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No Jitter Roll: Microsoft Debuts Digital Contact Center Platform

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Welcome to the No Jitter Roll, which is rounding up the latest in tech and collaboration news. In today's edition: Here's what Microsoft announced at their channel partners event, Inspire.
 
Microsoft Introduces a Digital Contact Center Platform
The company announced the new Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platforman open, extensible, and collaborative contact center solution powered by Dynamics 365, Teams, Power Platform, Azure, and Nuance. The platform already comes pre-loaded with system integrators for Accenture-Avanade, EY, HCL, Hitachi, KPMG, PwC, TCS, and TTEC and Microsoft touts the platform's development flexibility, which includes full-stack development, low code/no code customization, out-of-the-box integrations, and point-and-click automation.
 
Microsoft had already been positioning Teams as an option for contact centers, and contact center practitioners had strong incentives for using Teams as their comms hub. Omdia's Brent Kelly outlined several reasons, including security and authentication for agents; ease in transferring calls across the organization, and ease in establishing a unified communication strategy across the entire organization.
 
The company is partnering with contact center infrastructure providers including Avaya, Genesys, and NICE.
 
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Microsoft Extends Its Employee Experience Offering
The company debuted Viva Engage, a social app that's part of its Viva employee experience platform. The new Engage app introduces storylines, or content that Microsoft says will help colleagues "share experiences, celebrate milestones, and discuss your interests,” so colleagues can “learn more about you and your work.”
 
Viva Engage is a way to try and foster social interactions among a hybrid or remote workforce; while research has shown that task-oriented and intra-team communication thrived when teams turned to remote work in 2020, the casual social interactions that helped in-person colleagues build and maintain their sense of workplace culture are down.
 
Users will have two ways to populate their storyline: through posts that can include hyperlinks, files, photos, and videos or stories, which are short video or photo reels.
 
“When it comes to people, it starts with taking a new approach to collaboration both inside and outside the organization,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during his keynote on Tuesday, July 19. “We need to be great at sync, async, in-person and remote collaboration. In a previous era, you could get away with one or two of these quadrants. But now you need all four quadrants to be excellent at any given time.”

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