Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Tendfor the first Microsoft Teams Extend Certified Contact Center


Exciting news in the Microsoft Teams carter space, Tendfor are now certified as the first “Extend model” certified contact center.

What does Microsoft Teams Extend Contact Center certified 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 leverage 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.

Unfortunately, Microsoft docs don’t show which type of integration certified vendors are using. I hope this will change in the future now Extend is here and Power is coming soon.

Tendfor are the first to be Microsoft Teams certified contact center with the extend model

Tendfor has been offering their API-based production platform for Microsoft Teams contact center and attendant console/receptionists since late 2019 and has active Teams customers across multiple industries globally. Customers include Toyota Financial Services, COLAS and Orbcomm.

Tendfor is specifically designed for only Microsoft Teams. It’s all cloud-based, has all the typical contact center routing you would expect; wallboards, reporting and offer both a model where agents use the Teams, or a dedicated mobile app or a full Windows client where agents need specific features like smart search, layouts, CRM integrations.

You can check out more about Tendfor here

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Founder and Principal at Empowering.Cloud as well as a Solutions Director at Pure IP.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his, UC Today Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

  • Hi Tom, as in this article you say “Microsoft don’t show which type of integration certified vendors are using.” how can you be sure that Tendfor is the first one using Extend? I think there is much confusion about these 3 silos and in which one each vendor fits.
    I’m pretty sure already back in 2021 I read on a vendor’s website they were using the Extend model, claiming they were the “first”.
    Thanks for clarifying this

    • Hi Serena,

      Great question. I only really know from talking to them and Microsoft.

      I expect some clarification of those certification types in the future. It is a bit messy.

      Thanks for taking the time to ask/comment.

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