Picture, if you will, a distant time in the past that has almost been forgotten. A time before socially distancing, Tiger King, or the election. We’re talking about the year 2017 — the year Microsoft released Microsoft Teams, its business communication platform. And for many businesses, what was before Teams? Slack? Skype? Skype for Business? Google Hangouts? Maybe even… back-and-forth emails with the occasional phone call to spice things up? The horror. We can’t recall much of that anymore, but if we push ourselves, we can remember the tantrums we threw when things didn’t work. A Windows update broke Slack, or the latest Skype removed functions that were essential to our workflow.
These things happened with our phone systems as well — phone calls didn’t work, the system had to be rebooted or replaced. Phones broke all the time! It’s important to know that Teams has come a long way, replacing multiple functions for businesses and adding services that are efficient and promote progress.
The one issue for businesses with all these different communications tools is the office phone. While we continue to be more virtual in practice and application, nothing beats having a phone to make a phone call. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to add that to an application we already use? This could eliminate the extra cost associated with purchasing another phone, another line, another system.
Enter Microsoft Teams Voice.
Teams Voice: what you get, what you’ll need, and what you might be worried about
Here’s what you get:
- A license add-on to Office 365
- Your own phone number
- The ability to transfer old phone numbers into this all-in-one system
- If you still want a desk phone, you can still have one!
- The ability to not have a desk phone at all!
- Answer from computer or cell phone through the Teams App
- Conferencing for audio
What you’ll need:
- A good internet connection. This sounds silly, but at the same time, most businesses need a good internet connection in this age. We must keep in mind that most technology and communication need that connection. If you already have a voice solution, it is probably using internet anyway, but with a lot more equipment.
- A great Managed Services Provider. With all these systems now in one location, it’s good to have a trusted organization that can manage this for you. No one person can understand every single facet of the offering from Microsoft without having support.
- Willingness to adapt. Businesses will continue to change, scaling up and down with the times. This means that technology will continue to change, and platforms like Microsoft will continue to adjust.
What you might be worried about:
- Downtime. You might be worried that there will be more downtime with Teams. But there are failover options in case Microsoft 365 goes down. The phones keep working, and your organization can keep functioning despite the low percentage of downtime that can occur rarely through the year.
- Faxing. Teams Voice currently does not provide faxing services, but that’s because of the wide variety of services that do. And if you still have a hard fax line, we’d encourage you to switch to a digital faxing service. While faxing is still an important form of communication, especially in certain industries, purchasing and maintaining a line becomes time and resource consuming.
- Losing your number. This is 100% not an issue. Your phone number can be ported over into this service, making for a single place to store and use these services.
Reviewing Microsoft Teams Voice with a trusted provider like Integris to see if it is right for your organization. It’s a great start to make things more efficient, help cut unneeded costs, and develop better processes. Your organization should always have someone that is focused on making sure you stay ahead in the changing times.