If you need a modern phone system, cloud voice may be the solution for your business. But first, a brief history.
For about 10 years, hosted VoIP has been the standard for small business phone systems since you don’t need infrastructure to use it, just a reliable Internet connection. Now Microsoft wants to help customers take the next leap with cloud voice, which is the umbrella term for a variety of phone system and audio conferencing features. This capability is part of Microsoft Teams, which will eventually replace Skype for Business, which is slated for retirement in 2021.
Microsoft Teams includes a product called Phone System, Microsoft's technology for enabling call control and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) capabilities in the Office 365 cloud. Phone System allows you to replace your existing PBX system with features directly delivered from Office 365 and its related cloud productivity experience.
If you are already using Office 365 Business and Microsoft Teams, the advantages to upgrading include low integration costs, familiarity with the system, and the ability to tailor the tools to your needs. For example, if you are currently using Webex, Zoom, GoToMeeting, or a similar option for audio conferencing, then Microsoft Teams offers an alternative that lets you add a dial-in number and meeting ID to your Office 365 business plan — while also saving you money.
Also, if you have an Enterprise Office 365 subscription, or upgrade to one, you can get a fully functional phone system. This includes assigned phone numbers for all employees, auto attendants, call forwarding services (find me/follow me), and other features you’d expect from a modern phone system. Visit Microsoft’s website for complete plan details, including pricing, for online meeting solutions and voice calling options.
EXP has installed a few cloud voice systems, including our own, and we’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen. Though we’re still in the early days of this offering, we view it as a promising tool for providing reliable phone options for small businesses. To discuss whether Microsoft Teams Cloud Voice is right for your business, contact EXP today.