For a long time, Microsoft has quietly supported an enterprise-level business phone system. The evolution of this beginning in Lync, migrating to Skype for Business and finally concluding with Teams and their Microsoft 365 Phone System. Skype for Business & Teams has had a lot of media coverage for their instant messaging & meeting capabilities, but often overlooked is the phone system add-on. With this add-on you can not only port/acquire business lines, but also set up automated attendants & call queues.
More than just a business phone
Right from the Team’s app on your computer or mobile devices you can pull up the dial pad from the “Calls” tab. From here, you have the ability to place domestic & international (depending on the licensing) calls. Microsoft’s phone system allows you to bring over your current business lines as well as provide you the ability to acquire new lines based upon the addresses you set up for E-911. This allows you to provision numbers based upon multiple business locations or even local numbers to where your employees operate from (thinking remote workforce). Bringing over your current business lines allows you to migrate from your legacy on-premises phone system to a cloud-based solution that only requires a broadband internet connection and a headset for a computer/mobile device.
A receptionist, minus the receptionist!
An auto attendant is a great feature to have a nice message great your inbound callers and allow them to route themselves to the correct people or departments using the number pad or even by voice commands. One added benefit to the auto attendant is that it can be configured for different greetings after hours and even on holidays. Complimenting the auto attendant feature is call queues. Once a caller routes themselves to the right department a second greeting will be played welcoming them there and putting them in line for the next available agent. Call queues can be configured in many different ways thankfully and also end is asking the caller to leave a message (which will be delivered to a Microsoft 365 group mailbox).
All the above is great for inbound calling, but for outbound calls, a closer look at the two different calling plans needs to be had. Microsoft provides two different plans: Domestic Calling Plan and Domestic & International Calling Plan (thankfully calls between US & Canada are considered domestic). These minutes are pooled together for collective use, therefore the more licensed users in your organization, the more minutes that are available.
Price per user per month
Microsoft 365 Domestic Calling Plan:
3,000 minutes – Domestic Only
Microsoft 365 Domestic and International Calling Plan:
3,000 minutes – Domestic
600 minutes – International
Overall, the Microsoft phone system add-on is a great compliment to the already growing portfolio of Microsoft’s 365 cloud package. There are a lot of great additional features not mentioned above, but the system can work for organizations of any size. If you’re interested in learning more, please Contact Us for more details on what it would take to migrate or set up your cloud-based phone solution and feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter!