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Microsoft Teams Phone for Business: Features & Benefits

On 14th March 2017, during a webcast from Microsoft HQ, Microsoft Teams was formally launched. Microsoft’s answer to Slack was built on the principles of driving collaboration and bringing teams together in a secure and modernised space. By the end of 2019, 20 million users were using the platform daily; once 2022 came around, that number had leapt to 280 million active monthly users.

A key component of Teams is their support for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications, which allows users to utilise the Internet to make and receive calls on landlines, mobile phones or on the Teams app itself. As more businesses adopt Teams as their default messaging and collaboration platform, it’s only right to ask why organisations are putting their faith in Teams. What features and benefits can businesses enjoy by adopting Teams, specifically its VoIP capabilities?

Increasing productivity

With workers switching between apps and windows more than 3600 times a day, it’s vital for businesses to rectify this loss in productivity and adopt solutions that unify their communication and collaboration efforts. Microsoft describes Teams as a ‘hub for teamwork’, one in which employees can find the tools to chat, call, and host meetings in one centralised place.

Effective communication is vital to a business and their drive to succeed, as employees can stay connected without having to continuously switch between a wide array of applications. Data is available on demand, with features such as screen sharing and instant messaging encouraging interaction on a platform that is further enhanced by VoIP.

A cost-effective way to collaborate

Streamlining tools and apps onto a single platform not only guarantees productivity, but also cuts costs when building a phone infrastructure. Studies have shown how businesses see an average saving of between 50-75% after switching to a VoIP service, which is extremely beneficial for smaller enterprises looking to grow and expand. High quality, cloud-based voice calls also ensure further savings with reduced travel expenses and a better rate on long-distance calls.

Moving away from traditional equipment, such as switchboards, means reduced maintenance costs and fewer licensing fees to pay if multiple programmes were being used. Internet-based call systems only require a stable connection, and its capacity to handle a high volume of calls also negates the further need to rely on additional phone lines. If a business is looking to expand, VoIP already provides the infrastructure needed to support it.

Scalability across any business

As businesses expand their scale of operations, it’s integral that the correct infrastructure is in place to support the growing number of both employees and customers. Organisations must be ready to handle a larger volume of calls with the goal of providing a more enjoyable experience for agents and consumers. Considering the satisfaction of both parties are vital to continued business growth, a robust and reliable way to communicate must be in place.

The scalability of VoIP solutions can prove vital in the long-term when taking into consideration the future fortunes of a business and the outstanding costs of a phone infrastructure. They can be scaled up or down depending on the needs of the business, with providers guaranteeing flexible rates when a business decides how to proceed. Indeed, the cloud-based nature of VoIP systems makes it even easier for businesses to accurately scale and assess how large their phone infrastructure needs to be, as well as provide a more flexible way to work.

Flexible communication capabilities

Businesses are now adopting working models that support both remote and hybrid working, meaning that there is a greater need for solutions that are flexible. Considering 3 in 5 employers have seen an increase in hybrid working compared to pre-COVID levels, the need to adapt is greater than ever. When utilising a VoIP solution, all that is required is a stable Internet connection that can give remote employees the means to operate as if they were in the office.

Employees can increase their ability to flexibly work with solutions that are supported on smartphones, meaning that they can literally work on the go. For Microsoft Teams users, the ability to transfer calls from one device to another is certainly beneficial when finding a phone solution that guarantees flexibility for agents. Breaking employees free from their desks may seem daunting and counteractive to the norm of office-based working, but providing that option to work remotely can prove to be beneficial as greater emphasis is placed on employees and their mental wellbeing.

Guaranteed high quality CX

The 2020 ACA Survey revealed how 96% of customers would leave a particular company if they received a poor level of customer experience. This daunting statistic makes it more important than ever for a business to ensure their CX is up to the mark and won’t leave their customers stranded. Services that can direct calls to the right department in good time are the ones that are far more desirable, especially when agents have direct access to the information they need.

Keeping track of calls can provide vital insights into how an organisation can further improve their CX. Management reporting allows action to be taken in the correct areas and guarantee an even better service for both customers and agents. By addressing these potential problem areas promptly, agents aren’t left frustrated with these shortcomings, which in turn will improve customer experience and guarantee a far smoother and streamlined CX.

Future-proofing and business continuity

By December 2025, the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) will be switched off, meaning that every phone line across the UK must have moved to a digital network by that deadline. The benefits of services like Microsoft Teams have already been sketched out in this blog piece, but the fact that VoIP is now the future of business communication means that adopting a digital solution guarantees that future operations can run smoothly, as well as ensure business continuity during unforeseen and difficult circumstances.

As proved by the onset of the COVID pandemic, it is vital for businesses to prepare for disruption. The PSTN switch-off is one that cannot be ignored, meaning that it’s more important than ever to start migrating towards a VoIP solution that is ready for such a change. By making sure that communications, both internal or external, are future-proofed and ensured to remain operational during disruptive events, productivity and efficiency aren’t lost while trying to get systems back online.

Powering Teams phone for businesses

Gamma now has over 15 years’ worth of experience in providing voice-based solutions that can be incorporated into Microsoft Teams. The fact that Teams continues to grow in popularity and provide businesses with numerous features and benefits means that Gamma is in a prime position to allow businesses to get the most out of Teams. There’s a good reason why Gamma is the UK’s leading provider in SIP trunks!

To find out more about how Gamma can improve the way your business collaborates and create through Microsoft Teams, visit our dedicated Microsoft Teams phone page, and discover how Gamma can make a real difference.