Microsoft Teams Voice and Video Calling: All You Need To Know
There’s no denying that remote work is here to stay, as more and more enterprises in various industries have been forced to modernise their communication systems because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies have adopted different types of software for their employees to remain productive, from messaging apps to document sharing tools and voice calls. As most meetings moved to a virtual setting, services such as Slack, Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams filled the workspace chat and video conferencing gap between teams.
While the adoption of digital technologies by businesses has sped by several years, the result has been chaos for employees. Too many apps means a lot of time wasted switching between them, updating them, signing up and logging in. A study from mid-2021 found that “ad-hoc adoption” of software led to loss in productivity and employee dissatisfaction. In 2022 enterprises need to do better.
This is where Microsoft Teams Voice and Video Calling comes in.
Microsoft Teams Voice and Video Calling
Microsoft Teams – part of Microsoft 365 – has been very popular. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Teams had 270 million monthly active users in January 2022. And it now offers an excellent remote-first business telephony solution – which is the next logical step for any company, regardless of size.
Already used for internal communication, companies can now use Microsoft Teams’ Calling for external communication as well, globally. So, yes, you can make phone calls with Microsoft Teams.
What Is Microsoft Teams Calling?
Microsoft Teams Calling is a cloud-based phone system that enables video and audio calling in an enterprise, internally and externally. It’s a cloud-hosted Private Branch Exchange (PBX) and can also be connected to the traditional PSTN (public switched telephone network). It’s a replacement for PSTN, a solution especially beneficial for small to medium-sized businesses.
Because Teams Calling is in the cloud, businesses don’t need to install and manage sophisticated, expensive hardware. Plus, it integrates directly with Microsoft 365 and Office 365. This means that your company can simply add the Microsoft Teams Calling to the existing plan. Employees can make and receive calls from an office or desk phone, smartphone or PC.
According to research by Cornell University and Qatalog, staff waste up to an hour each day simply switching apps and searching for information. So in addition to employees being able to use their everyday familiar interface, Microsoft 365, they won’t have to switch between multiple communication applications, making them more productive.
How Does Microsoft Team Calling Work?
To utilise Microsoft Team Calling, your organisation needs to already have a subscription to Microsoft 365. Then you have two options to choose from, that you can add to your subscription: the Microsoft Teams Calling Plan or Direct Routing.
Microsoft Teams Calling Plan
It’s available through telecommunication network providers in Australia and New Zealand, and acts as the PSTN carrier. It’s very easy to implement, so smaller companies find this option the best.
Direct Routing works by connecting MS Teams with the PSTN, with the help of a third-party managed service provider. This brings the cost down significantly and is the reason why multinational enterprises often choose this route.
A cloud telephony solution like Microsoft Teams Calling can fully replace your existing PBX and reduce organisational costs. It’s flexible, you only need one device to utilise and you can add/remove users in a matter of minutes.
Is calling on Microsoft Teams free?
Calls to other Microsoft Teams users are free, but if you want to use it as a normal phone (domestic and international), then you have to pay. Because each business is unique in size and numbers of users, there are no set Plans and Pricing options available, only custom pricing.
Top Features of Microsoft Teams Calling
Besides being able to replace an organisation’s entire phone system, Microsoft Teams Calling has other top features worth mentioning.
- Call queues: automatically puts callers on hold and routes them to employees in your organisation.
- Cloud voicemail: voicemail messages are delivered to users’ inboxes as an attached audio file and the voicemail transcription.
- Call sharing: employees can share incoming calls by creating user groups
- Video calling: face-to-face video calls on any device equipped with a camera and microphone
- Analytics: per-user call analytics are available
Here’s the full list of Microsoft Teams Calling features.
Top Benefits of Microsoft Teams Calling
Microsoft cloud services and cloud telephony, in general, are a welcome modern approach to communication. And Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one communications platform for organisations of any size. In fact, according to Microsoft, as of 2022, over 500,000 organisations use Microsoft Teams as their default messaging platform.
PBX, PSTN, remote communication, all in one platform. On any device, from anywhere, with video capabilities.
Microsoft Teams Calling is a strong tool for collaboration, leading to better efficiency and employee satisfaction. Not switching between apps keeps employees more focused and more engaged. A study found that by using Microsoft Teams a company could save between $8.8 million and $21.7 million just on productivity.
With telecommunication usage costs reduced, as well as fewer administration costs – both upfront and ongoing – could save your organisation around $1.0 million over 3 years.
Improved business outcomes
With streamlined communication, reduced administrative costs and improved productivity, your organisation can improve its business performance. Better communication – internal and with prospects, will always lead to better outcomes.
Microsoft Teams has had incredible growth during the global pandemic and has created a powerful tool in just a few years. With the outstanding growth of Microsoft Teams during the global pandemic, Cavell Group estimated that by 2025 nearly 30 per cent of cloud telephony users will be using Teams Calling.
Do you need help or want to know if this is the best telephony solution for your organisation? Do you need help in setting up Microsoft Teams Calling? Contact MSP Blueshift today.