Great news for Luware, they have become the second vendor to be Microsoft Teams “Extend” contact center certified. Their Nimbus platform extends Microsoft Teams functionality for various telephony, contact center and auto attendant use cases through a range of cloud-native and fully integrated modules and add-ons.
Luware Nimbus was launched in February 2021. They have over 400 customers on their platform doing about 50,000 calls a day and around 7,000 monthly active users.
What does Microsoft Teams Extend Contact Center certification mean?
Microsoft has a certification program for contact center solution providers. There are 3 models for contact centres to integrate with Microsoft Teams; Connect, Extend and Power.
The Connect model uses Microsoft certified SBCs and Direct Routing to connect contact center solutions to Teams phone system infrastructure. So essentially the contact center takes a call in on PSTN, does all the routing in its platform and then routes the call to a contact center agent on Teams via Direct Routing (essentially a phone call). These solutions may integrate further with Microsoft for user sign-in and presence. This is the model that, until now all the certified contact canters were using.
The Extend model is where contact centres solution leverages Teams Graph APIs and Cloud Communications API in Microsoft Graph to do call control and routing and route calls to Teams via API, not Direct Routing. This model opens up some key differences
Customers can bring their own Contact Center PSTN connectivity via Microsoft Calling Plan, Operator Connect or Direct Routing. Numbers can come into Teams from any of these and then be directed to the contact center for routing. This means you can mix and match operators and PSTN connectivity models for your contact center.
There is no need to configure any Direct Routing specifically for the contact center
The Power model is the contact center vendor using Azure Communication Services as a platform for routing and call management and then presenting the call to agents in Teams. ACS potentially opens up chat and video options too. To date there are no contact centres certified on this model and Microsoft is still finalising some of the APIs/SDKs but they are coming. Look out for more news on this later this year (2022).
Unfortunately, Microsoft docs still don’t show which type of integration certified vendors are using. I hope this will change in the future now that Extend is here and Power is “coming soon”.
Understanding the Nimbus platform modules and add-ons
Luware has a diverse product portfolio, with solutions that help organizations to communicate more effectively with their customers and partners. Its modular customer service suite, Luware Nimbus, offers various modules and add-ons that can be mixed and matched.
The 3 Nimbus modules:
- Advanced Routing offers more advanced (than what is in the Teams box) auto attendants and call queues with features including a visual workflow editor, reporting and enables businesses to do changes to queues themselves
- Enterprise Routing adds interactive queueing, call picking and CRM integration via Power Automate. Interestingly, as Advanced Routing, this is as well licenced per service (i.e. per call group/ phone number/ team) not per agent which makes it easy to calculate
- Contact Center is the full-on contact center solution with skills-based routing, after call work and dashboards
The 3 Nimbus add-ons:
- Compliance Recording, a Teams certified Verint compliance solution as a fully managed service by Luware. Available as a multi-tenant instance or dedicated private hosted by Luware. They also offer various recording solutions.
- Attendant Console, integrated into Microsoft Teams with search and CRM integration. It needs to be combined with Advanced Routing or Enterprise Routing.
- Interact, web-based customer experience that ties into Microsoft Teams for agents, leveraging Azure Communications Services.
If you would like to learn more about Luware check out their site.