5 Reasons Microsoft Teams Calling Will Replace Traditional Business Phone Systems
The telephone has served us well for nearly 150 years. The great strides in telephony innovation have seen us through industrialisation and globalisation. For enterprises, we are now at a point in technology adoption where we may be close to the next phase in telephony innovation – where we might not need legacy phone systems at all.
What is a ‘traditional business phone system’ in today’s terms? Traditional business phone systems use a PBX (Private Business Exchange) – a private telephone network that consists of switches and routers and cables to connect to PSTNs (Public Switched Telephone Networks). This equipment is typically stored on-premise in a designated area managed by the IT department.
Legacy PBX systems were then reinforced with digital technologies such as VoIP and ISDN to power transmission of voice, data, video and other digital information.
Teams Calling by MyRepublic is an example of the next innovation in telephony – a cloud-hosted virtual PBX system powered by Microsoft.
Microsoft Teams is all-in-one app that brings together chat, meetings and collaboration. Teams Calling takes it further by enabling direct routing of the Microsoft Phone System to the PSTN, creating a seamless telephony experience for the modern business. It is ideal for enterprises that have a base of distributed users that need to share information with each other frequently.
That could be a multi-disciplinary agency working with specialist freelancers. Or a consumer services company with contact centers in another geography. Or a product company with regional sales representatives around the globe.
Remote and hybrid work are here to stay. Collaboration and productivity tools paved the way for distributed teams to work together more smoothly. But if a hyper-scaler like Microsoft has expanded their footprint into this space, you know that this is a significant growth area that they are committed to servicing.
Here are five reasons we think Teams Calling will replace traditional business phone systems in the near future:
1. Adapting to the new normal
Businesses are adapting to the new normal and so should business communication.
The macroeconomic stresses of the pandemic and the resulting shift to hybrid work have businesses feeling the pressure to move CapEx to OpEx more than ever. They are revisiting IT infrastructure, office space, utility bills and skilled personnel hours. Microsoft Teams helps them do this by eliminating heavy fixed costs and moving to a subscription model that can be scaled up and down as needed.
Moreover, remote and hybrid work are becoming more norm than novelty. As workforces start adjusting to the new normal, many companies are adopting modern technologies to make collaboration and communication smoother. Beyond just cost savings, distributed models quite simply unlock much-needed talent previously insulated by geographical or technological barriers.
Productivity tools have been servicing some of these needs. When it comes to direct conversations, team members have traditionally preferred to just pick up the phone and call. However, the more distributed work models get, the harder it becomes to keep track of all the touchpoints, channels and infrastructure costs needed to keep work flowing smoothly. Not to mention the additional security risks associated with growing digital exposure.
Teams Calling offers a unified communications systems with inbuilt communication, collaboration, productivity and security features. And being hosted in the cloud, Teams eliminates the need for expensive on-premises hardware and the complex management of its lifecycle.
2. Reduced complexity for administrators
IT administrators charged with implementing business phone systems have to manage a degree of complexity that only compounds as the business grows. Not only do they have to integrate hardware touchpoints such as desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, desk phone and conference phones, but also manage every operating system and every new communication platform that the business adopts to connect their users. Add to that the layer of complexity introduced by regional telco carriers and their regulations, plans and costs.
Imagine another layer of complexity: hybrid meetings. While enterprises are trying their best to accommodate flexible work policies, administrators are left to configure conference calls with remote attendees in multiple locations in spaces that were not designed for such communications.
Teams Calling enables administrators of complex IT environments to manage everything in one central platform. As a managed service, it greatly reduces management overheads and cost for administrators when compared to the legacy PBX system. Rather than connecting handsets or office phones, they can connect softphones on PCs, tablets and smartphones. They can add and remove users, and create department, location or function-based user groups and control access from one unified interface.
3. Unlocking lost productivity
Switching between separate platforms and windows for file sharing, instant messaging, group chats, permission controls, emailing, phone calls, video calls, note taking, co-creating, project managing – further complicated by trying to perform these tasks from their laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphone, other smartphone – results in fatigue.
While productivity tools and communications apps offer great features in their individual functionalities, the average enterprise user has to keep switching screens, devices and product ecosystems throughout the day, leaking productive time from their core activities.
As a unified communications system, Microsoft Teams helps to remove these productivity challenges. Natively, Microsoft Teams allows internet-enabled users to call anyone in their organisation from any device using VoIP. Now with PSTN integration, Teams Calling helps them call any phone number, from their own phone number.
4. Next generation call management
Teams Calling offers numerous new features for modern call management.
Users can transfer calls between their mobile and desk devices. They can transfer calls to the right point of contact in their organisation through one touchpoint.
Apple users can use the Teams hands-free features to connect their work calls to their cars. They wouldn’t have to switch from their corporate accounts or devices if they are commuting and cannot miss a meeting.
Teams Calling can also record and transcribe calls. Imagine not reaching your colleagues and leaving a voicemail. Only now this voicemail can be emailed to them as an audio attachment. It can also be transcribed and sent as a document. Meeting notes, updates, approvals, reviews – this is bound to be a feature welcomed by enterprise professionals everywhere.
Furthermore, advanced call management features such as Auto Attendant, Call Queue, Conferencing and Contact Center Integration make this an ideal solution for enterprises that need economies of scale. Think telcos, banks and insurance companies, travel and tourism, and the public sector.
Here’s a feature that the remote workers will love: an AI-based noise suppression option. No more noisy café, or disruptive street sounds if you are on-the-go. When working from home, they can filter out noises from pets, kids, vacuum cleaners and home repairs. The feature can even suppress noise from meeting participants typing.
5. Hyper-scale cybersecurity
The spike in cybercrime during the pandemic as well as the spate of shocking incidents around the world makes it very clear that cybersecurity is not just an add-on or a layer on a platform. It is a global imperative that Microsoft takes seriously. They announced in August 2021 an investment of $20 billion over the next 5 years in cybersecurity, four times their previous investments of $1 billion per year to protect their services. Microsoft Teams is built on the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud.
Microsoft’s Security Engineering division uses the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) to embed best practices and cybersecurity advancements into the development of all their products. The Microsoft SDL introduces security and privacy considerations throughout all phases of the development process, helping developers build highly secure software, address security compliance requirements, and reduce development costs. The guidance, best practices, tools, and processes in the Microsoft SDL are continually updated with new scenarios such as the cloud, IoT and AI.
To conclude, Teams Calling is a modern calling solution that enables seamless connectivity with business numbers and helps enterprises amp up their collaboration in the new normal. Users can stay connected anywhere globally and work smarter with digital calls. They can receive or make local, long-distance, mobile, audio or video calls through one business number.
Get in touch with our expert consultants today to learn more about how MyRepublic can empower your business with transformational communication capabilities ready for the modern workplace.