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Business telephone solutions microsoft teams

Microsoft Teams phone systems

The Microsoft Teams unified communications and collaboration platform allows you to replace your existing telephone system with the Microsoft 365 Phone System app to give you calling capabilities without complex and often expensive equipment. Teams Phone System users can make, receive and transfer calls on a mobile device or PC with a headset or compatible IP phones.


Is Microsoft Teams really a replacement for a traditional phone system?

It is three years since Microsoft launched the Phone System app for Teams and in that time the platform has come on leaps and bounds. Initially it was thought to lack key telephony features so the take up from businesses was limited with alternate hosted phone systems being the go-to solution, but that has now all changed.


The Microsoft Teams Phone System app has developed into a sought-after and powerful hosted phone solution using internet connectivity and call routing services to give you the ability to make and receive calls from contacts outside your Microsoft 365 domain using a choice of devices.

Microsoft teams phone systems


Microsoft 365 Phone System features

Managing calls

All calls, including video and conference calls are managed in the ‘Calls’ tab within the Microsoft Teams interface. You have control of where your extension rings; you can add your mobile after a predefined number of seconds, forward calls to a colleague or get voicemail to answer the call for you.


Voicemail

If you are in a call, you can choose to still view incoming calls and then send them to voicemail. Voicemail is unified, so you get an email with a transcription of the message too, along with a WAV sound file. When you delete the voicemail, it will be removed from all devices.


Ring tones, on-hold and call groups

Multiple ring tones help differentiate between calls for you, calls forwarded to you and calls delegated to you. You can use a shared line appearance for manager/secretary working. If you are part of a call group, you can pick up calls for others in the group on a same time, sequential or round-robin basis. You can overflow calls to other groups too.


Call queuing

Queued callers can hear music or customised messages. If reception is busy, you can use an automated attendant: “Press 1 for sales, press 2 for accounts” etc. or speech recognition whereby calls are routed after the caller is prompted to say the name of the person they would like to speak to.


Benefits of a Microsoft Teams Phone System

Managing calls

All calls, including video and conference calls are managed in the ‘Calls’ tab within the Microsoft Teams interface. You have control of where your extension rings; you can add your mobile after a predefined number of seconds, forward calls to a colleague or get voicemail to answer the call for you.


Handsets

If you are a traditional phone system user who likes a handset, there are a number of desk phones available from vendors such as Yealink. Administrators and receptionists can use handsets with additional button boxes to enable them to monitor the presence of key colleagues.


Everything in one place

Using a single platform, or a single pane of glass, means your daily tasks are streamlined. You can make a call, invite colleagues to a video meeting, discuss a project with your team via chat, share your screen or your files, and display your presence status to be more productive than ever.


No upfront capital required

There is no upfront capital required and if you are already a Microsoft Teams user, the Phone System licence is just an add-on. Calls are free of charge between internal users (irrespective of their geographical location) and other external Microsoft Teams contacts, therefore reducing ongoing call costs.


Frequently asked questions

1. Can I retain my existing number if I switch to Microsoft Teams Phone System?

Of course! Just like switching to any other cloud-hosted VoIP phone system, your existing number is transferable, or you can choose a new one. Your business number will be displayed when you call any landline or mobile outside your business.

2. Do I need Microsoft Teams to use the Phone System app?

Yes, you do, because it the Phone System app is an add-on. Fortunately, many of us already use Microsoft 365 and Teams in our everyday working lives so the Teams Phone licence can be added on a per user requirement basis along with a calling plan.  

3. Can I add the Phone System app if I get Microsoft 365 for free?

Microsoft supplies free 365 licences to schools and charities. You can still upgrade these to make use of the Teams Phone System app at a subsidised rate. For schools and charities that already use Microsoft 365, this represents an ideal opportunity to replace outdated phone systems.

4. Do you need to use handsets with a Teams Phone System?

No. You can simply plug in a headset or earphones into your PC, laptop or mobile or use the microphones that are built into these devices instead of a physical handset. You use desktop or mobile apps to select and use all your usual phone system features.


Useful Resources

>Telecoms brochure

>Questions to ask when considering a new phone system

>Use Microsoft apps to make business processes a little easier

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