This article was written by Anna Odrinskaya from Alpha Serve
As more and more companies go digital, effective online communication is increasingly becoming the key element of productivity. Experienced business owners know that even a two-second delay may cost a customer or reputation. That’s why smart communication solutions like Azure Communication Services spring up and are adapted to popular project management tools like Jira.
The remote working, as well as online shopping and servicing trends, began well before the pandemic, but Covid-19 has accelerated them multifold. The adoption of digital technologies has advanced so much that we can continue communicating, working, and almost living virtually.
On the other hand, reducing physical customer interactions and moving to an online services model helped companies not only to hold on but also to utilize digital transformation as a cost-effectiveness tool. That’s why experts believe that many of these changes will stay for a long time.
It’s no coincidence that organizations with clearer communication are seeing more benefits to employee well-being, customer loyalty, and overall business productivity. And as it is clear that many companies will continue operating remotely, communications will likely matter even more for business viability and growth. As even the barely perceptible interruption during a virtual interaction can impact user satisfaction and retention.
With all the above thoughts in mind, Microsoft has developed Azure Communication Services (ACS) — a solution that enables software developers to deploy voice and video callings, chats, and SMS text messages across various devices, applications, websites, and mobile platforms.
All that is needed is to add just a few lines of code. Moreover, due to intuitive APIs and SDKs, Azure Communication Services makes it possible to develop custom-made communication services quickly and without hackery.
You do not need to worry about security issues as well, as Azure Communication Services is built on the basis of the reliable cloud platform used by Microsoft Teams. It has enough capacity to support over 5 billion meeting minutes in a single day, and all communications are encrypted to meet high confidentiality standards like HIPAA or GDPR. Developers can also easily switch to other Azure services.
Jira is a proprietary issue tracking product developed by Atlassian and ranked among the top 3 best project management solutions in the world with 9.4 points of user satisfaction. And it would be madness not to adapt ACS to this business tool used by thousands of companies on a daily basis.
That’s why a Ukrainian startup, Alpha Serve, has developed Azure Communication Services for Jira. And there are several life-changing benefits it can provide for businesses.
The app’s main advantage is the possibility to quickly address users without even switching to other tools or windows. With only one button, you can easily connect to the other party for a voice call or a video meeting directly from a Jira Software issue or Jira Service Management ticket.
This will help service teams assist customers in real-time and remote teams to stay in touch. Moreover, the screen-sharing session option is also available for more informed communication and easier problem-solving.
Sometimes, to get underway you may need to have an expert opinion or a comment from a colleague. Therefore, the app allows inviting other stakeholders to join the meeting by a short link. The full-contact history may also be seen in the issue comments.
Smart integrations for the complementary functions of the software always bring the synergy effect, when 1+1=3.
For companies having complicated business processes reflected in and executed using high-level software with customized workflows, it is crucial to have as many integrations as possible. Why? This will allow cross-functional and/or distributed teams to work as a whole, not losing efficiency among different systems.
So for teams using both Jira, Jira ITSM, and Azure Communication Services, the need to have them integrated is obvious.
Here are 3 examples of the use cases that may better illustrate all the benefits of this integration.
1. Seamless communication between remote/distributed team members
When a lot of people work on the same project from different locations, it is easy to get into a mess. Azure Communication Services for Jira is a simple tool for quick calls that enable remote teams to discuss the tasks on the go and solve operational issues from the comfort of their home offices.
With screen sharing sessions you will be sure that your conversation partners are on the same page. Thus, all the teammates working on the task can see the scheduled and past meetings, as well as all of them have the ability to join the instant call by the link. There is no need to share the link for the meeting with any other means, as it is visible to all relevant users directly in the issue.
2. Better online service for clients
Sometimes, you need several experts to solve the client’s issue. And Azure Communication Services for Jira is the right tool to boost meaningful conversation between several participants.
All users in the service desk ticket see the history of interaction with the client, other’s notes and emails, and can quickly join the call where needed. Since the link is available to everyone in the ticket, there is no need to share it or additionally invite people.
3. Easier multitasking for a project manager
If you are working on multiple projects, you may join any team meeting without leaving your desk. You can easily switch from one meeting to another. You can monitor all the meetings that each project’s team schedules. And this all is done from Jira.
Getting started with Azure Communication Services for Jira (available for Jira Cloud and supported in Jira Service Management) is pretty straightforward.
To start benefiting from it, simply install the app. So go to the product page on the Atlassian Marketplace and choose a suitable subscription plan.
Then follow the standard client installation path. Alternatively, you can add Azure Communication Services For Jira by using the “Find new apps” option directly in Jira.
To start an instant meeting from any issue, Azure Communication Services for the Jira plugin must be enabled for the project by your Jira Administrator. Once that has been done, just click the Open Azure Meeting button.
Then press the “Start a Call” button.
A comment with the link to join will be created automatically. You can share it with the users outside your working space by any convenient means.
Otherwise, you can choose to schedule a meeting for any definite time in the future with the corresponding button. All meeting details will be available in an appropriate comment on the issue. All invitees will receive emails with a link to join.
And if you need to share your screen at some point, simply click the Screen icon during the conversation.
Communication is the ultimate tool for business viability and growth. And it has become even more important over the past years when online interactions accelerated tremendously throughout the globe, and both consumers and companies were forced to rapidly change their strategies as a result.
To adapt to the new normal, we need more effective communication solutions. And here comes platforms like Microsoft Azure Communication Services, that help businesses reach their customers and enhance servicing and productivity. Thanks to Azure Communication Services for Jira, Jira users can now interact with teammates and customers with a single click and without leaving their working environment.