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Luware loves Microsoft Teams: Platform of Luware Cloud Apps

19.December 2018
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Luware has successfully positioned itself as a provider for Contact Center Solutions and Add-Ons for Skype for Business over the past few years. Luware continuously invests in additional recourses such as employees and infrastructure and is supporting customers with the transition into the Microsoft Cloud with innovative customer experience solutions for Microsoft Teams.

The Microsoft UC Platform is called Microsoft Teams. What does that mean for Luware?

Luware supports the transformation of Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams which was introduced by Microsoft. It enables the extension of the current Luware product portfolio (LUCS, TeamManager, PrecenceAssistant, RTC Launcher, SwitchBoard) to cloud applications. A newly established development team has been working on project Nimbus for the past year focusing on the development of extensions to the functionalities of Microsoft Teams.

How can Apps be built for Microsoft Teams?

There are three ways to develop solutions based on Microsoft Teams.

Option 1 – Federation

The introduction of Microsoft Teams is based on “Open Federation”. This option has the advantage that Luware TeamManager for Skype for Business can be operated with Microsoft Teams. Intensive tests have shown that such a realization is possible today.

Option 2 – Connectors

Current Luware applications would be integrated based on Connectors with Microsoft Teams. However, with this option the disadvantages of the current technologies are being transmitted due to which the aspired scaling can’t be achieved, and the vast possibilities of Microsoft Teams can’t be used. Therefore, Luware has decided not to pursue option 2 any further.

Option 3 – Born in the Cloud

With the approach “Born in the Cloud” the whole technology stack is being renewed and the functionalities of Luware products based on the new architecture are being redesigned. This option enables Luware to not only offer new functionalities to a larger clientele, but also the possibility to adapt to specific requirements of customers in a more efficient way. All of this can be offered in an easy to activate cloud technology which is based on Microsoft Azure.

Therefore, Luware has decided to strategically focus on the development of a pure cloud application for Microsoft Teams which will continue to be natively integrated into the Microsoft UC Platform. This ensures that Luware applications can access the entire functionality of Microsoft Teams as well as benefit from all the advantages of the cloud architecture (e.g. high scalability, comprehensive security standards, minimal outlay in operation of the solution).

What can Luware offer to its Customers that would like to test Microsoft Teams or are already in productive use thereof?

Customers which use Microsoft Teams with “Direct Routing” can obtain the TeamManager functionalities as a service through the Luware Cloud from the end of Q1 2019. The solution uses “Open Federation” and doesn’t need any additional hardware on premises.

Which functionalities does the Luware TeamManager cover from the Cloud?

TeamManager is a universal routing solution for chat, audio and video, which distributes service requests automatically on departments, teams and services and which appoints them purposefully according to the availability status on Microsoft Teams. IVR and ICR functionalities ensure that the customer is being directed to the responsible service. Team leaders have the possibility to issue statements or forward targets in an uncomplicated and flexible manner without IT support. Opening hours, bank holidays and on-call services can be managed by the team leader via outlook in a comfortable manner. The reporting rounds off the solution.

Which targets are being pursued by project Nimbus?

Luware has set the target to offer native Microsoft Cloud applications by 2020/2021 which enable the customer to obtain the LUCS and TeamManager solutions entirely through the Microsoft Cloud. Luware aspires to finish a first version of the solution by the first quarter of 2020 (or at the time of introduction to the market of Microsoft Teams from the Microsoft Swiss cloud).

What are the conditions in order to test the Nimbus applications for Microsoft Teams?

An installed and licensed Microsoft Teams environment needs to be in operation.

When can the first Nimbus applications be put to use?

Luware starts the Nimbus Technical Adoption Program (TAP) at the beginning of 2019 and offers the customer the possibility to test the new functionalities. This ensures that the development team receives continuous input from the customers and that it can react quickly to market requirements. Interested customers can contact teams@luware.com.

What are the costs of the application developed by the Nimbus project?

The prices of the Luware Cloud Application will be communicated during the introduction to the market. The planned invoicing model “Software as a Service” is comparable to the one of Microsoft Office 365.

How are the solutions being offered in the future?

The Luware Cloud Applications can be purchased via the Microsoft Teams Store after they have been finished.

Will the current Luware portfolio for Skype for Business be developed further?

The development and support of the Luware Applications for Skype for Business will be guaranteed until the end of support of Skype for Business (actually at the end of 2026).

Will there be a migration path to replace Skype for Business based solutions?

Luware will simplify the transition to the cloud through a migration path which will support customers and partners in this transition.

What is the recommendation for customers which are using Microsoft Teams in the area of collaboration or which want to replace it?

It is advisable to begin the introduction of the UC Platform Microsoft Teams as a communication platform in a pilot project in order to gain some experiences. Luware enhances the communication applications of Microsoft Teams with routing functionalities of the Cloud with TeamManager. This ensures that customers requirements in the area of routing can be met. A test environment is already offered today.

The development of the Microsoft Teams APIs guarantees that the enhancement of innovative Luware customer experience solutions is ensured and that the entirety of the Luware portfolio can be offered through the Cloud.

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