This is something we have been asked a lot over the past nine months, and the short answer is yes, you can manage all your telephony through Microsoft Teams.
And if it’s not just the pandemic that’s prompted this question, many have considered BT’s PSTN ‘Switch Off’ roadmap before 2025 and the retirement of Skype for Business next July, as good reasons to maximise use of Microsoft’s primary chat, voice, video and meetings client in Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365).
Right now, with remote working becoming the norm, and on-premise phone systems lying dormant up and down the country, this is a great time to rethink how your telephony is delivered and to consider permanently deactivating any legacy systems.
Before we get deeper into the benefits of Teams, let’s consider the alternatives. Some smaller organisations have come through the initial stages of the pandemic by ‘going mobile’. While it may have kept the wheels from falling off during the first lockdown, using what are often personal mobiles to continue doing business has a number of drawbacks; how do you manage call transfers, and what about call recharging? Mobile phone based relationships between staff and customers can naturally become more ‘personal’, which can in turn make it easier for customers to transfer their loyalty if a member of staff leaves and goes to work for the competition.
So, given that within the next couple of years you are soon going to have to make the IP decision anyway, if you are already using Teams successfully, it would seem to be common sense to simply add voice too. Teams can replace your whole business phone system with a managed cloud service. This feature enables private branch exchange (PBX) business telephony capabilities from within Microsoft 365.
If you already have Microsoft 365 and Teams, then you know that anyone in your organisation using Teams can already make voice calls to any other device running the Microsoft Teams app. However, these calls are essentially an intercom system for employees inside a company, because the Teams app by itself does not connect you to the public switched telephone network (PSTN); to do that whilst still utilising your existing phone numbers, you need to access our Direct Routing Service.
Microsoft 365 provides you with a 100% cloud-based PBX system that gives you access to all the usual features you would expect including call answering, transferring, forwarding and retrieving, as well as voicemail and emergency calling and best of all, you can do this from the Teams app on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone or from a wide array of Teams-compatible headsets and conference-room speakerphones anywhere in the world, provided you have internet access.
With as close to an always-on solution as you can get, our business customers are reporting substantial benefits from their IP comms packages, including greater efficiency and significant cost savings.
With as close to an always-on solution as you can get, and with outages subject to SLAs, our business customers are reporting substantial benefits from their IP comms packages, including greater efficiency and significant cost savings.
At V12 we have developed a simple, intuitive and cost-effective voice solution, which enables Teams users to easily make and receive external calls, as well as dialling internal Microsoft extensions. With unlimited UK minutes included and the ability to dial over 160 international countries, our service has been deployed in the UK and beyond across a number of sectors including Energy, Technology, Retail and Telecoms.
If you’re thinking about using an IP solution for all your comms requirements, do get in touch and we can talk you through your options and what benefits you can expect.