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 What is the best way to voice enable Microsoft Teams for Your Company?

Microsoft Teams usage has exploded since COVID-19 and has become a leading communications tool for businesses due to being a cost effective and relatively easy to implement solution.

Why MS Teams?

Stay connected with both employees (internal) and customers (external). 

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Teams features help you maximize your businesses effectiveness, increase your employee productivity all the while improving customer satisfaction.

 

Teams features:

  • Chat

  • File sharing

  • Video

  • Meeting

  • Calendar

  • Application Integration

  • Single shared workspace

 

 

You can also add voice to your Teams application. Most customers find that a voice enablement implementation works great for employee engagement, but is not a good customer engagement tool, since  phone and voice calls are still the preferred means of communications between a customer and a company for many users. Customers who choose personal calls, over other choices such as email, social media, and support chats because it is faster and more effective in many cases, they just prefer to speak with a live person.

 

So why would you want to voice enable Teams instead of just continuing to use a legacy phone system? It allows users to communicate with people internally or outside the company within the same app. In fact, you don’t even have to open a new window.

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Making the Most of MS Teams

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3 Main Paths to Team Enablement (Pro's & Con's)

1. Direct Teams Voice enablement via Microsoft

The good news is that Microsoft offers calling plans and direct routing options to get businesses voice enabled on Teams. By doing so the Teams client is transformed into a regular phone, so users can reach colleagues and customers via inbound and outbound calls with external phone lines. With this option a phone number is assigned to each Teams user, so they can make and receive calls as well as have access to some standard calling features such as IVR, call queues, voicemail, speed dial, and contacts.

 

The disadvantages of this direct plan include:

  • Calling plans provides limited flexibility and the calling features are too basic to cover the needs of many businesses

  • You must have certain level of Teams licensing to turn on voice, and must pay for the trunks/usage

  • You may not be able to retain your current numbers

2. Using a Session Border Controller (SBC) to preserve your number and existing devices

A SBC (session border controller) option gives you a great engine to link the phone system you want to the Teams environment.

 

The benefits include:

  • You can keep your current phone number

  • You can reuse your existing telephony equipment

  • You get all the features you enjoy today – paging, contact center, call recording, enhanced IVR, and flexible call routing

The disadvantages of an SBC solution include:

  • Hardware purchase – you must buy the session border controller

  • Complex to configure – you need trained staff or you need to hire a professional for the deployment

  • You may be wasting money on old technology (i.e. your existing phone system and trunks)

3. Install a hybrid solution that allows Teams users to voice enable their app, and all other company phone users use a simple cloud-based voice solution.

 

By installing a cloud-based phone system. The advantages include:

  • Direct integration for your Teams users

  • Easy deployment, configuration, and administration

  • Very advanced features such as contact center, application integrations, and paging

  • Toll quality voice with worldwide service and the ability to keep your existing numbers

  • Low cost phone available for non-Teams users

  • No capital expense – this is a monthly subscription service

Option #3 provides a Best-in-Class Solution!

Making the Right Choice

The right solution completely depends on the specific needs of your business. As a Trusted Technology Advisor, we offer free consulting and guidance on the advantages and disadvantages of each solution for your requirements. We can help from the early design stage through the final implementation and ongoing administration. We utilize our vast resources from world-class suppliers that provide us the expertise, products and services to provide best in class solutions at cost effective pricing

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MS Teams is a registered trademark of Microsoft. Other third-party marks referenced herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

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