As businesses adapt to the much-cited new normal, Microsoft Teams usage could exceed 100 million daily active users, driven by a rise in demand for remote and mobile working opportunities.
Organisations of all sizes, today realise the value of having collaboration tools at the centre of their communication stack. To achieve this, many IT leaders are actively exploring options to combine the Teams experience with business phone demands, now more than any other time.
One way to allow phone calls using Microsoft Teams is with a Microsoft Calling Plan attached to the Microsoft Phone System. This turns Teams into a light-touch PBX, tightly integrated with the rest of Teams’ functionality. It’s great for small organisations as an out-of-the-box solution, but it’s not the most cost-effective option, particularly for organisations with more than a hundred employees. Microsoft Calling Plans are available only in a few countries, which makes it hard for businesses with a global workforce on Teams to obtain local phone numbers, which can be confusing, expensive, and time-consuming.
A more attractive proposition for IT leaders, especially in today’s economic stress, is to leverage their Microsoft investment by adding third-party support for telephony using Teams Direct Routing.
Teams Direct Routing links Microsoft Teams to a preferred telephony provider, giving IT leaders real flexibility, and making it a popular choice for organisations. It is a cost-effective alternative to Microsoft Calling Plans allowing employees to make and receive calls to mobiles and landlines worldwide, from Microsoft Teams. While several Direct Routing options available, knowing what is right for your business is challenging.
Here are five considerations to keep in mind as you explore various Direct Routing possibilities for businesses:
1. User experience matters
Keeping users at the centre of the Teams experience is vital for the successful adoption of Teams across organisations. Some Direct Routing technologies require bots, apps, or browser extensions to be installed on end-user devices, creating a disjointed Teams user experience. It also means retaining Teams end-users and maintenance ordeals for IT pros.
Look at Direct Routing solutions that don’t change the user experience for making and receiving calls from the Teams app. A seamless, consistent user experience ensures continued usage of Teams as the default enterprise collaboration app, without any additional training. See how 8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams facilitates a seamless experience for mobile and desktop Teams users.
2. A single communications platform
Many direct routing products need on-premises SBC, SIP Trunking infrastructure that is both costly to install and maintain. Calling plans are added separately. Managing onsite equipment and multiple vendors is a burden that IT admins would happily avoid, especially in today’s cloud-first world.
Consider Direct Routing solutions that don’t require any physical IT hardware, making it simple for your IT pros to manage all Teams users a single interface. Learn how 8×8 empowers all your employees to communicate internally or externally on a single communications platform, regardless of whether they are Teams users or not.
3. Truly global communications
Direct Routing providers offers a simple and cost-effective alternative to Microsoft Calling Plans. While several vendors include more PSTN replacement options than Microsoft, many fall short of providing full PSTN services and global numbers across various countries. That forces organisations to acquire voice gateway solutions which quickly add to business costs and are difficult to maintain.
Ensure a direct routing supplier that offers full telephony replacement worldwide, together with local and toll-free numbers with affordable calling plans. Discover how 8×8’s global network and location experience gives Teams users full PSTN access in 38 countries, unlimited calling plans in 47 countries, plus local and toll-free numbers in over 120 countries.
4. Global coverage
Connecting Microsoft Teams to business apps and CRM systems give Teams users greater convenience and more personalised user experience. However, most Direct Routing services have limitations in supporting third party business apps, disrupting the Teams workflow.
Opting for a Direct Routing solution that integrates ecosystem partners helps to extend the value of Teams, resulting in better employee engagement and bridging communication silos. Watch how 8×8 Voice for Teams allows users to make and receive calls from their favourite CRM application.
5. More than just telephony
Ask your potential Direct Routing provider about value-added benefits that go beyond just providing PSTN calling from Teams. Consider if the prospective solution includes business tools such as call or speech analytics, fully secured contact centre capabilities, or integrated call recording for business compliance.
Using Direct Routing with multiple systems quickly burns a hole in the pocket in the long term, making it difficult for IT to customise, integrate, and keep those systems up-to-date and working efficiently with Teams. Take a look at how 8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams help contact centre agents to make and receive calls within Teams and use advanced omni-channel capabilities, access analytics insights and record customer calls – all from a single integrated 8×8 cloud platform.
Convinced that your customers needs 8×8 Voice for Teams? Why not speak to our team of experts at 0161 956 3355 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Written By Mayur Pitamber (2020-06-30)