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NuWave Offers Partners a White-Label Route to Teams Voice

As Microsoft herds its collaboration users toward the Teams platform, Teams voice services have grown rapidly, as well. Even with the rapid gains, usage of voice services in Teams represents a tiny fraction of overall Teams adoption. That lag reflects the challenges unique to voice, from network optimization to working with carriers to requirements for provisioning users.

One early technology partner of Microsoft's on Teams voice is trying to spur voice adoption with a new partner program. NuWave Communications on Thursday launched a white-label program to help partners and resellers get customers into voice plans without the need to build up expertise on daunting voice technologies.

Las Vegas-based NuWave now offers the white-labeling of iPilot, which is the company's relatively new provisioning portal for Teams Direct Routing customers. The iPilot portal works with NuWave's Direct Routing calling plans.

Mark Bunnell, chief operating officer for NuWave, contends that the time is right for voice services through Microsoft. "When Office 365 is the center of your universe as a business, it's really easy to think about getting Teams voice and bringing it all together," Bunnell told me in an interview Thursday.

"Teams right now is equated to the gold rush. Like the gold rush, nobody brought clothes or food so they froze to death on the way up there."

Mark Bunnell, COO, NuWave

As they have with Lync, Skype and other Microsoft services, however, partners struggle with the leap from IT infrastructure to voice services.

"Teams right now is equated to the gold rush. Everyone is trying to get a piece, everyone is trying to turn on a Teams practice. Like the gold rush, nobody brought clothes or food so they froze to death on the way up there," Bunnell said of the rough experiences some customers and partners have had with voice services.

NuWave's approach stems from the company's 20-plus year history in SIP Trunking, hosted PBX, unified communication as a service (UCaaS) and related fields. "We've taken the extremely complex and we've made a turnkey solution that doesn't make [the partners] be technical," Bunnell said.

First, iPilot leverages NuWave's experience from several years of Teams voice deployments, covering migrations from Microsoft's older voice platforms or other sources and handling the PowerShell elements of provisioning users within a customer's Microsoft tenant. As the provider of the lines, the company also saves time in setting up proofs-of-concept from a process that can take several weeks in many cases to under an hour, Bunnell said.

After the set up, NuWave provides end-user training materials, such as user guides and videos, to get customers up to speed quickly. With the white-label program, partners have the ability to customize the pricing customers see and the phones they want to offer, he said.

"It really enables you to turn up a customer, get them fully trained and move on to the next one," Bunnell said.

Voice services aren't for every Office 365 partner. But for those looking for a way to spin up a quick, low-investment Teams voice practice, NuWave is saying the right things.

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 13, 2020