Microsoft Teams Telephony from Swisscom
Marcel Jampen, Markets division manager
The SWISSCOFEL association had its new Teams Telephony solution in place just in time for the spring 2020 lockdown, making internal and external collaboration much easier than before.
SWISSCOFEL is the association of the Swiss fruit, vege table and potato industry, with its headquarters at Belpstrasse 26 in Berne. A variety of organisations in related sectors, such as the national farmers’ union, are also housed under the same roof.
Marcel Jampen man ages SWISSCOFEL’s Markets division, as well as being responsible for its ICT. 2020 was a very busy year for him, partly because, in the spring, he had to organise home offices for the SWISSCOFEL staff. Soon afterwards, he was touring the office building, speaking to fellow tenants who had asked him about his new Teams Telephony solution.
Word had quickly spread that SWISSCOFEL was using Microsoft Teams to communicate extremely easily and efficiently.
SWISSCOFEL’s 170 or so members are active in the wholesale and retail sectors, as well as importation and other related areas. Between them, they generate an annual turnover of around CHF 4 billion from the sale of fruit, vegetables and potatoes.
Marcel Jampen began the groundwork for SWISSCOFEL’s successful telephony project in 2019. “Our inhouse switchboard needed updating, which would have cost a lot of money,” he says. “We would also have needed a separate conferencing solution, which would also have been expensive.” A powerful communications platform is a must for the association, which works closely with producers’ associations, other industry organisations, authorities and other partners – including abroad.
Its headquarters are also the hub of its membership net work, with members actively involved in numerous SWISSCOFEL project and working groups.
“We are a relatively big organisation, with a total of around 70 people regularly attending meetings,” says Marcel Jampen, who is also responsible for ensuring the association HQ’s seven employees can work together seamlessly, wherever they are.
SWISSCOFEL had already been using Microsoft Teams for a while. In 2019, Marcel Jampen discovered that Swisscom was now offering a Teams Telephony solution for small businesses: “I thought this looked very promising. We compared the Swisscom solution with others. Swisscom’s high level of reliability was the decisive factor.” At the end of 2019, SWISSCOFEL decided to launch Teams Tele Microsoft Teams Telephony from Swisscom “We are working more closely together than ever before.”
The SWISSCOFEL association had its new Teams Telephony solution in place just in time for the spring 2020 lockdown, making internal and external collaboration much easier than before. phony in April 2020. In February, however, with lockdown looming, Marcel Jampen asked Swisscom to bring the launch date forward.
“With Telephony, Teams has become an indispensable all-round tool.”
“The Swisscom experts and our Microsoft provider responded very quickly and with great pragmatism. Two days into lockdown, the solution was switched on and the phone numbers ported across. All we need is an Internet connection at home and we can work exactly as we would in the office.” The integrated virtual telephone exchange in the Microsoft 365 Cloud makes traditional telephony infrastructure superfluous.
By switching to Teams Telephony, SWISSCOFEL killed several birds with one stone. Firstly, it saved money, as Marcel Jampen explains: “The hardware investment is a fraction of what it would have been if we had chosen a traditional solution. We only pay the Telephony addons with our existing Microsoft 365 licences, which is great. Operating costs for telephony, conferencing and video conferencing are around 20% lower than before.”
The financial benefits of using Teams to make phone calls on a daytoday basis are harder to quantify. Apart from the cost of meetings, which were previously held face toface but now take place on Teams: “We’ve saved tens of thousands of francs in meeting costs this year,” smiles Marcel Jampen. “With the Telephony addon, Teams has become an absolutely indispensable allround tool. We get everything we need from a single system: video and teleconferencing, groupbased project management, CRM, shared data storage, calendar, email, chat, etc.” SWISSCOFEL is also benefiting from running training events on Teams for its members.
“Even though we are meeting less often, we are working more closely together than ever before,” concludes Marcel Jampen, before adding: “Sustainability is important to me. Now we don’t have to travel as much and our worklife balance has improved.”