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In light of the movement restrictions imposed by the ongoing pandemic, and the transformation of working practices that’s taking place as a result, organizations across the globe are turning to platforms like Microsoft Teams and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), for their collaboration, teamwork, and communication needs.

However, telephony still plays a central role in business communications and Microsoft Teams users often find navigating their way through the calling options and pricing structures a confusing affair. That’s where integrating Microsoft Teams with a comprehensive UCaaS solution can make the picture much clearer, while expanding your global reach.

What Microsoft Teams Voice Features Have To Offer

The Microsoft platform offers Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP calls from one Teams client to another, via its Phone System with Microsoft Calling Plans or Direct Routing for PSTN services. This incorporates features like call answering and initiating (by name and number) with integrated dial pad, call holding, history, forwarding, and simultaneous ringing.

How UCaaS Integration Expands Your Calling Options

Microsoft Teams Calling puts its main focus on compatibility with Office 365, and integrates with all the tools from that productivity suite that many businesses require.

For organizations at all levels, Microsoft Teams is typically employed as an internal communications tool. A UCaaS platform with cloud PBX can make those communications capabilities external, thereby extending the functionality of the platform.

At a basic level, while Microsoft Teams assembles Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneDrive in a single place, more complex functions are not immediately available within the platform. For example, information shared during conferences can’t be easily archived, since call recording isn’t a standard feature, as it is with a VoIP-based UCaaS solution. The chat, video conferencing, and telephone capabilities of UCaaS also contribute to rounding out your communications and collaboration potential.

A Unified Communications as a Service platform with hosted PBX lets you use any phone that you choose — whether that be a desktop unit, softphone, or mobile device. This means that with a UCaaS solution, you can use Microsoft Teams as a softphone, across any device or platform, with your own business line.

Finally, since Microsoft takes a “hands off” approach to customer service, Teams users must rely on Microsoft’s online databases and their own initiative, for technical support. This is not the case with a reliable UCaaS provider, who will typically be available 24/7/365, with proactive support and assistance.

Seamless Integration Options Are Available

Several leading suppliers in our portfolio such as 8×8, CallTower, RingCentral and net2phone offer native integration into Microsoft Teams, which gives the Teams user added capabilities. These include a calling plan with International calls, which provides truly unlimited calling rather than a set allocation of minutes. Subscribers can unbundle the traditional 1:1 offerings and model after the call path seat / call path channel PRI / shared lines model to further reduce costs and scale capacity as needed.

A cloud PBX provides a comprehensive set of features such as auto attendants, ring groups, hunt groups, welcome greetings, call recording, eFax, SMS / MMS Messaging, Live Chat, video conferencing, and user analytics. All of these features can be automated and configured with a single click. Furthermore, it’s all backed by a Tier 1 global carrier with 24/7/365 support.

Reach out to us to learn about the options available to meet your company’s specific needs.