In the modern workforce, many business leaders prioritized finding a way for their users to be productive and secure while adapting to a newly remote, mobile work environment. This drove many of these organizations to deploy Microsoft Teams, integrating their chat, meetings, and collaboration under one platform.
However, despite the desire many of these business leaders have to modernize their systems, one aspect of legacy work environments that some have difficulty leaving behind is the traditional phone system.
In this blog, I will discuss why it is time to retire the legacy phone system and, instead, deploy Microsoft Teams Calling capabilities and Microsoft Teams Certified devices across your organization.
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Traditional phone systems come with hardware and devices that are bulky, difficult to support, and not convenient for the average remote worker.
Mobility is essential for the workforce of today. We have already seen a global shift to remote work due to the pandemic, but according to Gartner, 62% of employees now expect their employers to allow them to work remotely after the pandemic is over.
Sending remote workers home with a desk phone can be burdensome. Every remote worker has a different desk set up and may not have room at their workspace to put a desk phone. This is an important consideration when transitioning from legacy phones systems as well. Many newer desk phones require Power over Ethernet (PoE), which can be complicated or not possible for the average remote worker to set up. Alternatively, users could get by with an adapter to bypass the need to use PoE, but that takes up even more desk space and adds more cost.
With Microsoft Teams Calling, the Teams client is your phone and all most users need is a headset. Calls can also be place and received from the Teams Mobile app enabling users to truly work from anywhere. Gone are the days of worrying about missing that important phone call or having to be limited in movement by the length of a cord. Based on the average costs of headsets and desk phones, headsets can also save upwards of 50% per user which adds up quickly when supporting hundreds, if not thousands, of users.
Your phone system should be more than just a communication device – it should be a collaboration tool. Aim to make your phone an extension of your work, not a separate experience.
The modern workforce communicates via instant messaging, group chats, and email, and collaborates on documents with mobile devices and laptops through platforms hosted in the cloud. Microsoft Teams Calling brings your phone system together with unified collaboration and calling to deliver the most productive all-in-one communication solution.
With cloud calling features like consultative transfer, music-on-hold, cloud voicemail, and built-in redundancy and load balancing, Microsoft Teams Calling provides a reliable and rich calling solution. Microsoft Teams Calling also helps protect your business communication, no matter where they take place with built-in security, privacy, and compliance from Microsoft 365.
By integrating your calling solution with your collaboration and communications platform, you can cut back on significant costs typically accrued with multiple licensing and device plans. Most customers are able to eliminate two to three solutions with Teams (i.e. Avaya phone, Zoom conferencing, Slack collaboration). Additionally, your users and your IT team save time by not needing to learn how to use and troubleshoot multiple platforms.
Another opportunity for cost savings is around support and management of the on-premises phone solution. It is a time consuming, complex process to provision, support, and manage dozens to hundreds of disparate phones and phone numbers. With a centralized, cloud-based phone system like Microsoft Teams Calling, you can streamline management of your phone system with easily adding phone numbers and monitoring & resolving issues all within a single Admin Center.
One reason some decision makers may hesitate to deploy a cloud-based telephony system is that it could disrupt the investments made and infrastructure they have already deployed – and are potentially still paying for – with existing telecommunications providers. However, with Microsoft Teams Calling you can utilize Direct Routing, allowing you to use your existing telecommunications provider by directly connecting the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunks to Microsoft Teams.
While you may be on board with the flexibility and convenience of a cloud-based phone system, you may still have concerns about the hardware. How do Microsoft Teams devices stack up to traditional calling devices?
Microsoft has developed the Teams Certified Device Program to offer users a wide range of calling devices designed to integrate with Teams. Microsoft has partnered with a trusted portfolio of device manufacturers to deliver high-quality audio, video, and sharing experiences.
There are a wide range of available device types under the Microsoft Teams Certified Device Program, including handsets, headsets, video systems, speaker phones, and conference phones. Each device type has a high-quality bar with high performance targets and audio quality metrics.
Key certification benefits for Teams Certified Devices include:
- Automatic selection of default audio device and prioritization
- Devices automatically register with the Teams client
- User notification of events and alerts from the Teams client (for example, meeting starting, voicemail or missed call)
- Ability to activate the Teams client or respond to notification with a press of the button (for example, to join a meeting)
- All audio devices (headsets, speakerphones, etc.) offer:
- Basic call control when used with a PC or a Mac device. Basic controls include answer/hang-up, mute/unmute, and volume control
- Wide-band audio with no echo, distortion, or excessive glitches. Echo and noise cancellation is also supported across devices
- Teams IP Phones offer:
- A native Teams experience with hardware button integration and LED notifications
- Calendar integration and one-touch meeting join
- Deployed and managed via the Microsoft Device Management Solution with Intune integration
To deliver a fully cohesive experience, you can connect Microsoft Teams-enabled devices like headsets, cameras, and microphones to enhance the quality of calls, meetings, and presentations.
Many business leaders prioritized finding ways for their users to be productive and secure while adapting to a newly remote, mobile work environment. By ditching the traditional phone system and deploying Microsoft Teams Calling in your organization alongside Teams Certified Devices, you can ensure your users will experience the flexibility and high-quality collaborative experiences essential for the modern workforce.
Apex’s Ignite for Microsoft Teams service offering will empower your organization to streamline collaboration and unleash the power of teamwork across your entire organization. Apex Digital Solutions can assist with the evaluation, purchase, deployment, and success management of Microsoft Teams. Learn More >>