Post-Pandemic Transitions with Teams Voice  

February 23, 2021 Sheldon McGruder

teams voice

Perhaps the biggest single change to businesses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is the shift from employees working in offices to working from home. This move has continued to redefine how we work our daily jobs and how we optimize digital operations. One of the most significant changes is the fact that face-to-face meetings have been largely replaced by remote video conferencing and phone calls.

Though the environments in which we work may have changed drastically, Microsoft Teams Voice can help provide the human connection regardless of geographic location. Whether a business is reducing its workplace footprint by moving to long-term remote working or just enabling its employees to come to an office less, Microsoft Teams Voice helps you connect.

Microsoft Teams Voice is a cloud-based telephony solution that provides a fully capable phone system from any location that has Internet connectivity. Using a traditional PBX (“Private Branch Exchange:” the equipment that houses your phone or “telephony” system) requires calling a person’s phone set physically located at their desk. With Teams Voice, you call the person, not their desk phone, and they can answer from just about anywhere.

Microsoft Teams allows you to:

  • Place and receive calls from a laptop/desktop, mobile, Web, or traditional desk phone
  • Dial national and/or international numbers, depending on your licensing plan
  • Hold audio conferences with up to 300 dial-in participants

The purchase and management of traditional PBX systems involve not only high up-front costs and hardware but ongoing support, licensing and maintenance fees over the life of the equipment. Additionally, there is the need for PBX platform expertise when it comes to provisioning/maintenance of users and upgrading the systems.

Microsoft Teams Voice is a PBX in the cloud. This not only eliminates costs associated with maintaining on-premises equipment but also provides you with the latest software and updates as they are rolled out – without having to do any of the upgrading yourself! This seamlessly improves user experience and stakeholder satisfaction as they are always operating on the latest technology.

Teams Voice can be deployed, configured, and maintained using the interfaces familiar to anyone already using Microsoft cloud services. This includes tasks associated with user or configuration changes. And Teams integrates with existing Microsoft products such as SharePoint, Outlook, OneDrive and more.

For years, Microsoft has continued to work with numerous headset, desk phone, speaker phone, and conferencing equipment providers to deliver an extensive ecosystem of Teams tested and approved devices. You can choose devices from manufacturers such as Poly, Jabra, Sennheiser, Bose and others.

Teams provides not only phone numbers for your users, but main office numbers, numbers for Auto Attendants and Call Queue services, as well as dial-in numbers (toll and toll-free) to access conferences from a mobile or landline phone. And, of course, all with voicemail.

But employees in your organization may already have phone numbers that are well known to your customers, partners, and colleagues. Need to keep those numbers? No problem! We can assist in moving those same numbers to Microsoft’s Phone System through the process of “number porting.”

Additionally, if you need to maintain your existing PSTN (public switched telephone network) service provider but would still like to eliminate your PBX, Teams can do that, too. Teams Direct Routing allows you to interface Microsoft Phone System with your existing PSTN circuits or SIP trunks.

Cognizant Microsoft Business Group can help you with your voice needs. Our approach involves:

  • An assessment of your current technology and cultural state
  • Development of a tailored change management plan and technical rollout plan
  • Phased Pilot to test and validate the change management and technical approaches
  • Phased Production rollout
  • Stabilization
  • Transition to an operations or managed services run team

Making the transition to a cloud-based SaaS PBX solution allows your organization to:

  • Retire office telecom landlines
  • Enjoy advanced phone features on just about any device
  • Minimize communications impacts as your workforce becomes more geographically dispersed

Cognizant Microsoft Business Group is currently helping small, mid-sized, and large global organizations make these post-pandemic transitions.

Contact Cognizant Microsoft Business Group today and see how we can help you.

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