Why you Should Integrate Microsoft Teams with your Phone System

October 1, 2021

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It’s safe to say that staying connected with customers and colleagues is essential to any business. Clear and productive communication helps to create a positive customer experience, ensuring clients feel valued, supported, and listened to at every stage of the customer journey.

 

Drive your business with microsoft teams

 

Think back to a time when you received good customer service; easy and responsive communication with the company in question no doubt played a part in this.

Yet in a modern corporate environment, the way businesses communicate not only with customers but also internally is changing; people now expect an increasing range of communication options to suit their preferred communication style. And in response to this demand, more and more businesses are opting for unified communications.

 

What is Unified Communications?

Unified communications, also known as UC, is all about integrating your communication and collaboration tools to create a centralised, digital workspace that works for your business and employees.

The polar opposite of siloed communication channels, which can cause inefficiency and miscommunication, unified communication focuses on integrating your business’s different communication options, including:

  • Chat messaging
  • Video calls
  • File sharing
  • Voice calls

 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is the ultimate collaboration and communication platform for businesses, offering something to suit everyone’s communication style. This makes it particularly suited to internal collaboration, providing chat options, message boards, video calling functions, as well as document sharing and real-time document collaboration. Microsoft Office 365 applications are also built into Teams for simplified access to SharePoint, OneNote and Planner for optimum productivity and easy workload management.

Microsoft Teams also allows you to invite guests from outside your organisation even if they don’t use Microsoft internally. This allows you to make voice and video calls with clients or business partners outside your company, without having to spend money on traditional phone calls.

Phone Systems

Perhaps the more traditional way of communicating with customers or colleagues, phones systems have long been the mainstay of business communication. They allow you to make and take voice calls, transfer calls, create hunt groups, queue calls etc – all of which helps businesses manage calls and communication.

There are two main types of phone systems that businesses use.

  1. On-site PBX- Phone servers are stored on-site in your office and managed by your employees.
  2. Hosted PBX- An external IT provider will take care of your solution for you and all hardware (bar the phones themselves) will be stored off-site.

 

Is There Still a Place for Phones in the Office?

In light of the pandemic, more businesses quickly became dependent on digital ways of communicating. Many employees could only take their laptops home with them; their business phone was often left on their desk.

Yet office phone systems are still essential for many companies, especially for businesses that handle large volumes of external calls like customer service or call centres. Beyond that, many customers still rely on phone calls as their primary communication method with businesses; 62% of customers prefer phone calls versus 46% preferring email.

Your business’s phone number is therefore a vital part of its identity and branding; it’s one of the main ways your customers get in touch with your company. Keeping that number is absolutely essential, moving away from traditional phone systems could cost you business and alienate your customers.

It’s clear that phones still have a place in the modern office, but how can this bring added value in a digital age? Integrating your phone system with Microsoft Teams can deliver greater results for you and your business.

 

Integrating your Teams and Phone System

In the age of unified communications, it’s essential that your business phone system fits into increasingly varied and digital ways of working. Integrating your phone system with Microsoft Teams can help take your business communications to the next level, promoting collaboration, efficiency and productivity across your company.

Do you already use Microsoft Teams and a phone system in your office? Integrating the two is the next logical step, allowing you to unite the core communication systems that keep your business, colleagues and customers connected on a daily basis. This will ultimately allow you to answer regular calls through Microsoft Teams, centralising all your business communications on Microsoft’s collaborative platform.

 

Benefits of Integrating Your Phone System and Microsoft Teams

There are many benefits to this Microsoft/phone integration and unified communications in general. Here are the top 5:

 

  • Get the Best of Both Worlds

Integrating your Microsoft Teams and phone system allows you to leverage the capabilities of both technologies, ensuring there’s something to suit all communications styles. Teams provides more informal internal communications such as chat functions and message boards, as well as video conferences and voice calls. Phone systems allow external parties to connect to your business and its employees. Combining both channels ensures you can continue to draw on the benefits of both, whilst improving your workflow efficiency.

  • Streamline Communications

By integrating your Microsoft Teams and office phone, you can ultimately centralise what would have been two separate communication channels into one streamlined platform. With all your interactions taking place in one collaborative workspace, you can seamlessly switch between internal and external communication without ever leaving Teams. Whether you’re instant messaging colleagues on Teams chat or answering calls from clients via your integrated office phone, combining your communication channels will make managing your business communications much simpler.

  • Keep Your Existing VoIP Phones

If you’re looking to benefit from this integration but keep your existing phone system, then we have good news for you. If your phones are VoIP enabled, then integrating your Microsoft Teams is simple. This will allow you to take advantage of advanced capabilities without having to invest in a new phone system; you can simply take the technology you already have and apply a simple integration to take your business communications to the next level.

  • Enable Remote Working

Connecting Microsoft Teams with your phone system helps to transform this collaborative platform into a softphone, allowing you to make calls over the Internet via a computer or laptop. With the ability to take your business calls over Internet-abled devices, you can free your phone system from a physical, office-based handset. This is particularly beneficial if your business has embraced hybrid or home working, allowing your employees to access their business phone on their laptop or mobile via Teams.

  • Simplify IT Management

When you opt to integrate your Microsoft Teams with your phones system, you can also benefit from simplified IT management and outsourcing to a third-party provider. Whilst connecting these two communication channels is simple enough, it will require an experienced IT professional. Approaching a professional IT provider allows your business to benefit from improved communication without having to employ an internal IT department; they can take care of everything for you, including installation, maintenance, and upgrades.

 

Features of Microsoft Teams Integration

Extensions

Align your office phone and Teams extensions so your colleagues and customers can always reach the person they’re looking for. Both your phone handset and laptop will ring, allowing you to pick the device you want to answer the call on.

Hunt Groups

Create hunt groups or agent groups via Microsoft Teams and continue managing your call distribution as you would with a regular business phone. Integrating the two channels will also allow you to access your phones systems routing features, as well as reporting mechanisms.

DID and ANI

With a DID management list, you can assign phone numbers to both Microsoft and non-Microsoft extensions, allowing you to take advantage of flexible routing and number presentation schemes that would otherwise be unavailable in Microsoft Teams.

Desk Phone Functionality

Benefit from all those important desk phone functions in Teams including call answering and initiating (by name and number), call holding, call history, voicemail, and emergency calls. This will ensure that you have all the functionalities you need, whether you’re calling on Teams or from your phone handset.

 

Why Choose Elite Group IOM?

If you’re looking to integrate your Microsoft Teams with your phone system, why not choose Elite Group IOM as your voice solution provider?

Reliable Voice Solutions

As a reliable voice provider, you can count on Elite Group IOM to deploy and maintain the ideal voice solution for your business.

Expert Engineers

With our expert engineers on the case, you can be sure that your voice solution is in professional hands and that any issues will be dealt with by us.

Microsoft Gold Partners

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have hands-on knowledge and training in deploying and maintaining Microsoft solutions, as well as access to the exclusive Microsoft Partner base.

 

Get in Touch with Us

If you’re looking to bring your phone system into the 21st century, get in touch with Elite Group IOM today. With professional solutions, expert engineers, and dedicated account management, you can be sure that your business has everything it needs to thrive in the digital age.

Elite Group IOM is one of the island’s leading IT and unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and telecoms services to organisations seeking Connectivity, UC & Voice, Cloud Service, IT Software and Security solutions.

For more information on how Elite Group IOM can help your business flourish through technology, contact us today.