No matter what business you’re in, effective communication should be one of the fundamental tenets of your organisation. For decades businesses have relied heavily on traditional phone systems to handle all necessary communications between employees and outside parties. Updating your clients, answering your colleagues questions, chasing leads, and even IT support! Everything was just a phone call away…
However, the global shift towards hybrid and remote working has forced many business to adopt alternative business telephony solutions that aren’t reliant on a fixed geographical location. The good news? Technology is rapidly evolving to help businesses adjust to this ‘new normal’. Digital communication and collaboration platforms (like Microsoft Teams) are paving the way, helping businesses connect their employees with important clients, customers, suppliers and partners from anywhere in the world.
Recently, Microsoft Teams has introduced Microsoft Teams Calling, a cloud-based PBX (Private Branch Exchange) solution that integrates phone systems into the existing app. Not only does Teams Calling have the same capabilities of a traditional phone system, but it also includes a range of other features and benefits as well!
Teams Calling is more than just a business telephony solution…it’s a smart business decision!
What is Microsoft Teams Calling?
Microsoft Teams is a communication and file-sharing platform. It offers a variety of tools that create a collaborative and organised digital workspaces for both on-site and remote workers. If you’ve used Teams before, then you know that voice and video calls have been one of the staple features of the app for years. However, Teams Calling expands on the original feature, allowing you to make external calls and not limiting users to only calling individuals within the Teams network.
But how does it work?
Microsoft Teams Calling is a cloud-based PBX solution that replaces or integrates your existing business phone system with an Office 365 Enterprise plan. Users are connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), either through a Microsoft Calling Plan or Direct Routing with a third-party provider. With Teams Calling, your business can enjoy all the same features of a traditional phone system (ie. auto attendants, voicemail, music on hold, call queues and forwarding, etc) on your desk phone, mobile device and even your computer!
Features of Microsoft Teams Calling
Microsoft Teams Calling is an all-in-one solution that combines all the same functionality of a traditional phone system with the easy-to-use Microsoft Office 365 platform. Some of the features supported by Teams Calling include:
- Auto Attendant
- Call Transfer
- Call Queues
- Call Holding and Retrieval
- Call Forwarding and Simultaneous Ringing
- Voicemail with Transcription
- Call History
- Conference Calls
- On-hold Music
- Emergency Calling
5 Benefits of Using Microsoft Teams Calling
1. Unified Business Communications
For organisations that already use Microsoft Office 365 and Teams internally, integrating Teams Calling will allow you to unify all of your important communications into one place. Your personnel already conduct all of their internal communication through Teams, so why not allow them to conduct their external phone calls through the same app? The convenience of having a singular platform that merges your phone system with contacts, calendar, file sharing and email not only improves efficiency, but it also cuts down on administration workloads.
Centralising all of your communication systems into one platform reduces your businesses IT support needs. For instance, all enquiries and troubleshooting pertaining to your phone systems, emails and file sharing can be handled by a single point of contact, instead of having to juggle multiple vendors and IT partners. In addition, the single interface allows your IT administrator(s) easy access, so they can conduct any necessary work quickly and efficiently.
2. Easy to Learn, Easy to Use!
Microsoft Teams Calling is designed to seamlessly integrate cloud telephony into the existing Teams interface, so you don’t have to worry about any compatibility issues! Having a singular communications system also means there’s no need to learn and navigate several different applications when handling business operations. Moreover, if your company personnel already have a familiarity with Microsoft Teams or Windows apps in general, then adopting Teams Calling will be intuitive for most users.
Perhaps the most advantageous benefit of Teams Calling is its cloud-based infrastructure. While traditional PBX systems direct calls to a device, Teams Calling directs them to a user. This means that, as long as you’re logged in to your Teams account and have a stable internet connection, you can receive calls from any device…even when you’re outside office premises!
4. Flexible and Scalable
Teams Calling can be fully customised to the requirements of your business. There’s a variety ways you can organise your business calling, including designing it around different departments or specific phone lines. In addition, there’s a number of options that can limit access to specific phone calls. For instance, some teams or individuals may be restricted to internal phone calls only. Furthermore, you may choose to enable domestic calls but block international ones. The scalable nature of Teams Calling means it can easily grow and adapt as your business needs evolve.
On-premises telephony is equipment heavy, costly to install and maintain. In comparison, cloud-telephony solutions are service based, heavily reducing both hardware and administration costs. Microsoft Calling Plan licences are determined by consumption for external calls. In addition, all implementation is handled by either Microsoft or your third-party provider. In other words, you’ll only pay for what you need!