The organization’s 130 employees became early adopters of Microsoft Operator Connect
It was a series of coincidences that resulted in the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) becoming one of the first organizations to use the Microsoft Operator Connect service offered by Rogers Business. The tool combines the powerful collaboration of Teams with global calling capabilities.
As told by Pierre-Luc Fuerte, the Chief Information Officer at the CCMM, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2022, the stars were aligned so that the organization of 130 employees would be among the first to benefit from the new Operator Connect solution. In March 2022, Rogers and Microsoft announced a five-year strategic alliance, making Rogers the first Operator Connect distributor in Canada to offer this solution.
During the second half of 2019, the CCMM, a non-profit organization whose mission is to be “The voice of the business community and of the people of Greater Montreal for all aspects of their economic growth and prosperity,” began a technological shift to cloud computing and the Microsoft 365 platform. The office was moving, and the organization wanted to provide employees with the option of teleworking.
“At the time, the CCMM was operating with an old PBX system with landline phones,” explained Pierre-Luc. “Every user had their phone, their desk, their line, etc.” As part of the technological shift, the CCMM had already provided all employees with a laptop with VPN connectivity, making the transition much easier.
The pandemic disruption
Pierre-Luc and his team started migrating the servers to the cloud in preparation for the big move on February 28, 2020. Just two weeks later, a second change unexpectedly came along: with the rest of Canada, the CCMM team was in lockdown without physical access to the office or colleagues. “Overnight, we moved to Teams, without any training,” Luc said. Like thousands of people around the world, CCMM employees quickly started to explore the features. Although they first started using the tool to communicate with each other, they quickly moved on to chatting with external clients.
Moving away from the traditional desk phone
The migration to cloud computing was completed during the pandemic in early 2022. All employees were trained on Microsoft 365. It was then that the CCMM, whose phone agreement was about to expire, started thinking about obtaining a new solution. Through a tendering process, they contacted a number of providers, but it was Rogers that demonstrated a better understanding of their requirements: collaboration, sharing, ease of use, and integration with Teams.
Anna Viveiros, a telecommunication specialist at Rogers, was part of the team that presented the formal solution to the CCMM in April 2022. The Operator Connect solution offered by Rogers fully met the technical and economic criteria. In May, the CCMM chose Rogers.
Over the following weeks, Viveiros and the Rogers team supported the implementation of the solution by the professional services partners in cooperation with Pierre-Luc and the CCMM’s IT technician. The changes were communicated to employees in advance, and a very simple user manual was prepared.
The implementation went as expected and with no technical issues. Operator Connect became operational in mid-July at the CCMM. Pierre-Luc indicated that everything was working well. “The adaptation was easy, complete and seamless,” he said with satisfaction.
Viveiros added that employees adapted well to the Operator Connect application, which allows them to take calls from the Teams platform. “Some people still like to have a physical phone. But I always tell them: ‘Try cutting the cord. Try the application first.’ If they prefer the phone, it can always be added later.”
Pierre-Luc Fuerte is pleased with the CCMM’s move to Operator Connect, which enabled a seamless integration of the communication and collaboration tools into a single, easy-to-use environment.