The way that businesses communicate with one another, both internally and externally, has changed significantly as a result of working from home. Collaboration tools like G Suite, Slack, and Basecamp have experienced a huge increase in usage as a result, but none of these saw a spike as significant as the rise in Microsoft Teams usage.
Teams saw a more than twofold increase in daily active users from 32 million in March 2019 to 200 million in 2021. According to Microsoft, the Microsoft Teams Phone System is used by more than 91% of Fortune 100 US companies. 91%!
There are many new ways for businesses to communicate, including live chat platforms and email, but one channel hasn't changed: the phone. The lifeblood of many businesses, allowing direct audio conferencing, is a cloud-based phone system, and they will always be crucial.
Additionally useful for internal communication are phone systems. Although some employees can communicate with one another through the office Teams or Slack channels, nothing is quite as quick and efficient as a mobile phone call.
Perhaps you've come to the point where your company needs to upgrade its phone system, and you're researching new connectivity possibilities. You might already be utilising Outlook and the Teams cloud-based platform, but you've heard that Office 365 offers additional phone system options that can combine all of your communication channels under a single roof. Maybe it’s just time for something new.
As part of a larger package, Microsoft Teams and Office 365 provide PBX (private branch exchange) services as an additional cloud-based managed service. In other words, you can configure this voice solution through the Teams PBX service on your admin centre in addition to managing email through Outlook, live chat through Teams, and productivity through Office.
Teams Phone System Features
The following features are offered by the Teams Business Phone System.
Cloud Auto Attendants - With the help of cloud auto attendants, you can design a menu system that allows both internal and external callers to find and place or transfer calls to specific company users or departments.
Direct Routing - Customers can connect voice trunks from their network to Microsoft Teams directly using this configuration, or they can connect other telephony entities like domestic calling plans or analog devices.
Cloud Call Queues - Allows you to customise how call queues are managed for your business, including the ability to set up caller ID and music on hold, find the next available call agent to take the call, and more.
Music on Hold - When an external call from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is put on hold, the service's predetermined default music is played. Calls made to a call queue as well as one-to-one PSTN to Teams calls are supported by this feature. By using this function, your platform will have on-hold notification parity.
Call Answer/Initiate (by name and number) - Allows users to initiate calls by clicking a name in the client or by dialling the full phone number to answer incoming calls.
Simultaneous Ring and Call Forwarding Options - Allows users to set up call forwarding rules so that calls can follow them wherever they go, or calls can be forwarded to coworkers or voicemail.
Transfer a Call and Consultative Transfer - Users are permitted to transfer calls to another person. They can also transfer calls from their PC or IP phone to their cell phone if they need to leave their office but still want to carry on the conversation.
Presence-Based Call Routing - By using presence to manage incoming communications, a user is able to block all incoming communication except for that from those who have been specifically designated.
Common Area Phones - A common area phone is usually installed in a lobby or conference room where it is accessible to many people. Common area phones can automatically sign into a network and are configured as devices rather than users.
Media Bypass Support - Media is not sent through the Teams Phone in order to improve performance; rather, it is kept between the Session Border Controller (SBC) and the client.
Microsoft Teams as Your Business Phone System
Let's examine how Microsoft Teams creates the ideal business phone system.
The main advantage of using Teams for your phone needs is that it enables you to consolidate all of your productivity and communication channels under one roof. With this excellent audio, you won't ever look back as Microsoft takes care of your phones, instant messaging, productivity apps, email, server architecture, cloud services, and everything else.
The fact that Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based infrastructure is one of the main advantages of using it as the basis for your phone system. The ability to access it from anywhere is one of the biggest advantages of cloud-based services in general. Have you established a call centre in your office park? They can get to it. Due to the current circumstances, is there a worker or staff that is working from home? They can get to it. Have a marketing group traveling halfway across the world to a show or conference? They can access it.
Simple Access to PSTN Systems
You must be aware of two definitions if you are unfamiliar with phone jargon. PBX, or private branch exchange, is the first. This is your internal phone system, so to reach a specific person from an outside line calling in, you need to dial one or two additional digits, and vice versa. A PBX system does not, by itself, access any external lines.
You know how awful and frustrating it can be to configure a PBX system if you've ever had to struggle to get it to connect to the wider PSTN at large. Setting up this connection with Microsoft Teams is typically very simple. You have the option of using your own switchboard and PSTN access currently in place or purchasing access as an extra feature directly from Microsoft.
Flexible Calling Plans
Microsoft's Teams phone system offers very flexible call plans. You can configure specific lines or departments to have access to various phone connectivity levels. Some departments might only be accessible internally, while others might be able to make domestic calls on the PSTN but not international calls.
A strong security feature is actually a common instance of this in use. You can limit a department's access to phishing and scam phone numbers, such as your finance department, by requiring them to only call domestic numbers. At the same time, your sales team, which may need to get in touch with people all over the world, is free to call international numbers.
Teams has very affordable call system usage fees. Your cost will vary depending on the system you already have in place and the Office 365 license level you are currently using. At the E5 level of Office 365, Enterprise Voice Phone systems are included add-on licenses, but E1 and E3 require a small additional fee ($8) to add the phone system. From there, calling within the United States costs $12, and calling abroad costs $24.
It's important to note that those costs apply to an entry-level default package of minutes for both domestic and international calling. If your usage goes beyond a certain point, you might need to buy more credits, which will cost more based on where you live. Directly from Microsoft, you can download the rate sheet here. All of this demonstrates how Microsoft's system is made to be convenient for businesses of all sizes, easy to use, and quick to set up.
What Happens to my Phones after Teams Phone System Integration?
Teams has a number of advantages. One of these is the ability to link office PBX systems, enabling anyone to make and receive calls to active users both internally and externally at any time and from any location. This system makes it simple for your clients to communicate over the phone, whether they are doing so while at their primary office, traveling, or working from home. To include key individuals in your online meetings, you can also carry out video or audio conference calls with ease and efficiency. There are a number of software that enable some amazing Microsoft phone system features after integration.
How long does Microsoft Teams Phone System Integration Take?
When we try to estimate how long the integration would take, there are a few factors that are taken into account. It's one thing to set up calling services in Teams. The Microsoft Teams Phone System, however, deploys and integrates over a completely different timeframe. If you have shaken hands with a Cloud Service Provider, they will probably give you an approximate timeline that covers the following items:
Session Border Controller Lite
Configure Phone Headsets
Training & Documentation
Although it might seem like a big change, having the right MSP handle it for you will help you greatly.
Why Choose CommsChannel for your Teams Phone System Deployment?
CommsChannel guarantees fully managed services, including planning, implementation, support, employee training, and improved user adoption. We provide individual licenses to make this crucial but difficult procedure possible for multinational deployments. We enable organisations of all sizes to take advantage of the adaptable, feature-rich, and economical communications offered by Microsoft Teams through our cloud-based telephony platform.