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This March marked one year on from the first world-wide lockdowns due to the pandemic. To begin with, most businesses started working from home expecting to return to “normal work” soon, but it was clear within a number of weeks that the world faced a new, longer-term, way of working.

A little over 12 months later, many of us are starting to feel more comfortable with hybrid and remote working styles, and are embracing technology which is central to modern workplace collaboration. As we move into the second year of COVID-19 impacting on the way we operate, businesses are looking to innovative solutions that offer opportunities for employees and customers to connect, while reducing operating costs and improving work-life balances.  

Business in 2021, and beyond, has changed

A focus on keeping connected and improving remote working quality and uptime is one of the top three investment priorities for organisations with increasing ICT spends, according to our latest research in partnership with independent research firm Kantar.

The APAC Transformation Vision – Balancing Digitalisation Ambitions with Cost Objectives report surveyed more than 400 IT and Business decision makers in APAC and found that COVID-19 acted as a catalyst for businesses to take a fresh their digital transformation strategy. Unsurprisingly, cost is a critical consideration with more than half (57 per cent) of enterprises streamlining technology solutions as part of cost management and efficiency initiatives.

Leading cost management initiatives

When surveyed on the top methods by which the organisations is managing costs in the current climate, these were the most popular methods cited by surveyed business leaders:


Investing in services to prevent IT downtime


Streamlining technology solutions


Exploring flexible financing options

Aligned with these findings, recent GlobalData research commissioned by Telstra, found that two-thirds of respondents across Asia, Europe, and the United States said that COVID-19 had changed their organisations forever. In fact, 98 per cent of enterprises believe that there will be an increased reliance on video conferencing to replace face-to-face meetings post-COVID-19 recovery and 74 per cent of organisations are introducing or expanding investments in cloud-based collaboration applications such as Microsoft Teams.

98% say video conferencing will increasingly replace face-to-face meetings.

A new way of working

Born from an urgent need to connect, the widespread adoption of cloud collaboration tools demonstrated the capabilities of these solutions to increase communication and productivity between workers regardless of location.  

In response, Telstra launched Telstra Calling for Microsoft Teams (TCMT) a cloud-based application providing telephony capabilities on Microsoft Teams midway through 2020. TCMT combines Telstra’s expertise in voice, networks, cloud and services with Microsoft’s expertise in cloud, collaboration and productivity to enable staff to use a business landline regardless if they are on the road, working from home or in the office.

Since launching, coverage for Telstra Calling for Microsoft Teams has expanded from four to 13 locations across Asia Pacific and Europe, with plans for further expansions. TCMT delivers a per user, per month pricing model and usage-based calling with low calling rates to ensure cost efficiency. Users can also bring existing businesses numbers or provision new phone numbers, with geo redundancy across multiple global instances and full call functions. Automatic provisioning of services will be enabled in a future release.  

Enabling enterprise to achieve cloud-first strategy through TCMT

At Telstra, we are continuously collaborating with our strategic partners such as Microsoft to enhance our user calling experience and deliver collaboration solutions designed to meet our customer’s business needs.

For example, together we enabled a South East Asia-based transportation and logistics company to provide a smoother remote working experience and reduce the need for complex vendor management.

The customer came to us with legacy phone systems that provided poor voice quality, limited their remote working capabilities, were complicated to manage and were not aligned to their cloud first strategy.

As a result of working together, Telstra and Microsoft delivered a future proof unified communications solution based on TCMT that was scalable, enhanced productivity and simplified vendor management for 400 staff members across seven countries.

We also helped a leading international insurance group to streamline IT management and enhance employee experiences with a zero-infrastructure on-premise solution. 

The customer required a solution that offered full voice functions while being able to support hot desking in new office.  Telstra proposed a solution based on TCMT with end-to-end professional services for 250 staff in Singapore, delivering full voice capabilities to enable a mobile workforce and future proof unified communications.

Telstra Calling for Microsoft Teams delivers a cloud-based collaboration solution delivered over one of the leading networks in Asia Pacific to unify business communication and enable teams to connect – almost anywhere, anytime.

Talk to us to find out more.