Nearly 90% of businesses are using cloud-hosted collaboration tools to help coworkers solve complex problems, boost efficiency, optimize productivity, and improve communication. According to data compiled by Frost & Sullivan, collaboration software is a sound investment. In an article published by the career experts at Zippia, workplace collaboration improves customer satisfaction scores by 41%, increases product development by 30%, and boosts overall sales by up to 27%. Yes, the numbers are impressive.
Of the many business collaboration solutions available, Microsoft Teams is the platform of choice for numerous companies nationwide. But it’s primarily known as chat-based collaboration software. For truly seamless collaboration, companies are integrating enterprise voice with Microsoft Teams.
Enterprise voice is known for its ability to bring modern business communication essentials—video, voice, data, and software integrations, for example—to a single, cost-effective, user-friendly interface. Microsoft Teams is a powerful collaboration platform used for everything from large group meetings to planning and managing complex tasks. When paired with enterprise voice, Teams becomes a collaboration powerhouse with robust productivity-enhancing features Microsoft doesn’t offer.
How Merging Enterprise Voice with Microsoft Teams Transforms Workplace Collaboration
Microsoft Teams has the distinction of being the most popular conferencing platform in more than 40 countries. It supports the business collaboration needs of about 320 million active users worldwide. The platform is designed to work seamlessly with other Microsoft applications, a collaborative advantage that gives Teams members the ability to:
- Schedule and join meetings directly from their Outlook calendars
- Exchange files in One Drive
- Input data to shared documents with co-authoring features in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Teams members also have the ability to make and receive calls. Enabled users can initiate external calls after logging in to the platform. In 2022, Microsoft added a bundled calling plan option to Teams, a solution that gave end-users the ability to make and receive calls to and from mobile phones and landlines.
Although migrating to the cloud with Microsoft taking on the role of a phone service provider can be a great alternative to installing and maintaining legacy phone service, Microsoft Teams voice capabilities are best suited for small to mid-sized companies.
Decision-makers for larger enterprises tend to find they get more robust, flexible, and affordable communication and collaboration solutions by merging Teams with the enterprise voice services of a Microsoft-approved managed service provider, a Microsoft Operator Connect Partner. Integrating voice-enabled Teams into an enterprise communication platform delivers a more impactful, dynamic experience.
Related: What is Enterprise Voice Service?
Whether you’ve been a Teams fan for years or are learning about its collaboration capabilities for the first time, you may want to take a few minutes to consider the following examples of their synergistic relationship.
Providing Unified Business Communication and Collaboration Solutions
There’s no denying that Microsoft Teams offers an impressive number of in-demand features modern businesses need for efficient, effective collaboration. But even with Microsoft’s voice-enabled bundled calling plans, the platform is essentially a one-size-fits-most service.
Business owners looking for the efficiency-maximizing potential of a fully unified business communication service need to invest in a Microsoft-approved Teams-enabled system to bring everything together. However, investing in a Teams-certified system does not expand the functionality of the platform. Its capabilities remain the same.
Integrating enterprise voice with Microsoft Teams ensures your ability to build on what Teams does best without having to invest in costly hardware upgrades or a new phone system. Most business owners (and their workforce) can take advantage of everything their cloud-hosted communication service has to offer while continuing to use their legacy phones. Older models that aren’t compatible with Session-Initiated Protocol (SIP) and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies are easily modified with inexpensive adaptors.
Expanding the Enterprise Voice Features on the Microsoft Teams Platform
With Microsoft’s one-size-fits-most add-on, members have access to call transcriptions, operator connect, auto attendants, voicemail, and call queues. However, end-users can’t configure call queues or auto attendants in Teams without a resource account for each attendant, a compatible phone system, and virtual user licensing. Such requirements increase the cost of communication using Microsoft’s services.
Integrating Microsoft Teams into enterprise voice services completely changes the dynamic. With enterprise voice and Microsoft Teams working together, business owners have a flexible, scalable service that augments impressive video conferencing, chat, and collaboration capabilities with the same enterprise features as Microsoft Teams, plus advanced call routing capabilities, AI-enhanced call reporting, call holding, paging, and intercom functions.
With business communication services consolidated into a single cloud-hosted platform, everything a company needs to support communication and collaboration is accessible from nearly any internet-capable device.
Adding Advanced Call Center Features, Data Analytics, And Workflow Optimization Capabilities
Now you know that companies using Microsoft Teams benefit from some of the most in-demand business collaboration solutions available because of its compatibility with other Microsoft software. It’s also easy to see how a company could have just about everything it needs for business communication with voice capabilities added to the mix. But without enterprise voice, they may not have the option of using some of today’s most in-demand features.
Take call center support for example. Although having Microsoft’s voice service in Teams provides access to several call center features, those services that are native to Microsoft Teams are relatively basic.
After integrating additional applications with Teams, call center representatives can be tasked with forwarding incoming calls, booking appointments, providing customer support, making sales calls, and more. It’s like having receptionists or customer service reps in-house without having to hire additional staff. Related: Voice For Teams: The Benefits Of Voice-Enabling Teams
Enterprise voice subscribers can also integrate real-time analytics into their call center services that track and record call volume and hold times. Department managers and team leaders could know at a glance which multimedia channels their customers prefer for communication, or they could automate a selection of services with chatbots enhanced with “teachable” AI technology.
Expert Migration Deployment And Application Customization
In the telecom industry, migration is the term used for the processes of moving an organization’s legacy phone service to a cloud-hosted platform. Although Microsoft now functions as a phone service provider, the company does not assist with migration. It’s not always an obstacle. Most small business owners with relatively few employees and an uncomplicated operational structure can manage the task.
However, for mid-to-enterprise-level organizations with multiple departments or more than one location, migration is a complex, multi-step process that requires the expertise of an experienced IT department. There are readiness assessments to complete, networks to configure, routing features to select, pilot sites to test, and more.
For business owners and IT decision-makers pairing enterprise voice with Microsoft Teams on a platform managed by a Microsoft-approved partner, there’s far less risk of costly communication downtime. They’re migration specialists, Teams experts, and authorities in customizing Teams to accommodate specific business needs.
Complete Integration to a Secure, Geo-Redundant Network
Microsoft Teams and enterprise voice services from reputable platform providers both offer robust security features, including the latest advances in encryption technology. Teams software complies with the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Security Development Lifecycle (SDL).
Communication channels in Microsoft Teams are encrypted by default. Whether used independently or integrated with enterprise voice, Microsoft Teams calls are private, shared documents are protected, and sensitive files are secure. But there are still advantages to having your communication services integrated into a single platform.
Enterprise voice service providers also go to great lengths to ensure system security. Look for (or ask about) protocols like multi-factor authentication (MFA) protected data security, transport layer security (TLS), and secure real-time transport protocols.
With Microsoft Teams integrated into a geo-redundant network with robust backup power systems in place, the risk of service downtime is minimal. Connection disruptions are detected in milliseconds. If a company’s internet service is disrupted for any reason, incoming calls are easily redirected to an alternate number. For an additional layer of security, companies with a global reach may want to consider adding SD-WAN technology.
Could Enterprise Voice & Microsoft Teams Integration Be Your Best Option for Seamless Collaboration?
Microsoft Teams is a powerful communication and collaboration platform with around 320 million active users. Enterprise voice is known for bringing modern business communication essentials, including video, voice, data, and software integration, to a single user-friendly interface. Together, they’re closing the gaps between the advantages they offer individually and what today’s businesses need for seamless collaboration, cost-effective business communication, and optimal productivity.
To learn more about the advantages of enterprise voice with Microsoft Teams, visit BCM One, a Direct Gold Microsoft Partner. Our partnership is a distinction that confirms our ability to offer end-to-end Teams deployment, enterprise-grade collaboration training, and exemplary support. Contact us to learn more about supporting your staff with BCM One. We work with mid-sized, multi-site organizations to develop secure, compliant, cost-effective business solutions that support the way your business communicates and collaborates.