MS Teams has become a key tool for businesses and is being widely adopted across many industries. However, if you are new to Microsoft Teams and wondering if your business needs it, here’s a quick overview.
What is MS Teams?
Microsoft Teams is an app that helps teams work together with instant messaging (IM). Businesses can make audio and video calls as well as share files. MS Teams also offers a Desktop and Mobile App. No App? You can use WebRTC Teams (internet browser app).
Businesses can set up Teams Channels for departments (e.g sales and support). Project channels can be used to track progress. For example, “MS Teams Integration Project” for a Product Team.
MS Teams is a great internal teamwork tool. However, there are big differences between Teams and business phone systems.
How Does MS Teams Differ from a Business Phone System?
Microsoft Teams’ core value is in internal teamwork. As Microsoft Teams Phone Calling is not available as standard, you need to buy an add-on for calls as with many Microsoft products and services.
Office365 and Microsoft365’s Phone System Add-on adds calls to Teams. Otherwise, Teams cannot call a public switched telephone network or mobile number.
- MS Teams’ features and global reach are limited compared to phone carriers. Call quality may also vary. This is because calling is not Microsoft’s core product offering.
- Phone system carriers usually offer more features, better reliability and simple call plans. Features include easy call flow design, custom music on hold, and time of day. As well as this, carriers offer a wide range of easily managed desk phones and headsets.
- Unified communications phone providers offer many MS Teams features. These features can be anything from video calls with IM to softphone apps. Cloud carriers also use private internet data centres to improve call reliability.
Is one option better than another? This depends on your needs. We believe that every business needs a phone system. When faced with a choice, most choose MS Teams integration to unlock the true potential of both.
Once phone calls have been enabled, you can start using Microsoft Teams as a Softphone. With this in mind, how will MS Teams integration help your business?
Benefits of Integrating with Microsoft Teams
Before exploring the benefits of integrating your business’s phone system with Microsoft Teams, we must first look at how our ways of working have changed over the past few years.
- Microsoft Teams grew by 70m+ users from 2020 to 2022. User growth is due to mass adoption of remote working. Additionally, Skype for Business moved all users to Teams.
- 72% of businesses aim to shift to a hybrid model. Hybrid working means working in an office and others remotely.
- An Accenture report states that 80% of the workforce prefer hybrid working.
- 70% aim to move their business phones to the cloud.
- Softphone (mobile and desktop) adoption doubled from 2020 to 2022.
So, what does this data tell us? First, hybrid working is here to stay. Second, MS Teams is a very popular teamwork tool. Third, old phone systems lack integration and softphone options. As a result, old line-based phones cannot support hybrid working.
Phone integration with Microsoft Teams can be the foundation for your business connectivity. How? You’re about to find out.
Without a Microsoft Teams Phone System Integration, your staff will have to juggle multiple products. Particularly true for hybrid working teams that may have differing connectivity. Juggling technology can result in missed messages or, worse – missed calls.
Integrate to gain a ‘single pane’ for all business communications. Once you’re integrated, Blueface’s system will treat teams like a regular desk phone. As a result, you can add it to any call flow or ring strategy.
A smart ring strategy links a call from Teams to your desk phone so you never miss a call. Catching every call and improving productivity boosts your bottom line.
One criticism of Microsoft’s Calling Plans is the lack of predictability. Microsoft minute bundles are costly with no unlimited options. In addition to the licence, there are minute bundles and communication credits. As a result, monthly costs add up quickly and are unpredictable.
Integrated MS Teams becomes a lighter cost solution than Microsoft Dial Plans. Blueface offers call plans that feature unlimited calls to mobiles and landlines. Cloud phone solutions do not need a private branch exchange (PBX). No PBX means no repair costs.
Cloud providers no longer do per-minute billing for out of bundle calls. Instead, carriers do per second billing with real-time cost review. Shared minute pooling from Microsoft is not as easy to predict as per user billing from cloud carriers.
Software-driven solutions mean your business will also save on hardware costs. You no longer have to buy a desk phone for everyone. You can blend between hardware and software.
Integration offers benefits whether you prefer MS Teams or phone systems. Gain real-time bills, unlimited plans, hardware savings and simplicity.
Connectivity On The Go
MS Teams Phone Integration transforms your Teams App into a business landline. For both mobile and desktop, you can take calls anywhere without using personal numbers.
Mobility and multi-device strategies make business continuity very easy. If you lose local broadband, you can take calls on your MS Teams Mobile App. If you have no mobile data, your cloud phone system can forward calls to a mobile number.
As mentioned earlier, MS Teams is a regular device in call flows. So, you can make sure the office phone is never left unattended. If your desktop rings out, calls will automatically reroute depending on your setup.
Automated switching can route calls to different devices, users and sites based on time of day. Time of Day drastically reduces MS Teams and phone system admin.
Businesses can also save by adding new bring-your-own-device policies (BYOD). 85% of businesses have added BYOD since 2020. You can now allocate new device spending elsewhere. This is very useful for small businesses and startups.
MS Teams integration installs on a per user basis. As a result, some users can use the phone system only while others can be fully integrated. The important thing is that everyone has enterprise phone features.
Enterprise Telephony Features
Microsoft Teams has a handful of enterprise phone features. These features include auto-attendant, transfer, forwarding and voicemail but you can add more with integration.
On top of the basic enterprise call handling and end-to-end support that you would expect, you can also enjoy:
- Hardware: Instant provisioning, remote control and device health checks
- Handling: Time of day, simpler call flow design, presence, custom music on hold and IVR
- Oversight: Reception console, call recording, group calls, data dashboard and paging
- Classic: eFax, corporate directory, visual voicemail, number management
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. To dive a little deeper, one of the biggest missed features is call recording on desk phones and mobiles. Teams can record video calls but you cannot easily store phone calls without a third party.
However, not all your employees will need MS Teams. Per-user deployment means that even those who don’t have teams get the same mobility with Softphones. Everyone can have a digital dial pad with click-to-call, transfer, forward and hang up. This adds up to an excellent user experience.
Blueface offers a powerful UC Portal that simplifies an account admin’s role. They will have a better time managing their people and phones with no unexpected inflated bills. All call activity can be managed from one singular pane. Billing is simple and predictable.
Users will be able to share files, handle calls to mobiles and landlines and take advantage of even more features. They will get more mobility and launch into voice or video calls from the same platform.
No more juggling for stress-free call handling and teamwork.
How Long Does Microsoft Teams Integration Take?
Integration with Microsoft Teams can take anywhere from two weeks to one month. Use this checklist to prepare yourself for a Microsoft Teams Phone System Integration.
- Do you have Microsoft Teams?
- Do you have the correct Microsoft Teams Licence? Find this information in your admin centre.
- Do you currently have a cloud phone system?
- Does your cloud phone system provider integrate with Microsoft Teams?
- If not, do you need to move your phone number set to a new provider?
If you have the right MS Teams licence and an integrating provider, setup is quick and easy. Moving from copper lines to the cloud and moving numbers can extend the timeline. Integration can take longer for large businesses with custom needs.
Importantly, there will be zero downtime throughout to help you integrate with confidence.
Take Your MS Teams Integration to the Next Level With Blueface
Blueface works with you to seamlessly add a phone system to Microsoft Teams. Here’s a quick refresher that will make integration with Microsoft Teams even easier.
- Better user experience for users and admins
- Collaboration and communication in one single pane
- Transparent pricing with unlimited plans for Teams calls
- Per-user deployment
- MS Teams Mobile App functions like a softphone
- Keep your existing phone number estate
- Reduce call queues and catch every call
- Get essential features like recording, time of day and advanced IVR
- Add a BYOD policy and cut costs for your business
- Enterprise-grade call transit and security
- Highly rated customer service
Ready to integrate your phone system with Microsoft Teams?
Get in touch with our Blueface Unified Communications experts today! We’re here to help you get more value out of MS Teams with our market-leading cloud phone system.