Microsoft Teams provides a robust collaboration tool that connects employees regardless of where they are. As long as there is an internet connection, Teams is easy to use and gives you access to your full array of Microsoft apps, such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel and SharePoint. It is a great tool to handle staff communication and collaboration. Both the desktop and smartphone apps are easy to use.
What is Missing from Microsoft Teams
What is missing from Teams, however, is external dialing features without adding on a separate paid monthly calling plan from Microsoft. There is a per-user fee and it is a metered plan. This is an added expense that is unnecessary if you already have a hosted private branch exchange (PBX) in place.
Microsoft Teams also lacks several of the more advanced calling features that businesses rely on, including call recording, call activity reports, , advanced routing, and interactive voice response, and you cannot transfer calls between a mobile phone and a desktop.
Can Microsoft Teams Replace Your VoIP Phone System?
If you are wondering how to use Microsoft Teams to replace your Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service or hosted PBX, the short answer is this: It will not work right out of the box, and may not be the right solution for you.
Teams does not integrate with every on-premises PBX. You can link Microsoft Teams to your existing public switched telephone network connection using a session border controller hardware device, but it is another capital expense and can be complex to deploy.
You will also need every user to be licensed for Microsoft 365 on either an E1, E3 or E5 license. To take advantage of audio calls and phone systems within Microsoft Teams, you will need to upgrade to E5 licenses, which are nearly double the monthly cost per user. You will also need to purchase an add-on license for audio conferencing to use traditional telephones, toll-free numbers and other advanced communications features if you are not using a hosted PBX.
The easiest and most cost-efficient solution is to utilize direct routing with a robust voice communications service provider and Microsoft Teams working together. The combination is what will connect your employees and customers and bring together the features and functionality you need in today’s business environment.
How to Use Microsoft Teams with a Direct Routing
Utilizing Microsoft Teams with a direct routing will seamlessly push voice traffic into your Teams environment without the need for a plug-in. You will be able to launch external voice calls within Teams.
The direct routing method of connecting Microsoft Teams to your hosted PBX provides the cloud infrastructure you need to route your calls within Teams. There are several important benefits to leveraging voice services from a company like LOGIX rather than Microsoft:
- You can choose your own provider. Microsoft calling plans have restrictions on carriers and locations. Global companies may not be able to use the calling plans in all locations.
- You can lower your costs. As a cloud-based solution, you’re not making a large capital investment into infrastructure that you need to maintain and support. The LOGIX cloud telephony solution is an operating expense that is much more friendly to your budget.
- Better reliability. Here is another significant reason you will want to work with a provider like LOGIX Fiber Networks. Microsoft Teams only promises 99.9% reliability. LOGIX is among the most reliable fiber network connections available. The LOGIX voice network is also delivered from geographically redundant data centers to maximize network uptime.
- Better support. If there is ever a problem with your network connection or voice services, LOGIX has a Texas-based customer care and support center that can handle any problems. If you are working through Microsoft Teams alone, you will need to submit a trouble ticket and wait in the Microsoft queue before it is assigned to a technician.
Once everything is set up, you will be able to make inbound and outbound communications within Microsoft Teams. This gives you the functionality and flexibility of Microsoft Teams meetings and collaboration tools with additional advanced calling features which can be added on by LOGIX. It also gives you the reliability and redundancy of your cloud-based phone system working as the backbone.
Contact LOGIX Fiber Networks to request a quote, or to learn more about how Microsoft Teams and hosted PBX can work for your company.