More than a million organizations choose Microsoft Teams as their default messaging service. That number, according to Microsoft’s most recent updates, includes 91 Fortune 100 companies and more than 183,000 educational institutions. When adding voice for Teams, users also have the option of using Microsoft as their phone service provider.
Since Teams was developed to function as part of Microsoft 365, the system works seamlessly with Outlook, One Drive, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and Exchange. Although Microsoft’s add-on voice service provides an impressive number of features, business owners and IT decision-makers also have the option of integrating the popular communication and collaboration platform with advanced voice capabilities that take the features of voice for Teams to unprecedented heights.
Exploring the Features and Benefits of Voice for Teams
Microsoft Teams is the most popular conferencing platform in more than 40 countries. It supports the business collaboration needs of more than 320 million active users. With Teams, subscribers can join meetings directly from their Outlook calendars, co-author documents, exchange files, and more. The addition of connecting PSTN services gives end users the ability to make and receive calls to and from their PCs, mobile phones, softphones, and even landlines.
Microsoft’s cloud-hosted service requires no physical infrastructure, meaning the entire platform is accessible from nearly any internet-capable device. That makes investing in voice licensing an attractive option for small business owners hesitant to absorb the cost of installing, managing, and maintaining a dedicated business phone in-house.
IT decision-makers looking for the advantages of fully unified communication services have an impressive number of features available natively in the cloud platform, including the following examples.
Also known as automated attendants or virtual receptionists, auto attendant prompts ensure your incoming calls are directed to the right person, department, or voicemail based on caller responses.
The feature helps businesses improve operational efficiency by reducing the number of missed or misdirected calls. Teams’ auto attendants can manage multiple calls simultaneously, which can also improve customer satisfaction scores. Call routing options can be changed as needed to accommodate business hours, off hours, and holidays in multiple languages.
Call centers typically use call queue features to manage incoming calls. They can be configured to calculate and announce estimated wait times and quickly match callers to agents assigned to manage specific issues.
It’s a feature that ensures customer concerns are resolved quickly, which in turn, helps improve brand loyalty. In Microsoft Teams, administrators can record a greeting and select the music their callers hear while waiting for assistance. They can also select their preferred method of managing overflow. For instance, incoming calls are routed first in, first out (FIFO).
Call Quality Analytics
Microsoft’s Call Quality Dashboard provides an impressive number of service analytics and insights. In addition to the system’s basic usage reports, administrators have a comprehensive view of overall performance. Managers and IT agents can view detailed reports of monthly trends based on the evaluation of overall audio quality and system performance. Communication session failures are identified by media type, drop rate, setup configurations, and other details that provide an overview of why breakdowns and service interruptions occur.
Call Sharing & Group Call Pickup
Microsoft Teams’ call-sharing feature makes it easy for Teams members to participate in collaborative calls with colleagues. Subscribers adding coworkers to a call group can specify if they want members notified simultaneously or in a specific order. With the group call pickup feature, call-sharing participants can configure how they want to be notified.
However, there are several prerequisites to consider. Teams subscribers using Microsoft Business Voice need to be assigned to a Teams Phone license to utilize these features. Although Teams subscribers who are eligible to use the feature can only “own” one call group, they can participate in up to 25.
Call Transfers & Call Retrieve
The platform’s call transfer feature allows end users to route calls to another recipient. Through the Teams dashboard, users can easily place the call on hold before the transfer. Teams members included in your organization’s call park policy can also retrieve calls that are on hold on their mobile devices from their desktop phones, an attractive feature for anyone taking business calls on their way to the office.
Voice Recording & Transcription
Call recording can be configured to capture audio, video, and screen-sharing activity for reference or review at another time. When implementing Business Voice for Teams, the call transcription feature makes meetings more inclusive for members with differing levels of language proficiency, those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and those working from locations with a lot of noise. The feature allows users to play back recordings with closed captions, highlight important details in shared calls, and create internal information banks.
How Integrating Teams Into an Advanced Communication Platform Enhances Its Functionality
Now that you know what functionality voice for Teams brings to the table, it’s easy to understand why so many companies use the platform to support their workforces. Investing in Teams’ add-on voice capabilities to facilitate calls from cellphones and landlines makes a lot of sense.
With Microsoft as their phone service provider, business owners and their IT decision-makers have the option of purchasing domestic and international calling plans or “pay-as-you-go” services for outbound calls. Business Voice for Teams subscribers are not charged for incoming calls. However, this option is best suited for smaller companies.
Decision-makers for larger organizations often find they get the best value (and more support) by integrating Teams into a communication stack provided by an experienced Microsoft Operator Connect Partner. Microsoft-approved business communication experts provide solutions that are highly scalable, cost-effective, and more efficient than Microsoft’s as-is service without changing how end-users interact with Teams software. The advantages are clear.
Access to Enterprise Voice Features Microsoft Doesn’t Offer
Microsoft’s add-on voice for Teams service gives business owners a considerable number of features they don’t get with legacy phone service. However, larger organizations often find the features too basic for their needs. They want Teams to do more. Some Microsoft-approved communication providers have the expertise needed to augment Teams’ voice capabilities through integration with other platforms and applications, providing a more unified solution for the enterprise, including advanced call routing and queues, intercom capabilities, virtual paging, analog faxing, and advanced call analytics, features Microsoft doesn’t offer.
More Control Over Business Communication Costs
Many features of Microsoft’s Business Voice for Teams, including the platform’s call queues and auto attendants, can’t be configured without a resource account for each virtual attendant and virtual agent licensing. Such details can significantly increase the cost of service. Even with those features enabled, the pool of minutes shared between Teams subscribers doesn’t roll over.
Merging the power of Teams with the voice solutions offered by a Microsoft-approved operator gives your company the many cost-saving advantages of having scalable communication and collaboration solutions with more flexibility.
Expertly Deployed Voice Migration
For businesses with a small staff and uncomplicated operational structure, cloud migration is relatively straightforward. For organizations with multiple departments in several locations, it’s a complex, multi-step process that requires considerable experience and expertise.
However, migration assistance is not a service Microsoft provides. Your IT department will have to perform multiple readiness assessments, reconfigure networks, test pilot sites, and more. With Microsoft Teams integrated into a business communication platform managed by a Microsoft-approved partner, you’ll gain access to a team of highly skilled migration specialists to ensure a smooth transition. The process can even be customized whether you’re ready for company-wide migration or prefer scaling the process over time.
Advanced Call Center Features & Customer Support
Microsoft Business Voice for Teams offers several basic call center functions. Integrating Teams into a unified communication environment gives you the option of investing in full-service solutions that help streamline your processes.
With the right provider, you’ll have access to everything from virtual call center representatives trained to schedule appointments and provide customer care to chatbots paired with today’s “teachable” AI technology capable of a “conversational” exchange of information. In addition, you can opt for a more robust set of translation tools than Microsoft provides.
See How Your Business Can Benefit from the Enhanced Power of Voice for Teams
With Microsoft’s bundled calling plans, Teams subscribers have an impressive number of features integrated into a single, user-friendly interface. Businesses integrating Teams into a robust communication platform provided by an experienced Microsoft Operator Connect Partner have that and more—without having to invest in a Teams-enabled phone system.
BCM One is an original Microsoft Operator Connect Partner. That distinction confirms our ability to offer end-to-end Teams deployment, enterprise-grade customization, and unparalleled training and support. Although Microsoft Teams isn’t the only software we can integrate into your customizable stack of communication solutions, it’s one of the most popular. Contact us to learn more about our ability to bridge the gaps between Microsoft Teams’ capabilities and the communication and collaboration solutions your business needs for optimal efficiency.