Teams Calling. What You Need To Know.

Kon Katsieris

Technology has come a long way. Once upon a time, the vast majority of technology providers utilised closed source programming to protect their intellectual property. This meant that we, as the everyday consumers who utilise multiple technology providers, could not integrate platforms and had to wear the inefficiencies.

Today, the tech world is more flexible moving rapidly towards a completely transparent open source development model with open API’s, allowing you to integrate your enterprise platforms like never before.

One of the most significant developments in enterprise technology is the accessibility of IP-Telephony/Unified Communications, allowing businesses of all sizes access to an affordable and modern communication system solution.

Regardless of how you operate, a telephony system is still one of your greatest communication assets.

Introducing Teams Calling. Another great step towards integration. 

Teams Calling. What is it?

Teams Calling is the integration of your IP-Telephony system and the Microsoft or Webex Teams applications.

Through this integration, users can make and receive phone calls via the Teams application on any device which includes desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile alongside traditional method such as dedicated handsets. 

As IP-Telephony utilises the Internet to receive and transfer phone calls, the Teams API functionality allows you to route these calls through the application meaning that users can make, received and transfer calls via the application.

How does it work?

When it comes to making and receiving calls, nothing is different. To make calls, simply type in a number or click on a contact. When you receive a call, you will be notified as per a standard Teams call.

Teams Calling works virtually the same as any other cloud-based IP-Telephony solution, with all the PBX hardware, software, and set up taken care of for you. This PBX IP-Telephony system acts as a bridge between the public telephone network (PSTN) and Microsoft Teams. It effectively translates between the internet-based communications of IP-Telephony/Teams to a regular phone call which can be received by any phone anywhere in the world, just as with any other call.

The best part of the system is that thanks to Teams being hosted in the cloud as part of Office365, this service can be accessed via any internet connection from anywhere in the world.

This flexibility allows for easy setup of remote workers, branch offices, or even international offices, all of which can be accessed externally with the same numbers and are treated as any other internal extension.

Also, there’s no need to get new numbers. All your existing phone numbers can be ported over and used readily from day 1.

What are the Benefits to My Business?

Teams Calling is, in its most basic sense, a new, simplified interface for you to make and receive calls. However, this interface is not a one-way street. Not only is telephony improved, but also Teams.

Here are some of my favourite benefits of using Teams Calling:

1 - Improved Productivity & Collaboration

Through integrating many essential business areas (instant messaging, video calling, telephony, and more) into a single application, overall productivity, collaboration, and communication significantly improve. There is no need to juggle multiple apps, devices, accounts, and contact lists.

Employees can quickly send documents and messages while in calls which in turn increases collaboration as well as utilises Video Conferencing (a handy feature in today’s COVID-19 pandemic world).

2 - Increased Reach, Portability, and Presence

Utilising the Teams application on smart devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, you can make and receive calls from your business numbers.

No longer are employees required to hand out mobile numbers and store your client’s contact information in their phone, potentially taking the vital information with them when they leave. Also, if role changes occur, you don’t need to hand out new mobile numbers to clients, they can continue using the same number as always.

Furthermore, a contact centre environment can be set up where an admin can see who is on and off the phone in an attempt to transfer calls from clients to the next available operator.

3 - Decreased Costs

Not only is there a significantly decreased hardware cost (no need for dedicated phones), but also reduced overheads, with fewer management costs and VoIP rates often being lower to comparable Analogue Phone rates.

Furthermore, any communication internally within your business is done entirely via the Internet, no more spending on telephony costs for internal communication.

4 - Quick & Simple Management

As your telephony system is integrated with Microsoft Teams and Office365, it automatically updates whenever a user is added or removed. This allows for almost instant provisioning of extensions and numbers for employees, ensuring everyone is ready to hit the ground running.

5 - Advanced Telephony Features

Teams Calling is suitable for use across your entire business, with advanced telephony features including:

  • Call Queuing

  • Call Forwarding

  • Call Recording

  • Skill-based Call Routing

  • IVR

  • Custom Attendants

  • Custom On-Hold Music

  • Call Analytics & AI

  • Call Park

  • Call Escalation

  • Voicemail & Transcription

  • Custom Ringtones

  • Custom Contact Groups

  • Three-way PSTN calls

  • Location-Based Routing

  • Full Delegation Support

6 - Customisability & Hardware Options

Teams Calling gives you a significant say in how your telephony system is run and, more importantly, in what devices are used to make calls.

For users constantly on calls and feel more comfortable with a dedicated handset, there are many great options available that I am happy to recommend. If you would prefer to use a dedicated headset over a handset to leave your hands free, there’s a myriad of options. And, if you just want to use your existing mobile phone, you have this flexibility also.

Teams calling is a great collaboration solution for within workplaces and, with the addition of VoIP Calling, effectively becomes a one-stop unified communications solution.

When it comes to telephony, we have always recommended a Cloud-Based VoIP solution for its many benefits (for some information as to why, please see this blog). VoIP can only benefit your business and, when integrated with Teams, this benefit will only be bigger.

If you want some more information on Teams Calling or to see how it can benefit your business, please reach out today.

Kon Katsieris - Group Vendor Partnership Manager

As the Group Vendor Manager at the Netway Networks, Kon’s role is to understand the specific needs of Netway’s client base and deliver innovative solutions to ensure client satisfaction, business efficiency, and growth is achieved.

Kon has been working with the PNORS Technology Group for over 25 years and played a significant role in the growth of the company due to his passion for discovering and implementing emerging and innovative tech while taking pride in helping his clients grow their business through digital transformation. 

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