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CEBP: How Microsoft Teams Killed Something No One Understood

Plot spoiler: This is a good news story.

CEBP, or communications-enabled business process, is a simple concept with an off-putting and, for many, inscrutable acronym. Now it doesn't really matter, because with the rise of Microsoft Teams, CEBP is no longer relevant.

The idea of CEBP made sense: add the ability to communicate within line-of-business (LoB) applications. The perfect example was the ability to approve a transaction within an accounting application. If required, while reviewing the transaction, simply click to message or call the require approver -- improving business efficiency. The ability to avoid shifting context and focus could and should save time and money.

Truthfully, Microsoft made this easy with Office Communications Server (OCS), Lync, and Skype for Business. It took about 20 lines of code to add calling features to any existing LoB application. With simple pre-packaged controls you could easily add presence, click to message, click to call, and other OCS/Lync/Skype for Business features to any Web or Windows application (provided you had access to the source code).

Despite its relative simplicity, CEBP failed.

The reason for very limited CEBP adoption is typical. The people who understand the technical capabilities of the platform are disconnected from the people who understand the business needs and opportunities. Few organizations were able to complete the two required steps.

Teams takes an entirely different approach to providing a solution that combines LoB application functionality with communications and collaboration capabilities. Teams is the "wrapper" platform into which specific application functionality is easily added.

Adding a Web page, a spreadsheet, or other application directly into a Teams channel eliminates the "context switch" that was one of the major stated benefits of CEBP.

Deeper integration via chat bots, messaging extensions, and cards exceeds the capabilities of communications-enabled business processes and provides opportunities for collaboration-enabled business process. I expect many more examples of Teams as an extendable collaboration platform to be showcased at Ignite this week.

Speaking of Ignite, join me for a live webinar and get an up-to-the minute update on the critical things you need to know about your voice deployment on Teams and Skype for Business. In the webinar, sponsored by Ribbon Communications and Polycom (now part of Plantronics) and hosted by Enterprise Connect and No Jitter, my co-presenters and I also be discussing how to think about managing telephony in a cloud-first environment, with an eye on critical elements such as security, manageability, and emergency management. Register now, and tune in next Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.

Are your users leveraging Skype for Business and Teams? The EnableUC Skype Insights service provides customized analysis and recommendations based on your specific data. Quantified metrics help ensure you are delivering a robust, high-quality ,and reliable service that is being well adopted and can drive continuous improvement. If you have specific reporting questions please comment below, send me a tweet @kkieller, or message me on LinkedIn.

Related content:

  • Live from Ignite: How to Plan Your Microsoft UC&C Journey's Next Steps (webinar)
  • Skype for Business Server 2019: Head in the Clouds
  • Microsoft Build Foretells the Future of Teams