Looking for Contact Centre News? Visit our new dedicated site CX TODAY
8 execs react to Zoom-Five9 acquisition
The winners of UC Awards 2021 have been decided – Watch it Now
Get weekly news delivered directly to your inbox 
M&A Insights 2021 is now on-demand – register for FREE now
Five9 and AT&T demonstrate what’s possible when you align UCaaS and CCaaS in Microsoft Teams
Collaboration is often at the heart of an excellent technology offering.  
It doesn’t matter if you’re providing a state-of-the-art UCaaS environment or a forward-thinking contact centre; collaboration is key to offering your customers more choice, flexibility, and access to the latest innovations. The collaboration between AT&T and Five9 effectively demonstrates those benefits.  
In August 2019, Microsoft announced new collaborations with AT&T and Five9. Both Five9 and AT&T have been working tirelessly together over the last few years to deliver the ultimate contact centre solutions and disruptive technology to today’s transforming businesses.  
I caught up with Kennedy Pereira, AVP, GM Worldwide for Cloud Voice Transformation Practice at AT&T, and Jake Butterbaugh, VP, Global Channel Sales at Five9, to learn more about how this powerful collaboration will help influence the future of Microsoft Teams solutions.  
The collaboration between Microsoft, Five9 and AT&T was initially implemented to enhance and improve experiences for today’s digital workers. Even before the pandemic hit, companies were in search of a more effective way to align their cloud communication environments. The relationship between Microsoft, AT&T and Five9 meant users in the contact centre could easily access all the backend tools they needed to drive faster results for demanding customers.  
The Five9 contact centre functionality, combined with the reputation and network strength of AT&T, unlocked a future for Microsoft Teams as a robust contact centre tool. Since they started working together, the demand for Microsoft Teams-focused solutions has grown more than ever. Teams have become a ubiquitous presence within the enterprise environment, not just as a UCaaS solution but also as a contact centre environment. Five9 and AT&T are some of the first companies showing organisations what may be possible when UCaaS and CCaaS align in Microsoft Teams.  
Jake Butterbaugh came to Five9 just over two years ago and notes that the company is committed to building partnerships that last.  
“We believe collaborating helps us deliver the best services,” he says.
“The relationship with AT&T is an excellent example of this. The stars aligned to allow us to offer an incredible opportunity” 
Microsoft Teams has been emerging as a critical component of the communication and collaboration landscape for some time now. When the pandemic hit in 2020, the demand for a tool capable of aligning digital and hybrid workplaces became more significant than ever. AT&T and Five9’s aligned solution is becoming increasingly valuable as brands strive towards a more flexible future.  
“The demand we’re seeing for Microsoft Teams solutions today is unprecedented,” Kennedy told me. “The deals we’ve closed are incredible, and Microsoft is increasingly offering new opportunities for collaborators who want to help companies digitally transform. Microsoft knows today’s companies need to offer a seamless experience for the new age of hybrid work. The environment is perfect for rolling out Five9’s technology with the AT&T Cloud Contact Center.” 
Jake told me that AT&T has always been fluid, flexible, and adaptable to aiding customers with digital transformation. The company is committed to making the increasingly crucial transition into the cloud environment as clean and straightforward as possible. This is particularly true now that today’s companies are under more pressure to create a digital technology stack.  
“Companies helping end-users transition into Teams need to address the full end-to-end journey, from the migration to the cloud, to the add-ons and extras that come after,” Jake said. 
Increasingly, we see evidence that although Microsoft Teams offers a lot of value, it’s not always the complete picture for every company. Businesses embracing Teams as the heart of their digital and hybrid environment need to access a broader range of tools on top of Teams, including enhanced voice through direct routing and operator connect, contact centre functionality, and more.  
According to Kennedy and Jake, the main focus for companies right now is creating consistent and seamless workflows for digital transformation. Kennedy told me, “The Microsoft ecosystem has a wide selection of applications which lend themselves perfectly to the enterprise. However, it also invests in relationships and extensions to enhance what today’s businesses can do. At AT&T, we view the Five9 environment as one of the fantastic tools that companies can use to create more comprehensive workflows.” 
With Five9 technology, companies can connect the contact centre to the rest of the enterprise and align teams around a constant flow of valuable information. This is becoming increasingly essential at a time when teams are distributed around the globe. Jake noted that Five9 had already been a partner with Microsoft before the connection with AT&T. The expanded relationship with AT&T means that Five9 can further support companies who need to tie their workflows and organisational silos together. 
According to Jake,  
“People are in the process of rapidly trying to get rid of a legacy environment that no longer makes sense in the current landscape. Legacy environments are becoming much more difficult to maintain. Businesses have discovered how important it is to be able to evolve rapidly. This is paving the way for a new discussion about the future of workflows in the Microsoft ecosystem” 
Kennedy noted that for companies investing in the Teams environment, there’s a growing demand to find collaborators and vendors capable of assisting with every step of the transition to a new future, from the initial migration from on-premises to cloud, to the integration of custom tools to solve for specific use cases. Combining UCaaS and CCaaS environments requires a bespoke strategy for each business.  
AT&T and Five9 are rapidly transforming the way we think about UCaaS and CCaaS in the business environment. It used to be that the contact centre was a siloed, separate environment from the rest of the communication stack. Now, companies are looking for more alignment that helps improve customer and employee experience, reduce costs and increase productivity. 
Jake told me that the best way to drive the best results for today’s end-users is to create an experience they can understand and trust.  
“We named [our solution] AT&T Cloud Contact Center. Small and large customers alike can immediately see the value in the AT&T name. They know they’re going to be getting a high-quality experience across their voice environment”  
While AT&T earns customer trust with excellent connectivity and network experiences, the Five9 environment streamlines agent workflows to simplify the agent experience, improve efficiency, and enhance customer experience.  
“We’re creating an integrated solution that allows agents to see into their knowledgebase and connect with team members when they need to,” Jake said. 
Providing an environment where everyone can align on the same information and goals reduces frustration and confusion in the contact centre. This aligned environment is perfect for keeping all members of the team connected in a hybrid workplace. A connected team isn’t just more efficient and productive; they’re also better equipped to serve customers.  
“We’re providing contact centre agents with the tools they need to ensure everyone gets a better end experience,” Jake said.  
Jake noted that the foundational consideration of any reasonable communication ecosystem today is the network platform: “Voice will always be the killer app. Even in a time full of chat apps and social media tools, people’s experience through voice needs to be the first consideration. Within Microsoft Teams, AT&T and Five9 can implement the right solutions to continue driving those amazing voice experiences. Whether it’s SD-WAN to reach customers wherever they are or zero-trust security for peace of mind, we’re solving for all potential problems in a new landscape.” 
AT&T and Five9 aren’t just leveraging the Microsoft Teams environment for a new age of communication and collaboration – they’re introducing a new way for people to innovate; in an environment, they feel familiar with. Kennedy told me that AT&T also works hard to deliver the best possible experience to agents.  
“We approach each relationship from an industry vertical and engage them in building a journey map from start to finish. We’re here to help with everything from proof of concept through to the customer success strategy. We believe in focusing on amazing end-to-end experiences.”  
AT&T’s offering doesn’t just provide access to all the benefits of Five9. Collaborators can also access the advantages of other AT&T collaborators, too, building a custom stack for their contact centre and UCaaS clients.  
Kennedy told me that adding Five9 into the environment has been a valuable way for AT&T to improve the stickiness of their offering. “We have a close relationship with the Five9 team, and it differentiates us from our competition. We know where our collaborators are heading, so we can work with our customers and resellers to plan their next steps when it comes to growth.” 
Kennedy believes that it’s a commitment to helping resellers and end-users grow that keeps the AT&T brands in the hearts and minds of their community.  
Jake told me that AT&T has opened incredible doors for Five9 with this new collaboration strategy. “AT&T has inherent credibility. You know they’re always going to deliver quality in their voice offering. That’s why it’s been so easy for us to build this package as something that customers and resellers can immediately see the benefit of.” 
With Microsoft Teams, Five9 and AT&T, users can access a comprehensive and holistic solution for companies in the midst of a massive digital transformation.  
The relationship between Five9 and AT&T has evolved into a powerful opportunity not just for both brands but for the entire Microsoft ecosystem. Today’s companies need more robust solutions if they continue serving their customers with the right experiences in a changing digital landscape. Increasingly, larger businesses are making a global decision to go all-in with Microsoft Teams, and AT&T with Five9 can help deliver this holistic environment.  
Not only do companies have access to a combined UCaaS and CCaaS solution with AT&T and Five9, but there are endless opportunities for add-ons and customisations too. “People are looking to bolt new things into their communication ecosystem,” Jake told me. “We have great things to offer in that environment, too, like workflow automation and collaboration.”  
Kennedy said that in today’s marketplaces, many customers are increasingly looking to their collaborators to help them run more solutions within the cloud and build broader opportunities for the future. This could be a good sign for AT&T and Five9, who believe the future of communications is in connecting people and technologies.  
“Right now, we’re all solving for an evolving selection of complex, real-world problems,” Kennedy said. “When these problems are overcome, like silos between teams and missed connections between employees, it’s easier for companies to start dynamically scaling to respond to new opportunities. As we continue to work with new collaborators and clients, we constantly see new avenues for success.” 
Jake went on to say that Five9 and AT&T recognise that most people are seeing the CX environment as more complex than ever before. However, Jake believes that it doesn’t have to be that complicated with the right technology.  
“We can work with our customers to deliver the opportunities they need. Our cloud-based solutions can deploy quickly, and we can customise offerings to ensure that everyone gets the right results. We have what it takes, with the help of our partners, to deliver amazing customer and agent experiences, no matter the size of the company”
For more information visit: www.five9.com/microsoftteams
All content © Today Digital 2021