, and Certified Teams Peripherals.
Ilya has always been very engaged with customers and the community, something I greatly appreciate. I caught up with Ilya to get his thoughts on the new role and the opportunity ahead.
TA: Can you explain your new role?
IB: The new role adds responsibility for leading our Teams Phone product area, which is our enterprise-grade cloud PBX and voice calling system, as well as overall business leadership for this area (which includes also our PSTN calling plans and direct routing, operator connect etc. which is built in a different VP’s org). This is in addition to continuing leading Microsoft Teams Devices.
In our new world of work, I truly believe businesses will gauge their success by how well they enable customers and employees to connect to each other. I see so much synergy in this opportunity between Teams Phone and Teams Devices, as having great devices and a seamless calling experience are both key. So, I am very excited about the opportunity to help our customers now in both areas.
TA: What are you most proud of with Teams devices to date?
IB: I am proud of so many things the devices team have accomplished including millions of users having better audio and video with Certified Teams devices and tens of thousands of customers and hundreds of thousands of rooms now able to join Teams meetings in seconds.
Overall, that was our main goal starting out with what became Teams Rooms, enable people to join video meetings faster than it takes them to dial into an audio conference call, in seconds instead of minutes and I am proud that overall we have mostly accomplished this.
TA: What do you see as the opportunity for Phone moving toward?
IB: The opportunity for Teams Phone is IMHO multi-dimensional. Overall, calling and the PBX will inevitably move to the cloud, and the pace of this move has accelerated which is a clear opportunity for Teams Phone.
Of course, many of us as information workers need a seamless calling experience without our daily work life and having that included in Microsoft 365 is a great opportunity. For people working in contact centers, having calling integrated with Teams and Dynamics 365 will provide a connected and multi-modal experience for customer service.
I also believe that every information worker will be more and more connected to customers moving forward and will want to provide customer care even if they don’t work in a contact center, so we have a great opportunity to provide a richer experience for that within Teams. Finally for small businesses, having an integrated calling experience within Microsoft 365, and one which in many cases can reduce the costs they have with more traditional PBX offerings is a huge opportunity to improve their ability to connect with their customers.
TA: Congratulations Ilya on your expanded role, I am excited to see what comes in the future for Teams Phone and Teams Devices.