In today’s unpredictable business world, it’s important to have cloud-based options for all your company communications. This includes the ability to answer your business phone lines from anywhere.
Computer to phone services demand is expected to increase 17% between 2019 and 2025, and that was before the global pandemic accelerated the adoption of cloud-based technology infrastructures.
This shift to cloud solutions is why large companies like Microsoft are bringing more business processes to a virtual cloud environment.
One of the more recent additions to the Microsoft 365 platform is the ability to make and receive calls in Microsoft Teams. This includes VoIP calls, mobile calls and calls to landline phones.
This works through an add-on to Microsoft Teams called Microsoft 365 Business Voice. What this does is add a full-featured VoIP phone system into your Teams application.
How can you place and receive calls through Teams? We’ll go through your options below.
First, you need to add Microsoft 365 Voice add-on to your Teams application, this then enables you to use the app as a VoIP phone system.
Calls can be made from any device.
- Teams-enabled desk phones or conference systems
It works through the following options, both of which are available in the UK.
Option 1: Direct Routing
Direct routing is when you use your existing telecommunications provider by connecting their SIP (session initiated protocol) trunks to Microsoft Teams.
An SIP trunk is a virtual representation of an analog phone line. Working with your phone provider, you can make the connection between Teams and their SIP trunks, which will allow you to configure on-premises Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity with your Teams application.
This direct routing option is done through what’s known as a customer-provided Session Border Controller (SBC). Direct routing allows you to:
- Virtually use any PSTN trunk with Microsoft Teams
- Connect operability of telephony equipment you own, such as a private branch exchange (PBX), your analog devices, and the VoIP system in Teams.
Using the direct routing feature, you’ll still be working with your main telephone service provider and connecting their services to the Microsoft Teams with Voice system.
This is an option if Microsoft calling plans aren’t available in your region or if you prefer to keep the relationship with your analog phone provider.
Option 2: Microsoft Calling Plans
You can forgo the relationship with another phone provider all together by signing up for a Microsoft calling plan for your VoIP service. This means that you will get your cloud phone services and procure numbers (or transfer existing numbers) through Microsoft.
While you don’t have to pay for calls between Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams users, a calling plan is required if you want to make and receive calls from any number, analog, mobile or VoIP.
Microsoft offers both:
- Domestic Calling Plan: Plans that involve phone service within your country or region.
- Domestic and International Calling Plan: Call locally within your country/region and internationally as well in 196 countries or regions.
The way that plan minutes work is that they are pooled between all users and billed monthly. So, if you have 100 users and have signed up for a 120-minute calling plan, then all users would share a pool of 12,000 minutes.
When plans go over their designated number of minutes, calls are billed on a per minute basis.
Features of Microsoft Teams with Voice
Here are some of the reasons to consider using Microsoft Teams as your business phone system.
Offers a Fully Integrated Workspace
Microsoft Teams offers a way to make calls, chat, video call, organize and secure team files, create a corporate wiki, and much more. It’s not just one application, but rather several tools in once.
This integrated experience helps improve productivity, reduces the need to learn and administer several different apps, and makes it easier to reference customers files while on a call, or transfer a voice call to video.
Gives You Call Access Freedom
Using Teams with Business Voice means your employees have the freedom to access enterprise-class calling features in multiple ways. This helps to empower remote teams and ensures a consistent customer experience.
Calls can be answered from any location via:
- Mobile device
- Teams-enabled desk phone
- Teams-enabled conference room system
You Get Multiple Professional Call Handling Features
The more efficiently you can handle calls, the more productive your team is and the faster your customers get their questions answered.
When you add-on the VoIP feature to Teams, your business can use all of these phone features, and more:
- Click-to-call integration with Outlook
- Group call pickup and forward
- Music on hold
- Auto attendant
- Call transfer and park
- Caller ID
- Device switching
- Cloud voicemail
- Distinctive ring alerts
- Call queues
Learn More About Using Microsoft Teams as Your Business Phone System
NMX IT Solutions can help your Thames Valley area business learn more about using Microsoft Teams with Microsoft 365 Voice add-on to improve call handling and lower costs.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation! Call 01628 232300 or reach out online.