Why Microsoft Teams Phone System Direct Routing Is Valuable
If you are using Microsoft Teams for conference calls and chat, you may feel like you’ve hit a wall as far as its functionality. After all, your communications often require more robust capabilities typically found in traditional PBX phone systems. You need to run a multi-site operation, but your current phone system is disconnected. That’s where Microsoft Teams phone system Direct Routing comes in.
For small and medium-sized businesses, Microsoft Teams has grown dramatically in popularity, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic where workers are encouraged or required to stay home yet still be productive. A PwC survey of 120 U.S. company executives and 1,200 U.S. office workers between May 29 and June 4, 2020 found 70% of employees were required to work from home during COVID-19. Even after COVID-19, 55% of executives plan to offer remote working as an option for employees and 72% of employees say they’d like to work from home at least part of their workweek.
IT leaders who scrambled to find communication and collaboration alternatives at the start of the pandemic are now having to rethink their entire IT infrastructure to support remote and hybrid work environments for the long term. Microsoft Teams has filled an important role, particularly in the pandemic crunch, effectively providing a platform for people to connect virtually when in-person collaboration isn’t an option. But with COVID still a threat, companies are discovering it’s just not enough.
As valuable as Microsoft Teams is, it lacks other communication functionality that businesses still require, such as fax, phone tree, voicemail, call routing and more. Your customers, partners, vendors and other important external contacts need to be able to reach the right people in your organization quickly. If you want to expand your voice capabilities and add in the internal and external calling features your business needs for an enterprise voice platform, you are going to have to do more.
Making Microsoft Teams a Fully Functional Solution
Microsoft Teams has only been available to the masses since 2018. In an article from The Verge, the Microsoft CEO was cited as reporting Teams usage had increased to more than 75 million daily active users in April, up 70% from March. For perspective, Teams had 20 million users in November 2019, months before COVID was an issue. Market Watch says 93 of the Fortune 100 companies were using Teams as of March 2020.
While Microsoft Teams has brought your internal people together virtually, you are likely now seeing its limitations. If you need more than a basic dial tone, Teams doesn’t offer it on their own. As demand for a more seamless and robust communication platform increases, solutions are coming to market. Direct Routing is enabling companies to make voice calls with Microsoft Teams.
Related: BCM One Releases Voice Enabled Teams
If you want to integrate your existing phone systems into the Teams platform, including PBX and VoIP, Microsoft Teams phone system Direct Routing is the way to do it. With Microsoft Teams Direct Routing capability, you can connect Teams to your PBX or VoIP for a more complete and streamlined communications and collaboration platform. Working with the right Direct Routing provider, you can also integrate your CRM and other applications with Teams, advanced features that Teams does not offer.
Microsoft does sell a couple of its own calling plans, but they are relatively expensive, only offer calling to major countries, and are light in their enterprise features. For less cost and greater functionality and flexibility, you can use Microsoft Teams phone system Direct Routing to build out your data and voice capabilities across the globe. Employees can make calls through a telecom provider that will connect your Teams users to voice instead of Microsoft.
Besides Direct Routing being less expensive than Microsoft calling plans, it can also be customized per user or location to reduce wasted spending. You can tailor your Office 365 license to fit the specific needs of your business, paying only for what you actually need. If you have workers that only need to make internal calls, there’s no need to pay for international calling. You can purchase a smaller license while still giving them the features they require to be productive. Your provider can also bring in SIP and partial SIP trunks on the backend to enable you to upgrade your PBX at a reasonable price point to get the added benefits of VoIP plus Microsoft Teams.
This flexibility extends to enabling your people to work how they want. For instance, with Direct Routing, your employees no longer need an assigned desk phone with an extension. Instead, no matter where they work around the globe, they can be easily reached on their smartphone or mobile device with a headset. Customers experience the same seamless connection with your employees despite their physical location, increasing productivity and efficiency.
Working with a Direct Routing Vendor
Microsoft does not offer Direct Routing, but it is collaborating with third parties to add voice capabilities onto their Teams collaboration platform. Some vendors use the BroadSoft UCaaS platform to enable Direct Routing.
Many companies simply do not want to manage this inhouse, or they lack the skilled resources to do so. Experienced vendors, those who are certified Microsoft partners and deemed a tier-one CSP, will be able to not only upgrade your Microsoft Teams to include enterprise-class voice features, but they will have the technical skills to troubleshoot any Microsoft and network issues you may have. Whether it be with firewalls, routers, quality issues, Microsoft licensing issues or anything related to your communications and collaboration platform they will have the tools to troubleshoot your networks and LANs, services that Microsoft does not provide.
If you use or want to expand Microsoft Teams or if you have multiple offices on different platforms, work with a Microsoft-certified vendor that can handle Microsoft Teams Direct Routing for you. A company like BCM One will take your Teams collaboration platform and transform it into a unified voice and collaboration platform with enterprise-grade features. With Direct Routing, your phone system is no longer separate from IT. Instead, it is completely integrated, governed by the same security measures that support your entire IT infrastructure for a fully managed, monitored and supported communications network.