December 2019 Graph API Update Looks Poised to Enable "Connected" Contact Centers (Direct Route Connected) with "Native" Contact Centers (Calling API Based) Following

At Microsoft Ignite 2019 Andy Bybee gave session VCE50 on Contact Centers, or as Microsoft would rather call it, "Customer Journeys" or "Customer Interactions". (Although even Andy admitted the term "customer journeys" is notoriously nebulous and hard to pin down...) In this session Microsoft laid out its vision around customer interactions and that included:

  • Transforming instead of just integrating
  • Microsoft does some customer interaction scenarios, partners others

Microsoft plans to enable some customer interaction scenarios using things like Power Virtual Agents and their own basic call queues and auto attendants, but will look to partners for more advanced functionality that go beyond that and include things like skills routing, call backs, call flow designers and more.

slide explaining Connect, Extend, Power in session VCE50

Those Contact Center vendors that provide more advanced features beyond what Microsoft will provide are being divided into several broad categories:

  • Connected: Direct Route integration of exsisting systems
  • Extended: Utilize other Teams integration points
  • Powered: New Contact Centers built entirely on Teams Calling API's and leveraging all Microsoft 365 services

The "Connected" category appears to me to be those contact centers who use Direct Routing (SIP Trunking) to Microsoft Teams. These are vendors who aren't focusing solely on Microsoft Teams and thus the integration will be more work and the integration level won't be as tight and robust, but it is easier for existing CC vendors & Microsoft to "make their existing solution work with Teams" as Direct Routing can largely facilitate this with some assistance from new presence API's. Read: Low hanging fruit for MS to "get a solution". Microsoft has been communicating this type vendors is on track to be available sometime early in 2020.

The "Powered" category appears to be contact centers power by Microsoft Teams calling and using the Calling & Meeting API's and integrated deeply to Microsoft 365. What our company has been referring to as "native Teams contact center" when referring to our Landis Contact Center for Microsoft Teams & other vendors following this track. Read: MS needs to provide more API features to achieve this level. Microsoft noted that it is starting a Certified for Microsoft Teams program to facilitate these and other vendors.

The Microsoft 365 Roadmap Update notes:
"Microsoft Teams - Teams Voice Platform
Enable Contact Center integration, Remote Advisor integration and Graph API for Presence"

This looks like the December round of Graph API updates is really around enabling "Connected" contact centers. The December 2019 Graph API update looks poised to enable "Connected" Contact Centers (Direct Route Connected) with "Native" Contact Centers (Calling API Based) following that.

Landis Technologies was glad to be the first contact center vendor presenting a Teams Powered Contact Center at Microsoft Ignite 2019, which not only is based on the Teams Calling API's but is deeply integrated to Power Apps, Power Automate (Flow) & Power BI allowing organizations to transform how they interact with customers. The Landis Contact Center for Microsoft Teams is in Customer Preview currently and to be released when Microsoft releases the features needed for a native Contact Center to GA.


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