Before mobile devices allowed us to answer calls anywhere, we relied on home phones and answering machines. The flexibility and quality offered by cell phones led many people to ditch traditional home phone systems, but office phones remained largely unaffected. Phone services through Microsoft Teams could change that.
The calling feature in Microsoft Teams turns the hyper-collaboration platform into a cloud-based phone system solution for small businesses. In terms of call forwarding, auto attendants, DID and quality, there is parity between traditional phones and Teams phones. The real benefit in using Teams as a phone system comes from the flexibility and centralization of work.
A Flexible Business Communication Tool for Collaboration
To really boost productivity, businesses need communication tools that untether employees from traditional phones and calling plans. Teams’ phone system makes working remotely or on the road easier because employees need less equipment to connect and collaborate.
Connect How You Want
When you want to make a call in Teams you can use a desk phone, app-enabled device, headset or your computer. This gives employees the freedom to take calls on their computer while working from a coffee shop or on a mobile device. The latter is how some Nortec staff members use the Teams phone feature because it lets them take and answer calls on the road. No matter which method you use, your business number will display.
Centralized Digital Workspace
Phones represent about 5% of what you can do in Microsoft Teams. It is a holistic platform that combines communication tools – like chat, phone calls and video conferences – with features that facilitate work, in-office or remotely. Employees are able to share documents, ideas, manage projects, send emails and more all within one platform, and potentially from one device.
As you test Teams, or create a plan for unrolling the platform, find a Microsoft partner with competencies in communication who can assist in the configuration of the phone system and show the other tools and app integrations your business should be using.
Only Pay for Calling Plans You Need
Teams is included in Office 365 and once it is set up your staff can make internal calls using it. However, it is not automatically set up on the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN). If you want to make external calls, you’ll need a domestic or domestic and international calling plan. Like other cloud-based applications, you’ll pay as you go.
This could save money because you won’t need to pay for unnecessary calling plans. For instance, if your accounting department never makes external calls, you don’t have to buy a phone plan for that team. Or, if you only occasionally make calls to other countries, you can add communication credits to your domestic plan to cover the cost instead of buying an international plan you’ll use infrequently.
How Microsoft Teams Works as a Phone
Calling in Teams works exactly like a traditional phone system. Once you add a calling plan, you’ll receive your own Direct Inward Dial (DID) number. You can then make and receive calls on your laptop, headset or traditional phone. If you download the Microsoft Teams app you’ll be able to use your Teams on any device as well.
Phone Features in Microsoft Teams
When you switch to Teams for your phone service, you’ll still access all standard capabilities like:
- Call forwarding
- Conference Calls
- Auto attendant
- Call queues
- Hold music
Reliable Business Communications App
Like other applications in Office 365, Teams is in the cloud. As a result, your phone system isn’t reliant on an office or data center connection. If the data center your phone system depends on goes down, Microsoft moves the connection to a different one. Users don’t notice the change and calls are not dropped or missed.
Expect Features to Evolve as Teams Grows
Like we said before, placing phone calls is only one aspect of what Teams can do. Features and integrations for the phone system will evolve as Teams changes.
To keep pace with Microsoft, you’ll want an IT provider plugged into the latest Teams-related news and releases. They are in the best position to implement Teams, provide employee training and update you on new integrations that will help your business.
Early on, we migrated Nortec to Teams, giving us valuable hands-on experience with the platform. Nortec has earned multiple Gold Competencies and we have engineers certified in Communications. We are subject matter experts for anyone in the Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas who want to know more about Microsoft Teams.
Ready to learn more about Microsoft Teams? Contact Nortec online or call us at 866-531-1990 with any questions or to discuss next steps.