Microsoft Teams Business Voice – Taking Teams Collaboration a Step Higher
Microsoft Teams can now serve as your phone services. However, leveraging the tool as a phone service calls for a calling plan. That brings about vital considerations concerning pricing, global reach, and service quality. Detailed here is a better option in the name of Microsoft Business Voice.
Microsoft Teams Expansion into Cloud-Telephony
If you’re a Microsoft fan, you’re probably enjoying the simplicity brought about by Microsoft Groups, Office, and Teams working together. The resulting efficiency eliminates hours of IT integration and configuration. This holistic system is a key selling point for Microsoft, with the benefits stretching further thanks to their expansion into telephony services.
The newly released Direct Routing feature lets clients use their telephony infrastructure with Microsoft Teams, to create a full voice service once combined with Microsoft’s Phone System for Office 365. However, leveraging Microsoft Teams fully calls for a calling service, which raises a few concerns. (And where Microsoft Business Voice can help)
Considerations When Analyzing Calling Plans
Combining Microsoft Teams and users’ telephony services in one toolset requires a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) service. That can have effects of the following factors:
- Cost: PSTN is an add-on to each Teams user. Its licenses (within the US) are sold by DID and internationally as an add-on per-person/per-month fee.
- Quality control: performance analytics and call quality are critical for controlling the customer’s experience. During the pandemic (and the rising remote-working, ensuring Team users have high-quality video calls and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is crucial.)
- Global reach: organizations needing phone services across the globe must ensure their needs are fully met.
Generally, you should opt for a pay-for-use model. Or better yet, an integrated phone system with calling plans to help your small business run and grow securely. You should also settle for a calling system with a wide-reaching service to ensure your long-distance and international calls are cost-effective. It’s also best to settle for a system specially built for VoIP communications. There should also be performance analytics to provide adequate insights into the phone system.
Microsoft Business Voice – A Better Alternative?
Microsoft Business Voice is a cloud-based phone system specially designed for small and medium businesses- fond of using Microsoft Team users. The hosted cloud solution means your phones are independent of your business’s on-site hardware and other systems. Here, phones connect through the internet and integrate with your network seamlessly.
The new cloud-based phone system offers the following to your business.
The system helps unify your chats, calls, meetings, email, and calendar. The calling, chats, and meetings feature in Microsoft Teams are unified in a single app – to simplify your connections.
Better still, the phone system adds flexibility to your audio conferences or meetings with a dial-in number – that’s integrated into every online meeting. The unified calendars and contacts across Outlook and Microsoft Teams make collaboration easier in the 365 Office apps within meetings and calls.
Easy and intelligent calling
The phone system helps businesses communicate with more intelligence and flexibility ease.
For one, you can call from anywhere, anytime on any device. Think of mobile devices, desk phones, and computers. The system also allows for a quick one-click call or meeting. As such, you can schedule a meeting, turn chats into a call, or call any number with a single click. That, in turn, saves time and provides convenience associated with the holistic system.
Further still, the system provides AI-powered intelligence. In that, you can enjoy:
- Automatic voicemail transcription
- Inline chat translations, and
- Real-time captioning (in meetings)
The AI-powered intelligence feature is useful in cases of “deep” accents or language differences. It makes it easier to communicate with and understand conversations made in foreign languages.
Reliable and secure cloud-based solution
The system is delivered from Microsoft cloud – a reliable and secure cloud-based solution. This translates to an easy way of answering and routing calls by language, availability, and time zone. Or any other factors important to your business.
The built-in security features with encrypted Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunks into the Microsoft Teams –to ensure secure inbound or outbound calls. (No need to be overly sensitive when conversing confidential business information.)
At the same time, you can maintain control over the calls with voicemail, delegation, do not disturb, and such other features. You can also keep the business running with the load-balancing and built-in redundancy features.
The cloud telephony is easily manageable in the familiar Office 365 admin console. As an admin, you can assign phone numbers, provision users, and port existing phone numbers from your Microsoft 365 console.
You also benefit from the one-provider one solution plan. Here, you save money and time with one low monthly price.
At this point, it’s obvious that the two calling services provide almost similar features. Let’s explore why the latter option is better for your business bottom-line.
Why You Should Consider Microsoft Teams Business Voice
Consider Business Voice for the following reasons.
The Business Voice provides numerous features making it a great value for your money. Among the exceptional features is:
- Caller Id to help identify the caller
- The option to dial by number or name ‘
- Group Call Pickup
- And Voicemail-to-email
With this system, you can communicate from anywhere, anytime, on any device. It enables your team with devices or every workstyle. And make meetings more effective with modern meeting room devices.
Furthermore, the system supports third-party IT solutions to enhance different scenarios, like call recording systems and analog.
As mentioned, the single provider simplicity eliminates the multiple vendor complexity –and by extension lower cost.
Do the math.
Phone systems and calling plans costs around $20 per month. Add that to file storage and productivity apps at approximately $8 per month. Add Team planner at $10 per month, chat-based workspaces at $13 per month. Overall, third-party solutions can cost over $64 per month.
While Microsoft 365 E5 is relatively cheaper than multiple third-party solutions, it cannot compare with a $20 monthly plan to help SMBs run and grow securely. (International calling is an add-on of $12 per month.)
By any observation, Microsoft Business Voice is a better option for small and medium businesses needing reliable phone surfaces. Made by HRCT, a trusted company in the Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Norfolk area of Virginia; you can rely on its functionality.
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