Is Microsoft Teams Enough to Replace Your Phone System?
Microsoft Teams’ popularity grew enormously during 2020, particularly with so many people working remotely in light of COVID-19. The Verge reported Teams’ usage jumped from 44 million daily active users in March 2020 to more than 75 million in April the same year – a 70% (trying to keep 70% on the same line) increase in only 30 days.
You may now love this powerful application and wonder if Microsoft Teams can replace your phone system altogether. This is a common question now because traditional phone systems lack many of the Teams features businesses need and have gotten used to. But, before you jump on board, there are several factors to consider before you make a decision.
Microsoft Teams Features and Limitations
If cost is your primary consideration, Microsoft Teams does offer a free version of its collaboration platform but only for commercial Microsoft365 subscribers. According to PCMag, if you have this subscription, you can take advantage of unlimited chats, audio and video calls, 10GB of file storage for your team and 2GB of file storage per employee.
This Microsoft365 package is beneficial, enabling you to integrate those features you may use every day with Teams, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. You can also incorporate nearly 150 other business applications and add up to 300 people to your Teams’ contacts, even those outside your organization.
On the plus side, Microsoft Teams offers capabilities beyond those traditionally associated with phone systems, such as video calls, chat and file storage. Where it comes up short is with providing businesses with enterprise-level PBX call features, such as multi-location calls, call routing, queuing and call reporting.
You have to keep in mind that Microsoft did not build Teams as an enterprise communications system but a collaboration platform with basic calling features. While the video, chat and file storage components have been critical to so many people working remotely, Microsoft Teams can’t completely replace a phone system, particularly for more complex enterprise infrastructures.
However, telecom leaders have found ways to supercharge Teams with voice capabilities to convert it into a robust platform for businesses.
Analyze Your Current System Status
Before you can decide if Microsoft Teams can replace your phone system, you have to compare your business needs with all Teams’ features. For solopreneurs or very small businesses, Teams may actually work just fine on its own. You just have to stay within their calling plan parameters and settle for basic call features.
Microsoft does offer calling plans, but they can be relatively pricey and somewhat limited compared to what most carriers provide, especially regarding feature availability in certain countries.
Think about the experience you want your incoming callers to have as well. Uptime, call quality, call routing, extensions and call transfers are just a few of the phone features they’ve come to expect.
You need to provide a seamless, pleasant calling experience, one that routes customers to the right person quickly and with minimal bouncing. Teams doesn’t have an enterprise-level phone system functionality, so if you replace your phone system with Teams, you’ll be giving up these types of features.
However, investing in your current network could be beneficial if you want to leverage the benefits of voice and Microsoft Teams to scale your communications network to fit all of your business needs.
Related: Giving Microsoft Teams a Voice
Getting the Most Out of Your Current Phone System and Microsoft Teams
Look for a provider that can boost your Teams instance by filling the voice and service gaps you may experience using only Microsoft Teams alone. A voice-enabled Teams solution transforms your Teams capability into a complete enterprise voice platform. You’ll get all of the video, chat, file storage and Microsoft integrations you love about Teams plus the enterprise voice features your growing business still needs.
Whether you have a SIP service or a UCaaS/hosted voice, Voice-Enabled Teams can support your network. Here’s how it works in different scenarios:
You already have a SIP service and Microsoft Teams
If you use a SIP service and Microsoft Teams, a leading provider will connect your existing SIP trunks with your current Microsoft Teams licenses.
You have a SIP service and aren’t using Microsoft Teams
If you have a SIP service and want to take advantage of Teams’ functionality as well, top providers can provide you with your required Teams’ licenses and connect your existing SIP trunks.
You have Microsoft Teams and no SIP service
If you are using Teams and realizing you can’t do as much as you want, you may want to consider replacing your hosted PBX with a more modern SIP service. A true industry leader will provide you with SIP trunks and connect them to your existing Microsoft Teams’ licenses.
You don’t have a SIP service or Microsoft Teams
If you’re looking for a voice solution and the Microsoft Teams capabilities, there’s never a better time to build out your network. A leading company can provide you with both your Teams’ licenses and your SIP trunks.
You have a UCaaS hosted voice service and Microsoft Teams
Suppose you already have a professional UCaaS hosted voice solution, or a Broadsoft UCaaS hosted voice solution from another provider and Microsoft Teams. In that case, you can have your provider connect your UCaaS solution with your existing Teams to create a much more robust communications and collaboration platform.
You have a UCaaS hosted voice without Microsoft Teams
If you’re using a top UCaaS hosted voice solution or a Broadsoft UCaaS hosted voice solution but haven’t leveraged Microsoft Teams yet, your chosen partner can provide you with the necessary Teams’ licenses. They can also connect the two systems so you can enhance your existing communications and collaboration capabilities.
You don’t use a UCaaS hosted voice system or Microsoft Teams
Ready to build up your existing phone system to create an enterprise-level platform that can support your organization’s communications and collaboration needs? Choose an experienced telecom company that can provide you with everything you need for a UCaaS solution and Microsoft Teams licensing and integration.
Integrating Microsoft Teams with Voice Capabilities Requires Expertise
You may not be on the road to having Microsoft Teams replace your phone system. Still, if you are more interested in enhancing your current voice capabilities to include Teams, you may need to look outside of your own IT team and let them focus on other network priorities.
When considering Microsoft Teams, be sure you work with a provider with extensive Microsoft experience. Integrations can be tricky and the whole point of scaling your voice and collaboration capabilities is to give you all of the modern communications features you want without all of the complexity.
Work with a provider with a Microsoft Gold Partner certification and a dedicated Microsoft team. Gold Partners must demonstrate best-in-class capabilities within a specific Microsoft solution. You’ll save time and headaches during implementation and they’ll be able to troubleshoot any issues you may have in the future.
Similarly, if you are upgrading your existing phone system or integrating Microsoft Teams into your phone system, you want to work with a provider with both Microsoft experience and telecom expertise. While enhancing and streamlining your voice network brings significant value-add, you need to make sure you do it right the first time. Any glitch or mistake can result in extended downtime, leading to a substantial loss of productivity, lost customers and poor customer service.
Today’s businesses require modern communications and collaboration capabilities. Make sure your employees have what they need to be successful no matter where they work and your customers have the best experience possible when contacting your organization. BCM One guarantees it all and more. Contact us today.