One of our clients, a Chicago-based research firm, decided to migrate from an on-premises PBX to a cloud phone system to gain access to additional functionality and features. Our trusted technology advisors took everyone involved in the project to our demo center in downtown Chicago to test drive various Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platforms.
Ultimately, because the firm already leveraged the Microsoft 365 productivity suite, they decided to voice enable Skype for Business. This took place before Teams replaced Skype for Business as Microsoft’s main unified communications (UC) app, and the client has since made the switch to Teams.
This is just one example of a larger trend among companies that rely on Microsoft 365 and want to deploy a cloud phone system. Following its launch several years ago, Teams quickly became popular among businesses looking to accommodate an increasingly mobile and distributed modern workforce – in November 2019, the app already had over 20 million active daily users, according to Microsoft. In the wake of the widespread transition to remote work arrangements for many office workers in 2020, more companies than ever need highly accessible and flexible communication and collaboration capabilities beyond what traditional office phone systems can provide.
For those that already utilize Teams, the right Microsoft UC partner can conveniently transform the app into a full-blown cloud phone system that keeps employees connected and drives productivity from any location or device.
How Voice Enabling Microsoft Teams Works
A Microsoft UC partner can ensure your Teams environment has all of the features needed to function as an enterprise-grade business phone system and replace your on-site PBX. Here are some examples of elements that might be included in a comprehensive Teams UC solution:
- Microsoft licensing for Teams voice functionality
- Devices such as phones and headsets
- SD-WAN/MPLS/SIP trunking
- SIP connectivity
- Direct routing via the supplier’s session border controllers (SBCs)
- App integrations
- Training and professional services
- Comprehensive hosted PBX features
- Backup for calling in case of Microsoft auth services outages
Please note that the exact details and features of a Teams UC solution will vary depending on the supplier and offering you choose.
Benefits of Working With a Microsoft UC Partner
You might wonder why you would engage with a Microsoft UC partner to voice enable your Teams environment instead of just going straight to Microsoft. In fact, there are numerous reasons to work with a supplier in our partner network instead. Here are some examples of advantages Microsoft UC partners have to offer.
- Cost containment. For instance, one of our partners offers a $9.99 unlimited plan for Teams direct routing, compared to Microsoft’s $12.00 domestic dialing plan.
- Lower seat minimums (e.g., one seat as opposed to 500)
- Additional and ongoing support services
- Flexible licensing allowing you to only pay for what you need
- High-level security and compliance services
- Access to porting expertise and services
- Implementation services and fast deployment
It’s once again important to note that these benefits will vary depending on the specific supplier you select. Our trusted advisors have experience working with various Microsoft UC solution providers and can leverage their expertise to help you compare your options and select your ideal partner based on your unique needs, goals and pain points. We have access to advanced tools and can rapidly produce side-by-side comparison matrices to assist you in making the best possible choice for your business.
If you’d like to learn more about voice enabling Teams, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team by calling 877-599-3999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.