Rogers and Microsoft yesterday announced a five-year strategic alliance to help enterprise and small and medium business customers accelerate digitization and take full advantage of hybrid work and 5G-enabled solutions.
As part of the partnership, Rogers says it has selected Microsoft Azure as its strategic cloud for infrastructure and technology workloads, and will leverage Azure’s public cloud capabilities to modernize applications and services and enhance customers’ digital experiences.
With this partnership, Rogers becomes the first in Canada, and one of the first companies globally, to offer Operator Connect Mobile, a new all-in-one communications and collaboration solution built on Microsoft Teams that delivers mobile-first experiences for Microsoft Teams Phone. Rogers says this solution will enable organizations to upgrade legacy infrastructure, significantly reduce costs for redundant wireline voice services, and enhance customer and employee experiences via a unified and enterprise compliant Teams experience.
How will Operator Connect Mobile support the hybrid work model?
Operator Connect Mobile, in partnership with Rogers for Business, will offer customers a fully integrated voice calling experience, improving availability and responsiveness and allowing people and businesses to work securely from anywhere across the devices of their choice.
With Operator Connect Mobile, customers will have the flexibility to make and receive calls on Teams using the Rogers network, giving users the ability to place outbound calls through the collaboration-enhanced Microsoft Teams application, integrated IP Phones, or directly through the native dialler on a customer’s SIM-enabled mobile device. Organizations will also benefit from a unified communications experience through a single app, with streamlined technical support as well as direct peering to Rogers Network for enhanced network resilience, all of which are needed to support the new ways of working.
Operator Connect Mobile will be in preview soon, and Microsoft has an expanding list of mobile operators it is working with. Mahendra Sekaran, vice president of program management, Microsoft Teams, said that companies can find all the partners operating in their area in the Teams’ admin centre.
“Landlines and legacy voice services are rapidly being replaced by mobile – the workplace is shifting, and our customers have embraced new ways of working,” said Ron McKenzie, president of Rogers Business. “Together, we are bringing Operator Connect Mobile to Canada, which will help businesses save up to 50 per cent in costs by upgrading outdated, expensive legacy voice infrastructure and shifting to a best-in-class digital calling experience. We’re proud to power the latest digital connectivity advances for Canadians and look forward to playing a pivotal role in helping businesses thrive in the new world of work.”
The delivery of secure and powerful services and applications requires a modern technology infrastructure, so the two companies say they will work together to optimize networks, enabling reliable, cost-effective, and secure services and providing better experiences for customers across Microsoft’s cloud and Rogers’ network. Rogers will use Azure’s enhanced data and AI capabilities across its business to enable use cases and operational improvements through Microsoft’s new Data Centre of Excellence in Toronto.
“Our alliance with Microsoft further enhances both our 5G network leadership and our customer’s experience,” said Jorge Fernandes, chief technology & information officer, Rogers. “Together, we’ll provide the next-generation service innovations for business customers that will support Canada’s growth and prosperity in the years ahead. With this first-in-Canada alliance, Rogers and Microsoft are opening all-new opportunities in 5G MEC and introducing the next chapter of global hybrid work just as Canada recovers from COVID-19 and looks forward to the economic, social and sustainability advantages of 5G.”
In addition, Rogers and Microsoft say they will explore collaboration on R&D opportunities to support the Internet of Things and Mobile Edge Computing, to advance 5G innovation and Canada’s digital economy. Early access to Microsoft’s cloud, AI and edge technology will provide Rogers with the flexibility it needs to rapidly innovate and launch new services and customer experiences enabled by 5G.