How Can Microsoft Teams Make External Calls If It Doesn’t Have Voice Capabilities?
The popularity of Microsoft Teams has exploded recently due to the large number of people working remotely. UC Today reported nearly 270 million monthly active users in January 2022. The number of Fortune 500 Companies using Teams climbed to 9 out of 10, and the number of Teams Rooms has nearly doubled in the last year. Small and large businesses alike have switched to Microsoft Teams in order to enhance this tool’s built-in features, but many of these users started asking whether Microsoft Teams can make external calls.
Microsoft did not build Teams as a comprehensive communications system but as an online collaboration platform with the ability to add basic telephony for an additional fee. . Microsoft Teams’ video, chat, and file storage components are critical to many people working remotely, but it lacks advanced features medium to large-sized companies need.
Microsoft Teams is a powerful solution and may now be your most used or favorite application, and you may want to consider switching to Microsoft Teams as your company’s primary communications platform. Many businesses want to make this transition as soon as possible because their traditional phone systems do not have Teams’ collaboration capabilities. However, you have to consider several factors before making the switch. Let’s review them in detail in the following section.
What to Consider Before Deciding to Move to Voice-Enabled Microsoft Teams
Traditional and cloud-based telecom companies have enhanced Microsoft Teams with voice capabilities to meet the needs of businesses looking to improve their communications with its collaborative capabilities. It can replace traditional phone systems with a more robust collaboration platform to keep everyone connected and allows Microsoft Teams to make external calls plus other phone features.
Microsoft Teams offers a range of collaborative features for your business. The free version includes the following capabilities:
- High-quality audio and video meetings scheduled or on-demand.
- Share quoted chats and files before, during, and after sessions.
- Schedule an unlimited number of group meetings, each lasting up to 60 minutes.
- 1:1 sessions can last up to 30 hours.
- Each meeting can host up to 100 participants.
- Each user has 5 GB of free cloud storage accessible across multiple devices via OneDrive.
- Chat with coworkers and customers without limits.
- Conduct polls, share files (up to 2 GB in chat), and assign tasks.
- Share your screen with other users during meetings.
- Your files, chats, calls, and meetings come with Microsoft’s data encryption during transfer and storage.
- Invite users to collaborate in chats and meetings inside and outside your organization. Users without a Teams account can also attend.
- View your Outlook calendar and import contacts from Outlook or Skype.
- Users can use text, video, and channel conversations to continue the discussion in as many ways as necessary.
- You can connect across Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. It supports 105 languages and locales across the world.
Deciding to migrate to voice-enabled Teams with the right provider can help your business take this tool to the next level. Follow these steps to make the right choice.
1. Consider Cost
While a free version of Microsoft Teams is available, it may not provide the features and scalability your business needs. You may be able to get the collaboration features you need from Teams alongside your business phone system for operations.
Microsoft Teams offers several collaborative features that traditional business phone systems do not have, including file sharing and video conferencing. However, it lacks several enterprise-grade features that most businesses deem essential to their daily operations. A cloud-based or traditional telecom can provide multi-location calling, call routing, call queuing, and call reporting that Teams cannot.
2. Assess Your Current System’s Status
You may have determined that the free Teams version will not meet the needs of your business. Before you rely on Microsoft Teams to make external calls, you can weigh your business needs against all Teams’ features.
While entrepreneurs and small businesses starting out may use Teams effectively with minor workarounds, capabilities can be limiting. The parameters of Microsoft’s calling plans and the use of its basic calling features provide minimal flexibility.
Microsoft’s calling plans can also be expensive, reducing the scalability of your Teams phone system for business. Calling is limited compared to modern carriers, and several markets do not have all Teams’ calling features.
It helps to consider how you want your incoming callers to experience your company’s service. There are many benefits from carriers that they expect to deliver a satisfactory call experience, including uptime, voice quality, call routing and transfer, and extensions.
Providing a seamless, pleasant customer call experience is crucial, ensuring customers’ calls are routed appropriately, quickly, and with minimal bouncing. Teams lacks enterprise-grade phone system functionality. That said, it is possible to leverage the benefits of voice and Microsoft Teams to scale your communications network to fit your business needs if you invest in enhancing your current network.
3. Find the Best Microsoft Teams Voice Calling Partner
“Can Microsoft Teams make external calls?” The answer is yes, with the help of a trusted telecom partner.
After realizing its limitations, IT and telecom companies began to think of ways to integrate Microsoft Teams with voice calling. Businesses with the best understanding of Teams’ value also recognized its limitations in terms of other features it lacks, including fax, phone tree, voicemail, and advanced routing.
By partnering with a modern voice provider, you can enhance Microsoft Teams with features your business needs, such as enterprise voice or collaboration. Below is a quick guide to finding a leading partner to get your company on voice-enabled Teams:
Unparalleled track record and proven telecom expertise
To deploy Microsoft Teams voice calling, you must expand the scope of your IT department and allow them to focus on other business tasks. Look for a reputable provider who can enhance Microsoft Teams by thoroughly studying your network and bridging any gaps in voice and service you experience when using Teams on its own.
By adding voice capabilities to Teams, this partner can instantly convert it into an enterprise voice platform. Teams will continue to allow you to access all the video, chat, storage, and Microsoft integrations you are already using, along with business voice features.
Voice is vital to most businesses. If you depend on voice, choose a partner with voice-enabled Microsoft Teams and telecom experience to implement your Teams voice calling. An excellent partner will streamline your communications with Teams.
Be sure to select a company that is capable of answering “Can Microsoft Teams make external calls?” and is also Microsoft certified and has extensive experience with Microsoft products. Scaling your communication capabilities can be complex, but the goal is to give you all the features you desire without doing so in a time-consuming way.
When you choose an accredited Microsoft Gold Partner, you can be sure you are in the best possible hands. To qualify as Gold Partners, an approved Microsoft provider must demonstrate the highest level of expertise. In addition to reducing time and costs and avoiding future headaches, their involvement will make the implementation process more manageable.
Replace or Enhance Your Phone System With Microsoft Teams
If voice-enabled Teams is suitable for your company, find the right partner to help integrate Microsoft Teams into your business. Several options are available depending on your existing phone system and the considerations above. While small businesses and entrepreneurs may be able to replace their carrier phone system with Microsoft Teams, large companies that require enterprise-grade features need to integrate Teams into a more robust telecom system with the help of a provider.
Microsoft Teams on SIP
A session initiation protocol (SIP) provider that offers voice-enabled Teams can bridge the gap between carrier-grade features and Microsoft’s collaborative features. Your business may have invested in a traditional private branch exchange (PBX) for trunking over a public switched telephone network (PSTN) or an IP-enabled PBX for SIP trunking and not be ready to let it go. With the right platform, you can still use your PBX and support voice-enabled Microsoft Teams for more collaborative features.
SIP trunks and Microsoft Teams can be connected using a provider’s session border controller (SBC), an interconnect between two network borders to control communication sessions. Your SIP and Microsoft Teams phone system will allow you to use Microsoft Teams to make external calls.
A SIP trunking platform that offers shared SIP trunking resources allows your PBX and Teams phone system to share a SIP trunk. An excellent provider allows the Teams and PBX network to connect using SBCs and offers failover between the two networks for disaster recovery. You can mask Teams calls and use both systems to make concurrent calls on the same trunk.
If you do not have SIP, you can find a provider that offers cloud SIP trunking and connect Microsoft Teams using an SBC. A cloud-based platform simplifies the integration of Teams for voice calls using SIP. Combining Microsoft Teams with SIP provides features similar to Microsoft Teams’ voice calling but allows for more users, increased call clarity and reliability, call masking, and better management of users worldwide.
Microsoft Teams on UCaaS
Your business may have a unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaasS) provider for voice and use Microsoft Teams separately. A UCaaS platform may be able to integrate your Teams into the communications service for more reliability and collaboration.
If your business uses the Microsoft Teams phone system, you can improve overall communications and integrate Teams by selecting a reputable UCaaS platform. The provider can enhance your communications with UCaaS and seamless voice-enabled Microsoft Teams integration.
A hybrid form of UCaaS and Teams can flexibly meet the needs of some organizations. An excellent UCaaS provider allows users to make calls using voice-enabled Microsoft Teams and select users to make calls using the UCaaS system. An ideal solution for maximizing productivity and minimizing costs in call center environments. A UCaaS provider with Microsoft Teams can provide an all-in-one solution for your communications and allow you to use Microsoft Teams to make external calls.
The Benefits of Using Voice-Enabled Microsoft Teams With a Cloud Telecom Platform
While voice communication and collaboration is the primary benefit of voice-enabled Microsoft Teams, you receive various advantages when you integrate it using cloud SIP or a UCaaS platform. According to a survey by McKinsey, 58% of workers in America can work remotely at least one day per week. Remote workers benefit from the collaborative features, and clear communication voice-enabled Microsoft Teams provides. With a cloud telecom platform, your Teams will have enhanced collaboration, features, scalability, and support.
Voice-enabled Teams from a provider enhances your experience with the following benefits:
- Integration with your intercom and telephone paging system
- Call queuing and advanced call routing for holidays and off-hours
- Presence and advanced call reporting
- Conference and video-conference calling
- Use existing desktop phones of any brand
- Network level support and monitoring
- Scalability at a lower cost than Microsoft’s voice plans
- E911 management
- Disaster recovery
- High-reliability with 99.99% uptime
- Simple configuration portal
Microsoft Teams can also replace Zoom and other apps for video meetings in virtual and hybrid office environments. It overcomes some of the pitfalls of a virtual office in Zoom with features like file sharing and quoting a chat or file in a meeting.
Make External Calls in Microsoft Teams With a Telecommunications Partner
Microsoft Teams provides various collaborative features that businesses want to take advantage of, especially for virtual and hybrid office environments. There is no reason to choose between these features and a reliable, enterprise-grade phone system. You can integrate your existing PBX or a cloud-based solution into Teams with a UCaaS or SIP platform, providing an all-in-one solution that lets you use Microsoft Teams to make external calls.
BCM One can turn your Microsoft Teams collaboration platform into a unified communications and collaboration system with enterprise-grade capabilities. Our team of Microsoft Certified professionals will help you turn your basic phone system into a powerful communication tool. Your company can adapt to the changing work environment by enabling employees to work from home, on the road, or in a coworking space. Communication between employees, customers, partners, and vendors will be more robust with an advanced solution like voice-enabled Microsoft Teams. Contact us to get started today.