Teamline is focused on the Microsoft platform, and MultiJoin won’t change that, but it does give users added flexibility with calls involving different platforms.
Microsoft-focused meeting rooms solutions-maker Teamline has announced the availability of MultiJoin, which offers one-click connectivity to join multiple online collaboration rooms, including Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Zoom, BlueJeans and StarLeaf. Teamline, which sells entirely through channel partners, sees MultiJoin as enhancing Microsoft UC users’ ease of use when joining non-Microsoft meeting rooms.
“The target market for this is the users of Microsoft’s core UC platform, which is transitioning to Teams from Skype for Business,” said Steve Raffe, Head of Teamline. “What MultiJoin does is give them a convenient and easy way to connect to other organizations, or join meetings on other platforms.”
Teamline makes meeting room solutions that are tightly integrated with the Microsoft Unified Communications environment. They and StarLeaf, which makes vendor-agnostic video conferencing solutions, have the same British corporate owner.
“The Teamline brand is only a year old, but its products are about five years old,
Raffe said. “They used to be part of StarLeaf, which is about eleven years old. However, Teamline’s focus was on solutions that work tightly with the Microsoft platform, while StarLeaf is broader end to end solution, and this was causing some brand confusion. So we created two separate companies, StarLeaf for the end-to-end solution and Teamline for the Microsoft focus.”
Teamline, like StarLeaf, sells entirely through channel partners, and historically they were not necessarily the same people. That is changing, however.
“There are partners who sell both, who have both an end-to-end and a Microsoft focus,” Raffe said. “There have been some on the ProAV side who haven’t targeted the Microsoft audience. However, there has been a shift in the paradigm on the ProAV side, where now they are mainly talking to IT teams. Five years ago, they would have been talking to the facilities manager. Our strong focus on integrating these lets us play well in the AV world, and sets us apart from some other vendors.”
Raffe said that Teamline’s approach with Microsoft is also fundamentally different from other vendors in this space.
“There are other vendors who also bring the Microsoft experience to the desktop, but their solutions are all the same in one key respect,” he said. “It’s very difficult for them to innovate because they are locked down to using software provided to them by Microsoft. We are unbound from that, with a different approach through our dedicated appliance. It means that we are still tightly integrated with Microsoft UC, but have more freedom to innovate.”
Raffe stressed that the new MultiJoin offering is a good example of this.
“Customer meetings are characterized by two key issues,” he said. “First, when working with an external company, people don’t get to choose the platform they communicate on. Second, especially at larger enterprises, its rare for there to be only one communication platform. They may be transitioning from Cisco to Microsoft, or simply may have different teams using other platforms. These factors make it important that meeting rooms be able to empower users to simply join.”
That’s a sore spot in the market, Raffe said, and it’s something that MultiJoin is designed to remedy.
“Multijoin lets users join both internal and external meetings at the push of a button,” he emphasized. “It’s really that simple.” Users get a room invite to the meeting, and they connect and are in the meeting, without having to do any platform-specific stuff.
“We have seen a big increase in the number of external calls done from video with early adopters, because it empowers human connections,” Raffe said. “Previously, users couldn’t easily talk to clients by video and this equips them to do that.”