Delivering Enterprise-grade Calling in Microsoft Teams

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– Written by Helen Johnstone

In this blog we consider the options for calling in Teams and present the opportunity for Voice and UCaaS Providers to Teams enable their service for their enterprise customers.

Microsoft owns nearly four-fifths desktop market (source Statista) and with Teams being Microsoft’s fastest-growing business application it is highly likely your customers are already using it. Yet just 30% are active Teams Phone users. Time and again, the missing piece in the unified communications jigsaw is how to bring calling to Microsoft Teams.

  • Microsoft is the world’s #2 UCaaS provider.

  • Microsoft Teams has 270 million monthly active users

  • Only 30% are active Teams Phone Users

    (Source No Jitter)

What are the options for calling in Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is included with every Microsoft 365 License. Yet to use Teams for calling to external numbers, via a PSTN breakout, further licensing is needed. It is this further licensing that activates the dialpad. What Microsoft licensing is required to get calling in Teams?

In addition to Teams Phone licensing enterprises also need to consider who they are buying their lines and minutes from.

For enterprise customers looking to voice-enable Microsoft Teams there are three options:

  • Make Microsoft their phone company – purchase calling plans and minutes from Microsoft.
  • Bring existing phone lines to Teams through some sort of direct routing or SBC configuration.
  • Use Operator Connect.

The above all provide a native Teams dial pad within the Teams interface, meaning that outbound, inbound, and call controls are within the Teams environment.

Keeping an existing service provider for Microsoft Teams calling

To avoid porting numbers and the disruption this brings, enterprises often approach their existing provider seeking a Teams calling solution. Teams Direct Routing is the established process for connecting existing telephony to Microsoft Teams. And now with Microsoft Operator Connect, enterprises can select their provider (if they have been certified by Microsoft) directly via the Teams Admin portal.

The advantages of keeping an existing provider is more than just the avoidance of porting numbers. By connecting teams to an existing high-functioning PBX enterprises can gain from the best of both worlds. Service providers can continue to support them with feature-rich enterprise telephony, that may not be supported by Teams alone. Whilst the enterprise can benefit from collaborative working in Teams.

This hybrid approach means enterprises can take advantage of reduced desktop admin, whilst retaining the core capabilities that are embedded in their business today.

Meeting Teams calling expectations

As with any solution, it is important to deliver on customer expectations. It is all too easy for Voice providers to underplay the Teams telephony, or for IT to skim over the importance of Voice.

Customers may wonder why not just move wholesale over to Microsoft? In some instances, Microsoft Calling Plans may suit, but there are some key considerations that prevent large organizations. Some levels of functionality are not able to be met by Microsoft Teams Phone alone; Some geographies are not covered; and when scaling Microsoft Calling Plans can become expensive compared to negotiated contracts with existing providers.

Microsoft Teams adoption has been rapid. The opportunity for Voice and UCaaS providers is with those organizations that have complex telephony requirements. And the opportunity is there. 70% are not active Teams Phone users.

“We have experienced many partners winning large enterprise new business and bringing forward the timelines of opportunities by taking a low-risk non-disruptive hybrid approach.” Mark Herbert, President & Founder, Dstny Automate – Call2Teams

Call2Teams delivers a world-leading Direct Routing as a Service (DRaaS) solution. We understand what is needed to deliver resilient, enterprise-grade calling within Microsoft Teams. As a close collaborator with Microsoft and Co-Sell validated we are always keeping on top of any changes needed to keep our service working. Staying ahead of Teams PowerShell changes

Call2Teams operates a global fabric of call-management and Direct Routing SBCs deployed across 4 continents and 12 Azure regions, which enables sophisticated and rapid management of call routing.

As a pure-cloud solution, Call2Teams enables providers to bundle services, adapting configurations to meet client needs. Adding value, giving customers the Teams experience they want without compromising on features or resilience.

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