Is it time to move to Microsoft Teams Voice? Read our expert’s advice first.
Increasingly, work is a thing we do, not a place that we go, which makes Microsoft Teams Voice perfectly suited for the world we now find ourselves living in.
Is your enterprise phone system continuing to meet your needs? For many organisations, their headquarters, and maybe a few satellite offices, lie near empty. As the workplace becomes decentralised, work now happens across an ocean of sofas or squeezed into spaces we’ve carved for ourselves in any available corner of our homes.
Has your phone system served your employees and clients well in the last few months? Perhaps like many companies, you had to hurriedly arrange to forward your calls to mobiles and lost a lot of your system’s functionality because of this.
Here, our Jason Wynn makes a case for moving to Microsoft Teams Voice. But this isn’t a sales pitch; after all, you need to make an informed choice. As well as outlining the benefits, Jason outlines the potential pitfalls and shares nuggets of advice along the way.
Jason is one of our Microsoft MVPs (Most Valued Professionals), Principal Technology Strategist for Content+Cloud and a Microsoft Teams Voice Specialist. As the COVID crisis rapidly unfolded, he hosted this popular webinar for IT pros: How to Use Microsoft Teams as Your Phone System.
Teams Voice: The Opportunities
A phone system for the new era of remote working
Microsoft Teams Voice is ideal for people working at home and globally distributed workforces. As a softphone, Teams Voice enables your employees to make and receive calls from their PCs, eliminating the need for desk phones.
A good quality headset for Teams Voice users is essential. Not only for comfort; make sure it’s certified for Microsoft Teams use.
Leveraging the value of Teams Voice for meetings
Meeting needs are changing, with video conferencing becoming the norm. Even before COVID struck, it was evident that meetings look very different to how they were just a couple of years ago. Before the lockdown, it was estimated that:
- 72% of employees working remotely in 2020
- One-third of meetings are 100% virtual
- Just over half of meetings have at least one remote attendee
- 38% of remote attendees join meetings using their mobile phones
Microsoft Teams Rooms delivers a complete meeting experience, incorporating HD video, audio and content sharing. Advantages include:
- Brings your physical meeting rooms under your overall Microsoft Teams support
- No-touch to join, limiting the number of people who handle your audio-visual equipment
- Reduces the need to manage disparate technologies and providers
- A familiar Microsoft Teams experience for your meeting participants
You might also like Teams Voice FAQs.
Teams Voice: the potential constraints
Ensuring the right fit for your organisation
Depending on your sector and business needs, Microsoft Teams Voice may not meet all your technical or regulatory requirements. As a Microsoft Partner, we can draw on our experience to address any gaps through third-party solutions.
And be aware that Microsoft Calling Plans don’t cover all geographies. If you have a business location which is not included, a direct route and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunk will be necessary. We can help, so feel free to reach out to us.
For more topical tech insights and advice, join Jason and a host of other experts at Digital Revolution Live.
Teams Voice: the dependencies
Your network has the most significant impact on real-time communications. As well as bandwidth, comms can be affected by network quality like jitter, packet loss and latency.
Some network issues can be controlled through Quality of Service (QoS) but will require an express route in place, with end to end tagging applied.
It’s always a good idea to complete a full network assessment when moving to a Teams Voice and video platform. Again, we can support you.
Telephone equipment currently in place will not work with Microsoft Teams. This will change in the first half of 2021, when standard SIP phones will support Cisco, Yealink, Polycom, and other handsets.
Useful reading: Microsoft – Take your communications to the next level with new offerings in Microsoft Teams.
Teams Voice: the assumptions
Preparing for the big switch
All concurrent telephone number blocks will move at the same time; most carriers and telephone providers will only move an entire block of numbers at once. And sometimes numbers can’t be moved because they’re in use for other things within your phone number range. By working with us, we can help mitigate the risks and the hassle of moving all your telephone numbers at the same time.
All analogue services will need to be migrated to an alternative number or solution. These could be things like your lift/elevator, BT Redcare or emergency services solutions, gate access and fax machines.
Teams Voice: the risks
Look before you leap
Porting numbers in some locations and geographies takes a long time, and some geographies don’t allow you to port numbers at all.
There is a known issue where response group users are homed within Skype for Business Online / Office 365, and the response groups are homed on-premises. We’re experienced in creating response groups in a way that will reduce the impact on your agents and callers.
Useful reading: Microsoft Teams User Feedback Forum, 5-7 second delay before calling end can hear when picking up call with Polycom phone.
Specialist Support with Microsoft Teams Voice
If you’re charting your route to Teams Voice and would welcome a steady hand on the tiller, then why not take advantage of our free Teams Voice Value Assessment?
We can save you time and give you tailored advice for your smooth transition to Teams Voice. And if it’s not right for you, we’ll say so and explain why. For an informal chat, you’re welcome to contact us here.
And if you’d like to learn more from Jason Wynn, join him at Digital Revolution Live in November. Jason is hosting a session titled Taking the office home – the heightened importance of equality, inclusion and accessibility. It should be an enlightening experience!
We are offering a number of free Art of the Possible sessions. To register, use the link below.