Frontline workers are, and have always been, the backbone of the world economy. They are the essential workers who have kept hospitals up and running, staffed grocery stores’ curbside pick-up, and been out in the field keeping services up and running.
As organizations continue to refocus their operations to support and empower employees while maintaining business continuity, we have been working to create and improve capabilities in Microsoft Teams to support their efforts. These capabilities help you to better connect and engage your frontline workforce, increase their operational efficiency, and enhance workforce management systems all on a foundation of security that you expect from Microsoft 365.
Walkie Talkie in Teams iOS public preview
Today we are excited to announce a public preview of Walkie Talkie on iOS. This push-to-talk experience enables clear, instant, and secure voice communication over the cloud, turning employee- or company-owned iOS and Android smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie. The functionality, built natively into Teams, reduces the number of devices employees must carry, and lowers costs for IT. Unlike analog devices, customers no longer have to worry about frequency static, crosstalk or eavesdropping from outsiders. And since Walkie Talkie works over Wi-Fi or cellular data, it can be used across geographic locations. Learn more about Walkie Talkie here and get started with the solution here.
Shifts Connectors private preview
With Microsoft Teams, we are providing a lightweight, simplified, easy-to-use communication platform that can be more than just simple chat. As we design the new hybrid workplace, Teams enables organizations to have a single platform for all workers to manage essential business processes and provide the best service for their customers. Many of us may have been frontline workers at some stage in our career and we know how important it is to easily know when your next shift is and have more control over your schedule.
Today, we are announcing preview integrations with Blue Yonder and Zebra-Reflexis that help address these frontline worker concerns. This new capability brings your organization’s automated schedules and rules into Microsoft Teams and empowers frontline workers to view and manage their shifts in the same easy-to-use mobile app that they use to communicate with their team and get their job done. This announcement follows the previous announcement of our strategic partnerships with Blue Yonder and Zebra-Reflexis to give Teams seamless access to these leading workforce management systems.
Blue Yonder is a leading workforce management solution, managing labor scheduling, time and attendance, and store operation scheduling for more than 7 million users worldwide.
With Microsoft and Blue Yonder, frontline workers have a single view to streamline everyday schedules for higher worker engagement and productivity. Workers can now easily see and manage their schedules from Blue Yonder within Teams using the Shifts app and can easily switch to the Teams communication platform, amplifying connectivity on any device – from the frontline to the C-suite. Learn more capabilities what Blue Yonder and Microsoft are doing together here.
Reflexis is a provider of AI-powered workforce management, execution, and communication solutions for organizations in retail, food service, hospitality, and banking. The Microsoft and Zebra-Reflexis joint solution creates a single pane of glass for frontline workers that streamlines everyday processes for higher worker engagement and productivity. Frontline workers can now surface data from Reflexis into the Teams platform, amplifying connectivity on any device. Learn more about the Reflexis Shifts connector integration.
Not seeing your workforce management system here? Not a problem. You can also leverage the Microsoft Graph API to pull Shift data to and from your staffing systems into Shifts and provide frontline workers with all the information they need in one place. You can also harness open-source Shifts Connectors with UKG and AMiON which are production ready and customizable to make scheduling seamless for your business with these partners.