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Microsoft Teams is a unified communications platform offered by Microsoft to help enable those who work for businesses and organizations to easily collaborate and communicate in a variety of ways. Teams allows intelligent communication via chat, email, video meetings, file storage, and app integration from anywhere, so team members can keep in touch no matter where they are.

Having said that, one of the most common forms of communication between co-workers is still the traditional phone. Phone calls are still needed when a more detailed discussion of a subject is required or when a more personal level of communication must take place. And because a lot of business communication happens over the phone, Teams can also integrate with Voice over IP (VoIP) systems, which might just make your work life even easier.

 

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What will happen to my phones?

Microsoft Teams can now connect office PBX systems, which means that anyone can place and receive internal and external calls with anyone at any time, anywhere. This is a system that makes telephony easy for your clients, even if they are working from a different office, while on the road or at home.

 

Benefits of calling with Teams

Several fantastic benefits come with integrating a phone system with Teams. Here are the best of them:

  • Streamlined communications and collaboration in one window
  • Less expensive
  • Works for remote team members and those working from home
  • Offers flexibility to choose the feature set you need (Teams, Microsoft Business Voice, UCaaS)

This is all done from within the Teams app, whether it is on a laptop, desktop computer, phone, or tablet, and can be used with any Teams-compatible headset conference room collaboration bar or desk phone.

 

How to set up calling services in Teams

Telephony in Microsoft Teams is available as an add-on to Microsoft 365 plans. When you go into Teams, you can access the telephony service by doing one of the following:

  • Use direct routing to leverage the telephony engine you want and connect it to the Microsoft environment
  • Enabling phone systems and calling plans with Microsoft

This being said, when it comes to making the best use of calling in Teams, you may face some unique challenges. With this in mind, there are some important things to take into consideration when integrating business phones with Teams.

 

Five things to consider when integrating a phone system with Teams

In general, our team of experts can make calling integration with Teams fairly straightforward for you. However, there are some specific considerations worth noting regarding where employees are working, the equipment they are using, and how phone numbers work.

 

1. VoIP with your current phone system

One thing to think about when it comes to VoIP via your PBX system is what happens when team members don’t have access to their desktop phones.

It’s possible to link your existing PBX system to Microsoft Teams with the help of Sherweb’s Teams connector, which will provide the necessary middleware and hardware to bridge the two systems.

 

2. Which phones should I use

With calling integration with Teams, in most cases, you can use your existing phones. This means no additional costs in terms of replacing your equipment. If you have SIP phones, integration is easy to accommodate. There are two ways to accomplish this:

  1. Adding Teams-certified hardware (phones, collaboration bars, headsets, etc.)
  2. Using your existing hardware (BYOD) with the help of Sherweb’s team

 

3. Working remotely

There are times when you will rely heavily on enabled remote communications. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 is a prime example of this type of situation. With so many people working from home, the deployment of communications and collaboration tools becomes a critical aspect of operations. It can also come with a few challenges, particularly when it comes to connectivity. For this reason, you should take the following into account:

  • The quality of the network connection matters: Ideally, it should be a high-speed, low latency connection with little to no packet loss. Perform a soft deployment, and test calls to verify how everything sounds.
  • Make sure you can remotely connect back to the phone system.
  • Make sure you can remotely connect back to the phone system.

 

4. Faxing and local conference calls

Faxing documents is still an important way to stay connected and share information. Fortunately, with our UCaaS solution, we offer fax-to-email and email-to-fax services as part of your plan.

Perhaps even more important is the use of conference calls for when you need to hold important team meetings. This is possible, too, provided you have the conferencing add-on with your licensing (which is included in all Microsoft 365 Business Voice plans). This will provide you with a regional number (available in most countries) that your team members can use to connect to the call.

 

5. Finding the easiest way to get VoIP up and running

Whichever way you choose to integrate a phone system with Teams, it is made easier by having someone do it with you. With our UCaaS solution, Sherweb can take care of multiple aspects of the deployment for you, evaluating your current needs and providing you with a single platform for all your communications and collaboration. This leaves you time to focus on what matters most—your business growth. Give us a call to learn more about our solutions.

Written by James Welburn VoIP Solution Specialist @ Sherweb

James works with Sherweb’s sales and marketing teams as well as partners to identify customer needs and solutions to satisfy them. Focused on voice and UCaaS products, he helps partners build and position offers for success. James has more than 10 years of experience in the telecom field, with previous roles in VoIP sales, deployment and product management. Outside of championing Sherweb’s telecommunications expertise, James is a self-professed homebody who enjoys spending time with friends and family.