In the spring of last year, we got many calls at ProfitComm about setting up a remote workforce. As office spaces shut down, companies needed to set up employees in a work-from-home environment. People needed to be able to take calls from home, as well as communicate with their staff. Some companies had already been using Microsoft Teams for collaboration. MS Teams integrations with Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) or Voice Over IP (VOIP) can help businesses with their communications needs. However, figuring out what services MS Teams offers–and what those services cost– can still be complicated. Here are some things to know about hosted VOIP/UCaas integrations and Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams offers Voice Solutions
Teams launched in 2017, and Microsoft wants it to be an efficient collaboration tool that might even replace other forms of office communication, including email. Using Microsoft Teams, employees and collaborators have the ability to chat internally, use video conferencing software, have voice calls, and share Microsoft Office documents using SharePoint. However, if you don’t have an Office365 subscription, these services are not free.
MS Teams does offer VOIP between MS Teams clients. This includes features such as call answering, call forwarding, and hold, like any VOIP service. However, missing from teams are e911 management, faxing, caller ID, advance call routing, hunt groups, call recording, enhanced contact center features, intercom, and paging.
MS Teams UCaaS Integration
Microsoft Teams is best used as an internal communication tool. Calling, messaging, and video conferencing between team members is easy, and with the Office365 subscription, cost-effective. However, if you want to use MS Team’s VOIP for external calls, you need a UCaas integration. While VOIP is just a cloud telephone service, UCaas is an integrated communication service over the cloud that includes messaging, video conferencing, and phone calls. A UCaas platform allows Microsoft Teams users to use Teams both within the workplace or office and make external calls.
Managed UCaas vs. MS Teams
As many Microsoft users know, they don’t offer managed services where you can talk to customer service or technical support person whenever you need to. Getting a managed UCaas service allows you to have access to support all day, every day.
Before You Use Teams, Consider What You Have
One of the biggest issues that companies looking for technology solutions against is what technology and services they actually need. Microsoft Teams launched to compete with Slack, and they added video conferencing as an alternative to Zoom. In the case of VOIP and UCaas integrations with MS Teams, you should first consider what services you have (in terms of phone, chatting, and video conferencing), which of those work well, and what additional technology you might need.
There are three ways to get MS Teams.
There are three ways to get started with MS Teams, but two require a heavy lift on the client’s end. You basically have to be your own support and IT team, and even buy equipment to make it work right. The third way is the one that most people think is the best. It offers the support that you are used to with a phone system. In the end, it provides the best of both worlds. It offers collaboration tools and the advanced features of UCaas/ CCaas providers that you can’t get directly from Microsoft.
Using our RFP Alternative process, ProfitComm can help you discover those needs and find you, vendors that meet your criteria, whether hosted VOIP, UCaas, or managed IT solutions. Take our quiz to see if MS Teams is the right technology for your business. Our next blog post will explore some of the vendors offering MS Teams integrations and their benefits.