It’s no secret that the current state of Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) is about as unified as the European Union, but that doesn’t mean a UC platform isn’t worth working toward. For many organizations, Microsoft Teams Voice integration offers one of the most straightforward routes to implementing UCaaS, yet even that comes with its own challenges. Here’s how to get there and what to look out for.
Can Microsoft Teams Be a UCaaS Solution?
The operative word in UCaaS is unified. However, organizations don’t necessarily need to pursue UCaaS solely for the sake of technology unity. While unity is a great goal to have in mind, it isn’t a business driver in and of itself. Instead, what really drives business to implement UC is the benefits that unity can bring about, including:
- Improved efficiency: By consolidating the technology tools a team relies on to communicate, enterprises can leverage UCaaS to reduce the amount of time employees spend switching between applications simply to stay on the same page. It is easier to drive adoption of a single platform, versus multiple platforms.
- Reduced overhead: When reducing the number of tools and services employees rely on, many enterprises end up spending less while improving communication across the company.
- Increased security: Fewer services and endpoints means fewer security vulnerabilities and more centralized controls and policies.
- Better visibility: Last but not least, you can’t understand, optimize, or secure what you can’t see. UC provides organizations with the much-needed visibility they need to accomplish all three across the most widely used tools in their employees’ workflow.
If any of the above sounds like reasons for your business to move toward UCaaS, Microsoft Teams can help you achieve those goals, especially if your organization is already using the tool to some degree.
Microsoft Teams Voice Integration
More businesses than ever before are already using Microsoft Teams as a persistent chat, video conferencing, collaboration, and file-sharing tool. That already covers the UC needs of most organizations, but the one element most often missed (generally because it’s the trickiest to get right) is voice communication.
Microsoft Teams is not only capable of integrating voice capabilities while keeping the same phone numbers you already have—it also offers the opportunity to move away from physical phone systems altogether, but you have to be strategic when deciding the best way to accomplish this.
You can buy from Microsoft directly but expect little to no support, with most of the integration planning and project management falling on your shoulders. You can also purchase through a third-party provider that may offer more hands-on support but may also lack the know-how and oversight to help you achieve the objectives outlined above.
Unified Messaging, Video Conferencing, and File Sharing
While voice integration is the most challenging aspect of a Teams integration, the platform does streamline many of the core elements fundamental to the fabric of any UCaaS platform, including:
- Persistent chat and messaging
- Group chats and private communication channels
- File sharing and productivity tools
- Internal and external user access
- Video conferencing and virtual meetings
So while it may take a little extra work to get voice capabilities where they need to be, Microsoft Teams make the core UCaaS implementation process relatively simple when compared to most other options available on the market today.
Microsoft Teams UCaaS Project Checklist
When planning a Microsoft Team UCaaS deployment, you need to follow these steps:
- Identify what you’re trying to achieve and why those objectives are worth the time and energy.
- Determine which communication tools your team is already using, the ones you need to start using, and what you need to unify.
- Decide if your team has the capability to implement a Microsoft Teams UCaaS solution in-house by purchasing through Microsoft or if a third-party vendor can better serve your needs.
- Navigate the sales and contracting process to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your existing user base and future growth goals.
- Design and execute an implementation plan that ensures your team doesn’t lose productivity due to downtime or lack of adoption..
- Ensure that all services are migrated and appropriately terminated, so you don’t end up double-paying for anything you don’t use or need.
If you’re already accounting for each of these factors as you explore the possibilities for leveraging Microsoft Teams as a UCaaS platform, you’re off to the right start. If not, Bluewave is here to help you simplify any or all of the above.
What Else Do You Need Microsoft Teams to Accomplish?
What are you trying to accomplish with Microsoft Teams? Bluewave starts with simple questions like these to understand underlying business drivers and identify the right technology solutions for your enterprise’s goals.
Whether Microsoft Teams can help you achieve those goals or not, our experts specialize in providing the technology visibility you need to make a smart choice. Schedule a Baseline Assessment or reach out to our team today to get started.