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Ditching the Telephone for Teams

January 24, 2022

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Over the past two years, business communication has been undergoing a lot of changes. You may not even use the phone now for a lot of your business: Zoom and Teams meetings, emails, Slack… they’re all replacing our traditional phone and text message communications. If you’re already using Microsoft Office365 and Teams, it may be time to consider moving your business permanently over to Teams for person-to-person communications. While people are now becoming familiar with Teams as a video conferencing solution, what you may not know is that it can integrate or replace your company’s phone service or SIP too.

From VOIP to… VOIP?

Depending on what kind of work your business does, you’ve probably already been using VOIP (voice over IP) for your main phone service for a long time. Years ago, phone infrastructure became more like another form of broadband, which can just as easily transmit your voice data as it can any other type of data. But now that basically everyone is used to using online services for calling and chatting, your desk phones (if you still have them) may have become redundant with your workstations.

As one of the leading platforms for video conferencing, Microsoft Teams is a no-brainer for video conferencing if your organization is already using Office. Teams integrates with your company’s OneDrive storage, Outlook contacts, and other productivity software to give you everything you need to communicate and collaborate with your staff.

Since the Teams app is cross-platform, it makes it possible for you to communicate with whatever device you have in front of you. If you’re on the go, you can use your mobile devices, but if you’re in the office, you can answer calls on your workstation. Teams gives you the same experience and features no matter what device you’re using. You can even get advanced desk phones that are compatible with Teams, if you want that experience. Microsoft is even going one step further with their Teams Phone services.

Is Teams Phone the Right Solution?

You can upgrade your Office subscription to a product that includes Teams Phone, which adds typical phone services for your users’ accounts. This includes having a telephone number associated with user accounts, being able to call out, transfer calls between devices that you use Teams on—and it’s all inside of Teams. When you upgrade, you get a number of features that you would expect for a corporate phone system, such as call parking and retrieval, auto-attendant and queuing, and integration with your contact centers.

The best part of this solution is that it is all done in the cloud: there is no on-site server to manage and, if they’re not needed, no desk phones, since Teams can be run on any of your current endpoints, such as mobile phones or workstations.

If your company has a call center, the Teams may not have all the features you need yet, but it could still be the right solution for the rest of your internal phone system. If it makes more sense for the types of calls your company receives, you can use Teams internally and keep your current provider by using a Session Border Controller and direct routing. If you’re interested in using the functionality of Teams Phone and its integration with Office, but need to keep your call center setup, it’s now possible to get the best of both worlds.