Microsoft Teams & Telephony

by Andy Petterson, Unified Communications Manager

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Microsoft Teams is now established as the leading platform in the enterprise collaboration market, and it’s due to two main reasons:

  1. Teams is an integral part of Microsoft 365 and the ever-popular Microsoft Office suite, and;
  2. Massive recent investment has strengthened and extended Microsoft’s collaboration portfolio and its intelligent cloud platform.

And as most companies are already paying for Teams within their Microsoft licensing costs, why on earth would they want to pay for an additional competitor service, that probably isn’t as good?

It’s now the preferred global enterprise collaboration platform, and extending the benefits of Teams to include corporate telephony has therefore been a logical progression through the previous Skype iterations.

It seems a sensible adoption strategy for organisations seeking to simplify technology roadmaps as well as optimising productivity and return on investment (ROI).

Of course, if you’ve already deployed alternative collaboration and Voice over IP (VoIP) services with competitors like Cisco and others - there’s no need to change tack, and there are many highly credible UCC options to choose from.

But if you’ve not yet pinned your VoIP and UCC colours to the mast, then there are a several reasons why you should consider Teams and Microsoft’s aptly named ‘Phone System’:

  • Phone System works with Teams clients and can replace existing PBX systems with a set of telephony options delivered from Microsoft 365.
  • Users can make calls using their mobile devices, a headset with a laptop, or one of many IP phones that work with Teams.
  • Phone System enables full call control and PBX capabilities in the Microsoft 365 cloud.
  • Internal calls between employees don’t access the external PSTN network and don’t incur any long-distance call charges.
  • For external calls, the system connects to the PSTN which can be via a cloud-based Microsoft calling plan or your usual PSTN carrier.
  • Teams is used to place and receive calls, transfer calls, and mute or unmute calls.
  • Users simply click a name in their address book, and place a Teams call to that person.
  • Administrators manage calling options and settings from the same console used for messaging and collaboration - simplifying system management.
  • Existing telephony infrastructure can connect with Phone System using either Operator Connect Calling or Direct Routing.

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