Replace your office phone system with Microsoft Teams – and keep your phone numbers
At the time of writing this article, many of us are once again working at home. It’s a stark reminder of how quickly things continue to change. Telephony has got much better, and much cheaper.
As we continue to support businesses adapting to changing working environments what I know for sure is IT, and in particular, telephony, needed to evolve. And it has.
In this article, I will share with you a critical system which I recommend for any business. It will keep you connected, and allow your team to shift seamlessly between the office and remote working. Let’s start by looking at the problem we need to solve.
Office-based businesses often have two camps: team members who are in the office day to day and those who are on the road visiting clients. For the latter group, it is typical for them to work from their car or van and mobile phone, checking in with emails and voicemails when time permits. The move to remote working has been relatively straightforward for this group, as it is business as usual. For office workers who are working from home, often at short notice, the transition has been more problematic.
Technology plays a large part in how seamlessly an organisation, and its team members, can move between working environments.
Think for a moment about sitting in a colleague’s seat. You’re in front of their computer, and the icons on the desktop are in a different place. It will take you a few seconds to find the program you need. Frustration builds, as you answer a call on an unfamiliar handset and find you’re not sure how to transfer the caller. Suddenly, doing the most basic tasks becomes more testing and time-consuming.
It is the small changes in technology like these that are a challenge for every worker when they have an unfamiliar laptop, no mobile phone and are required to work from home.
That is assuming, of course, the existing technology even works outside of the office.
Such small issues may not feel like a problem worthy of consideration by senior management. Still, I would urge you to consider the impact on productivity, client frustration, business image and staff morale. Multiply the effect across your workforce, and the issue could be mission-critical. Now add the much more serious issue of systems that simply don’t work away from the office and it is without doubt worthy of management consideration.
The solution I will share with you focusses on telephony, as that has been one of the biggest challenges faced by our clients. It is, however, just one element of a broader technology set-up that will support your business and keep you adaptable.
Keeping in touch with customers is more important than ever. For most businesses, this means being able to take calls, transfer people between departments and make calls. All of this is possible, even when you are away from your office. And it is probably cheaper than your current telephony provider. Sounds too good to be true, right? Keep reading to learn more.
Microsoft 365 Business Voice gives your team the power to communicate from anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection. The system works through their laptop, so it is the same whether they are in the office, working from home or on the road – yes, you can bring your mobile workforce into the same system.
It works seamlessly on PC, Mac and mobile, so investing in new hardware is not necessary. We will port your numbers into the system, so you won’t need to change your primary telephone number. And, you will have all the same functionality as with a traditional PBX. We will set up hunt groups so the system will find an available person, rather than losing business from unanswered calls.
You can install the Teams app for your calls (normal phone calls as well as video) on staff mobiles and even their personal mobiles if not all of your team have a company issued phone.
When you make outgoing calls, these are from your primary number. Team members will no longer need to share their mobile numbers to keep in touch, giving you the peace of mind that all communication is centralised.
The Microsoft Teams integration allows you to switch between phone and video calls, share documents and more. It is the closest to in-person communication that we have found, and we are impressed – so much so that our team are already using Business Voice.
Your team will work from the same system regardless of where they are, making the transition between workplaces simple for everyone. New hardware is not essential at all, but I do recommend investing in good headsets for the best sound quality. Desk telephones are available, too, if you prefer.
The system is lower cost than VoIP desk phone telephony and of course traditional phones – but has better functionality and importantly is integrated with a system you already use and know how to use – Microsoft Teams. This also means you get all of your comms in one place – so you won’t get disturbed on a Teams video call. It even transcribes your voicemail and send it to you as emailed text.
Ready to learn more? Give the team a call now on 0845 437 9555 to find out all the benefits for your business.