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Ribbon Communications becomes ecosystem partner with Microsoft

By Catherine Knowles
Thu 21 Apr 2022

Ribbon Communications has announced that the company is an ecosystem partner supporting Microsoft's new Operator Connect Accelerator for Microsoft Teams.

Ribbon is extending its multi-tenant, software as a service (SaaS) solution, Ribbon Connect for Operator Connect, to support service provider deployments of Operator Connect.

Ribbon Connect is designed for service providers, to help them speed up delivery of Operator Connect services by using pre-assembled API integration, sales enablement and portal-based administration tools. It also simplifies selling, provisioning and billing of Operator Connect related services.

A key differentiator for Ribbon Connect that makes it a critical element for Operator Connect connectivity, is its ability to leverage the same proven carrier-grade security products and services that are already trusted and deployed in large telecom networks.

Operator Connect is Microsoft's operator-managed service for interconnection between Teams and telecom services.

With more than 270 million active monthly users, simplifying access to telecom services for Teams users better positions its Phone System services as a replacement for traditional telephony services and other cloud Unified Communications offerings, the company states.

Operator Connect Accelerator offers service providers the opportunity to engage with an authorised Microsoft ecosystem partner to provide integration tools, service offerings and professional services to jump-start Operator Connect deployments, giving greater access to a new group of Teams customers, according to Ribbon.

Tony Scarfo, EVP and general manager of Ribbon's cloud and edge business unit, says, "Since the launch of Microsoft Operator Connect, we have worked closely with Microsoft to build out our expertise and infrastructure to support the service.

"In addition, we have been deeply engaged globally with our service provider customers including Switch Connect and others, helping them on-board and integrate with the service, and now many are anxious to accelerate that process using the new Operator Connect Accelerator."

Ribbon Connect enables service providers such as Switch Connect, who is among the first Ribbon customers to offer the service, to accelerate the time-to-market for their Microsoft Teams connectivity offers by leveraging turnkey technology and eliminating the need to build and maintain their own solutions, Ribbon states.

Ribbon Connect is supported by Ribbon's global professional service team, who has expertise in building and maintaining carrier-grade communications networks.

Scarfo says, "Our Ribbon Connect offering helps remove many common IT and billing integration issues and eases the on-boarding process to Operator Connect, enabling our service provider customers to realise faster ROI from their Teams investments.

"By offering API integration and automation tools, along with enhanced sales enablement mechanisms, Ribbon Connect enables service providers to reach their customers more quickly and efficiently."

Microsoft modern workplace strategy and GTM lead, telcos, Taimoor Husain, says, "Operator Connect Accelerator is designed to help service providers dramatically improve the time it takes to deploy their telecom services for Teams, reducing time-to-market and making it easier for businesses to adopt Teams as their office phone system, replacing costly legacy equipment.

"Partners like Ribbon are key to enabling the program as they offer several benefits including strong existing relationships with service providers, a deep understanding of Microsoft's stringent architecture and quality assurance requirements, and have invested in the integration and automation toolsets that make Operator Connect Accelerator so compelling,"

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