As the tools many of us have used to stay in touch with one another since March 2020, Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become household names, thanks to COVID-19. From kindergarteners to seniors, schools and churches to businesses and virtual happy hours, we’ve all become accustomed to using these video conferencing systems to connect with each other.
The pandemic, and the need for a virtual means of connection associated with it, skyrocketed Zoom and Teams from relative obscurity into a mainstay of society as a whole. Today, hundreds of millions of people use one or both platforms for video conferencing, but Teams can do much more for businesses when integrated with an enterprise-level voice communications platform.
Companies can extend their current use of Teams to include all of the secure, robust phone features in one solution. Why is this important? Because managing multiple, disconnected systems isn’t cost-effective or simple, and it doesn’t provide a streamlined experience for employees or those who do business with your company.
Zoom to Microsoft Teams to Voice-Enabled Teams
Zoom worked just fine for virtual social gatherings and even business meetings that didn’t require special features or enhanced security. But while Zoom has filled a niche exposed by COVID and made it easy to connect with each other remotely, it hasn’t been without its challenges. Since its widespread boom in popularity, it has encountered pitfalls that have stifled it in effectively bridging the virtual gap, security issues being amongst the most public.
This led many companies to adopt Microsoft Teams, if they weren’t using it already. Microsoft Teams seems to have overcome security risks, providing a secure platform built for business. Its biggest benefit was (is) that it is part of the Microsoft family so users can collaborate inside of their 365 subscription. For instance, PowerPoint Live enables users to engage with their audience live as they present their presentations, helping create an in-person-like experience.
But even with its more reliable and robust system, the native Teams license wasn’t designed for voice calling. Yes, it offers Teams Phone, but it only includes a short list of basic voice features and is has expensive, limited calling plans that aren’t ideal for a growing business. Most businesses simply use Microsoft Teams for collaboration and support a separate voice system to enable calls.
For businesses that want an integrated communications platform that includes enterprise-level phone features with video conferencing, they need more. BCM One’s Voice-enabled Teams offers a more reliable, flexible, and affordable option.
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The Benefits of BCM One’s Voice-Enabled Microsoft Teams
Today, you can voice-enable Teams to create a full voice and video platform that works the way your employees do. It augments basic chat, video conferencing and collaboration features of Teams with robust voice capabilities you’re likely used to from your enterprise phone system. Together, you get a comprehensive, unified communications collaboration platform in one.
This capability is vital in a distributed workforce, where you have remote, hybrid and onsite employees all needing to communicate. Further, your prospects, customers and partners expect a good experience when communicating with your business. That includes getting to the right person quickly, whether it be via a phone call, chat, text, or videoconference. Anything less can impact your brand reputation and the productivity of your employees.
For small- to mid-sized businesses, in particular, the transition from Zoom to Microsoft Teams can result in a much higher ROI as they can build out Teams to do both collaboration and calling. Teams is highly integratable, meaning hundreds of apps can be easily integrated to make Microsoft Teams a powerful platform to enable all kinds of business tasks and functionality. Microsoft also allows third-party app developers to integrate into Teams, creating a “hub” that enables a virtually limitless range of workflow possibilities.
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Teams is a powerful tool that contains many helpful features but does not natively integrate with the necessary phone system functionalities that have proven to be essential in business operations. However, when businesses power Teams with voice capabilities from an integrated business VoIP solution, they add a number of features that can take their business communications to the next level.
There is a robust list of call features for Voice for Teams, some of which may not be immediately required, but for a growing business that has to support a diverse workforce, having them at your disposal (and included in the package), is highly recommended. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that things can change on a dime. Companies who are prepared and can quickly adapt are better positioned to weather the storm or even thrive in it. Some of the calling features you can expect are:
- Advanced call queues and routing
- Integration with SIP Trunking, Hosted Voice and Hybrid Option
- Cloud calling
- SIP Trunk linking and sharing
- Collaboration management
- Disaster recovery
- Telecom services
- Direct routing
These features work together to create a comprehensive, unified communications solution that can help businesses of all sizes to improve their productivity, efficiency, and customer service. And because they are cloud-based, there is no equipment to purchase and maintain and no technical skills required. Your voice-enabled Teams provider will take care of everything so you can get up and running in a short period of time. And growing your business by adding locations, users, and features is just as fast.
Zoom filled a gap for the short-term as organizations clambered to put some type of collaboration system in place. With more experience behind us, it’s now time to think about how the future can (and should) look, and where to invest resources. Voice for Teams provides a long-term solution that has the ability to help organizations grow and prosper no matter what comes their way.
Looking for a Business VoIP Solution That Integrates Natively with Microsoft Teams?
When looking for an enterprise voice system such as VoIP that integrates natively with Microsoft Teams, consider a managed technology solutions provider that is a Microsoft Gold Partner with a dedicated Microsoft team on staff. This qualification means they are certified to work with Microsoft products and services. They can ensure the entire platform is working as it should and troubleshoot any issues quickly and more reliably than a technician who may only have cursory experience with Microsoft.
It is equally important to ensure your provider is proficient with telecommunications so they can seamlessly integrate and support both the enterprise voice services and Microsoft services. Your company can save significant time, costs, and hassles by choosing a single provider for your entire UCaaS platform.
Instead of relying on third parties for its products and services, a company that offers its own SIP and UCaaS solutions will give you a more streamlined experience and often lower your costs. Leverage their expertise to augment your Teams functionality, and make sure they provide robust enterprise voice capabilities, such as advanced call routing, queuing, telephony extensions and business intelligence, so you can get the most out of a single solution.
BCM One Voice Enabled Teams supercharges your Teams to a full voice platform that boasts near 100% uptime with enhanced security features. Contact BCM to learn more.