What is Microsoft Teams Phone?

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More and more users have become familiar with Microsoft Teams over the past year, using the platform to increase productivity and collaborate with colleagues in the age of remote or hybrid work. The video conferencing tool has built a large following, with users able to enjoy screen sharing, chat functionality, shared video files and more.

But while Microsoft Teams has become fairly well known, far fewer people will be familiar with the Microsoft Teams Phone add-on. This gives users the ability to make and receive calls directly in Microsoft Teams. Essentially, it integrates Teams with more traditional VoIP features, so users can stay connected using their computer, tablet, mobile device, or desk phone. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Microsoft Teams Phone.

Characteristics

Microsoft Teams Phone is presented as an all-in-one application that enables rich, reliable and secure calls. As such, its list of features is very similar to those that come with VoIP solutions, rather than those that regular Teams users are familiar with.

Conferencing is available, so businesses can bring all of their employees together even when working remotely using corporate voice conferencing or video calling functionality. There is also a call management feature that gives businesses more control over their cloud telephony. They can easily manage their communications using Do Not Disturb, reverse number lookup, voicemail, and delegation. Continuing the list of features, Microsoft Teams Phone offers direct routing so individuals can use their own telecom provider and make calls using their existing phone provider.

Large organizations or those handling a high volume of calls, on the other hand, will certainly appreciate the contact center integration that comes with Microsoft Teams Phone. This allows businesses to integrate Microsoft Teams business voice calling into their contact center software. It’s a great way to access all of your communication needs through one app, reducing complexity.

And finally, Microsoft Teams Phone comes with an auto attendant, which can ensure that calls are not missed and adds a professional touch to your communication output. Microsoft Teams Phone allows users to set settings based on their time zone, language, or availability to automatically answer and route calls. You don’t have to miss an important call or end up with frustrated customers who can’t reach you.

Packages and prices

There are two main options regarding pricing plans for Microsoft Teams Phone. The cheapest option, Microsoft 365 Business Voice, costs $ 15 per user per month (although there is the option of a one-month free trial). Subscribers to this plan have access to a cloud-based phone system offering advanced features such as call forwarding, multi-level auto attendants and call queues.

They will also benefit from a national calling plan with 3,000 minutes per user per month for companies based in the United States and Canada. There are appointment-based audio conferencing for up to 250 people per meeting and the ability to call from anywhere, on any device through the Microsoft Teams app on desktop, mobile, web phones. and office.

Businesses that have encountered startup issues while upgrading their phone systems will be reassured that Microsoft 365 Business Voice comes with 24/7 support. Of course, Business Voice also requires users to already have a Microsoft 365 subscription, so the total price paid for the solution might not be as cheap as it initially seems.

The other pricing plan, Microsoft 365 E5, is better suited to business customers and costs significantly more at $ 57.00 per user per month. For that price, Microsoft 365 E5 users get PBX features, such as cloud call control with Microsoft Teams. Audio conferencing for up to 300 participants over the phone is another big plus, as is access to many apps including Windows 11 Enterprise, Microsoft 365 business apps, Office mobile apps, and Office for the web. , Outlook and Exchange.

Again, pricing Microsoft 365 E5 isn’t as straightforward as it might seem at first glance. Businesses that already pay for Microsoft 365 E1 or E3 may be able to upgrade to E5 at a reduced price. They should contact their Microsoft sales representative to get a concrete answer on how much they could save.

E5 may not be suitable for many organizations – and it’s probably only worth it for larger companies. If you are in this boat, however, you will definitely get powerful communication features for your money. In addition to voice capabilities, they also have access to Power BI functionality which helps businesses access high-level analytics solutions that should enable them to derive significant business value.

How other customers use it

Microsoft is happy to share some details on how some of its customers are using Microsoft Teams Phone. For example, tech company Arrow Electronics uses Microsoft Teams Phone to support communication for its 20,000 employees. The company reported great results leveraging its Microsoft 365 E5 subscription to deliver seamless inter-department collaboration.

Arrow uses Teams to provide a unified communication experience. The company benefits from the fact that many of its employees were already using Teams before the solution was formally adopted. Since starting to use Teams, including Teams Phone, Arrow has significantly reduced travel costs and increased ROI.

Another successful company with Microsoft Teams Phone is the consulting firm Accenture. Along with individual Teams Phone deployments, Accenture has migrated over 3,000 Polycom phones located in meeting rooms and employee desks to Teams.

One of the great things about Microsoft Teams is the huge range of services it can cover – it’s more than just a video conferencing platform. For any business that needs additional telephony features, Microsoft Teams Phone demonstrates that Teams can fulfill this role as well.


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