In today’s tech-driven world, business owners and IT decision-makers are slashing their communication costs by switching from legacy phone systems to cloud-hosted solutions. They’ve grown to appreciate the scalability, predictable pricing, and ability to choose the features that make the most sense for their organizations. Many of these companies are taking their communication capabilities to the next level by combining enterprise voice with Microsoft Teams, one of the most widely used collaboration platforms available.
Within two years of its launch, Microsoft Teams was the platform of choice for 500,000 organizations. The company announced reaching an impressive 44 million daily users in 2020. Today, Microsoft Teams has more than 280 million active users and is the most popular conferencing platform in 41 countries. Although enterprise voice and Microsoft Teams offer an impressive list of capabilities individually, there’s a good reason why so many companies find their combined features a force for efficient, streamlined success.
Why Businesses are Enhancing Enterprise Voice with Microsoft Teams
Enterprise voice brings modern business communication essentials to a single user-friendly interface accessible from nearly any internet-capable device or business phone. It offers a flexible set of technologies that grant both in-office and remote employees access to advanced call functionalities not found with traditional phone systems.
Instead of relying on an outdated system of cables and wires, all incoming and outgoing calls are converted to digital packets and transmitted over the Internet. Since there’s no need for a centralized phone system, even an entirely remote workforce can appear to be making and receiving calls from a central location. Microsoft Teams adds even more value to the following advantages of enterprise voice.
Reducing Communication Costs
After factoring in monthly invoices paid to legacy phone service providers, the cost of equipment maintenance and system upgrades, and the yearly (or monthly) fees for the software solutions needed to support off-premises work, business communication costs have increased by as much as 30%. For mid-to-enterprise level companies still paying for “workaround” communication solutions, the additional costs can add up to considerable sums.
With cloud-hosted enterprise voice, there’s no costly infrastructure to maintain. Business owners have the freedom to add as many “lines” as needed to keep their workforce connected without having to pay a technician to install additional circuits. Working with a Microsoft-approved managed service provider—a company offering enterprise voice—further reduces the cost of deploying and managing Teams in-house.
Adding Microsoft Teams into the mix ensures that remote and hybrid workers can continue to use a familiar platform for group chat, video conferencing, and team collaboration. With everything consolidated into a single platform, location managers have more control over their communication spend. They can add or remove active users or grant access to specific features as needed.
Streamlining Internal & External Communication
Legacy phone systems and digital communication technology aren’t all that compatible. With legacy systems, in-house teams need to be at their desks for incoming and outgoing calls. Incoming calls can be put on hold, muted, or transferred to another extension, but that’s about it.
Microsoft Teams, a cloud-hosted platform, is the better option in terms of flexibility (and mobility), but it also has limitations. Although Microsoft’s phone service can add voice capabilities to user accounts, the add-on service only works with digital devices or Teams-certified desktop phones.
In this regard, it’s enterprise voice that enhances the functionality of Microsoft Teams. Most businesses switching from a legacy phone service to enterprise voice can continue using their current business phones thanks to session-initiated protocol (SIP) trunking and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology. Older phone systems that are not SIP-enabled (most are) can be modified with inexpensive adaptors.
Choosing the services of a Microsoft-approved managed service provider over standard platform service enhances the capability of both solutions while also streamlining internal and external communication across multiple channels.
Unlocking Seamless Communication with Enterprise Features
Integrating Teams into an enterprise voice platform augments its chat, collaboration, and video conferencing features. Together, they’re closing the gaps between what enterprise voice and Microsoft Teams offer and what modern businesses need to unlock seamless communication, including an impressive list of enterprise voice capabilities (features that Microsoft’s add-on voice service doesn’t support on its own).
Subscribers pairing enterprise voice with Microsoft Teams are unlocking seamless communication with an impressive list of features, including robust, cost-effective call center support and call monitoring capabilities. Although Microsoft does provide a limited number of call center features with its voice bundles, Microsoft-only subscribers can’t configure call queues or auto attendants in Teams without a resource account for each attendant, a Teams-compatible phone system, and a virtual agent license.
Security and Support from a Single Service Provider
On its own, Microsoft Teams offers multiple communication solutions. However, Microsoft doesn’t provide the support or training needed to manage company-wide migration to the cloud. That can be problematic when a company’s IT department lacks the experience in deploying the platform to manage the process efficiently. When that happens, companies are at risk of experiencing costly downtime.
Enhancing enterprise voice with Microsoft Teams through an approved partner helps ensure a smooth transition and top-tier support. Microsoft-approved managed service providers have the technical expertise and experience needed to deploy and manage Teams efficiently. They can also help businesses across multiple industries customize the technology to accommodate specific needs, including industry-specific security standards, while providing assistance with everything from platform troubleshooting and training to continuous security monitoring.
Exploring the Features Microsoft Teams Brings to Enterprise Voice Communication
If your remote workers are already collaborating through Microsoft Teams, you know firsthand how often your associates use the platform. You probably also know that, like enterprise voice, Teams can be accessed from a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. But without the app, its website features are somewhat limited.
If you’re not familiar with the software, you may find it helpful to browse a few of the more noteworthy features Teams’ collaboration technology brings to the table. Consider some of the many advantages of having the following features deployed from a secure location that consolidates all your communication needs into a single user-friendly interface.
Video Conferencing & Collaboration
Enterprise voice can keep remote workers connected. Adding real-time video into the equation personalizes the experience and helps bring people together as a team. For that reason, video collaboration is considered the next-best alternative to in-person meetings. Companies are making use of the technology not only to support their remote and hybrid workforce but also to minimize travel-related expenses.
With Microsoft Teams, your business can simplify tasks and efficiently collaborate in many ways.
- Video collaboration can be transcribed or recorded for future reference.
- Participants can share whiteboards and files.
- Team leaders can conduct polls and surveys.
- Large groups can split into smaller groups in virtual “breakout rooms.”
Team Chat & Team Channels
Microsoft Team Chat and Team Channels are text-based communication solutions. To start a conversation, team members simply select (and click on) New Chat at the top of their chat list and enter the name, phone number, or email address of the people (or person) they want to include. Chats are private; channels are public.
According to Microsoft, channel conversations are typically used for collaborating on specific projects; chats are more likely to focus on day-to-day matters. Microsoft Teams further enhances the capabilities of enterprise voice with real-time chat capabilities through Microsoft Instant Messaging.
Microsoft Application Integration
Microsoft Teams is designed to work seamlessly with other Microsoft applications. This feature enhances workplace productivity by making it easy for users to schedule and join meetings directly from their Outlook calendar, access and share files on OneDrive, or use Power BI to view business intelligence information securely or share documents with authorized personnel. Teams’ integration with Microsoft Planner allows meeting participants to create and manage complex tasks.
Microsoft Teams also integrates with other Microsoft 365 applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Multiple users can work on the same documents with co-authoring features, leave comments and feedback on in-progress manuscripts, and more, for a fully streamlined user experience.
Enterprise Voice and Microsoft Teams: The Winning Combination for Your Business
By definition, enterprise voice is a technology used to transmit speech. However, not all enterprise voice providers have the ability to integrate Microsoft Teams into their services. Investing in enterprise voice-enabled Microsoft Teams from an approved managed service provider helps reduce the overall cost of the services your business needs for efficient, effective communication. You won’t have to spend a lot upgrading your current phone system. Plus, your business communication solutions are scalable, customizable, and fully integrated.
BCM One is a Direct Gold Microsoft Partner. That distinction gives us the ability to offer end-to-end Teams deployment, enterprise-grade collaboration training, and exemplary support. But Teams isn’t the only software we can integrate into a stack of business communication solutions. With Pure IP under our umbrella, we have a global footprint and the ability to integrate the solutions that make the most sense for your business. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your company manage all your professional communications.