Understanding Microsoft Office 365 Voice Products

Microsoft’s Voice offerings have been through several iterations since the original Office Communications and Lync Servers. Since then Skype for Business has provided a Cloud based option and today Microsoft Teams is the new hub for all Microsoft Office 365 voice & communications products.

Microsoft 365 Phone System has matured in to a very viable option for your modern, fully functional hosted VOIP phone system. Being able to use Microsoft Teams as your softphone, just by adding a headset to your computer, is  especially handy given the current situation most people around the world find themselves in today, locked down in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As with most Microsoft products we have been through some name changes. You might have heard any of the following used:

  • Cloud Voice
  • Microsoft Teams Cloud Voice
  • Microsoft Office 365 Voice
  • Phone System
  • Office 365 Phone System
  • Microsoft 365 Phone System
  • Microsoft 365 Business Voice
  • Teams Calling
  • Teams Audio Conferencing
  • Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing
  • And more….

Officially the major product names when you purchase them today (as of writing) are:

  1. Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing (for any plan)
  2. Microsoft 365 Business Voice (for Business plans)
  3. Microsoft 365 Phone System (for Enterprise plans)

The table below outlines the major components of these offerings, what their prerequisites and dependencies are and how much they cost.

Product/Description M365/O365 Plan Prerequisites Price (p/user p/mth)
Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing (standalone - does not require Phone System/Business Voice or Calling Plan). Allows you to add a PSTN dial-in number to your Teams meetings. Any Business or Enterprise Plan with Teams included. $4
Microsoft 365 Phone System (make and receive calls on the PSTN)

*requires a Calling Plan License or Direct Routing

Any E plan $8
Domestic Calling Plans (3000 Domestic Minutes - US/Puerto Rico) E Plan + Phone System License $12
International Calling Plans (3000 Domestic Minutes - US/Puerto Rico OR 600 International Minutes, whichever comes first) E Plan + Phone System License $24
Microsoft 365 Business Voice. Includes:

  • Phone System
  • Audio Conferencing
  • Domestic Calling Plan

*Optional add-on for International Calling Plan

Any Business Plan (Not E Plans)

Max 300 Users

Office 365 E5 & Microsoft 365 E5 Includes:

  • Phone System
  • Audio Conferencing

*you need to add on Calling Plans or Direct Routing (BYO SIP Trunks)

n/a O365 E5:$35

M365 E5:$57

There are optional add-ons for these services including:

  • Microsoft provided phone numbers
  • Meeting room licenses
  • Common area phone licenses
  • Communications credits for calling minutes

You will also find a wide array of hardware to work with Microsoft Voice Products and Teams ranging from basic handsets to sophisticated Audio-Visual hardware for conference rooms.

The links below are the Microsoft documentation pages and they provide more detailed information on these services – they are not the marketing pages!

  1. Audio Conferencing in Office 365
  2. Microsoft 365 Business Voice service description
  3. What is Phone System in Office 365?

EXP has lots of experience designing, implementing, and supporting Microsoft 365 Voice offerings. Please contact us to find out more and get your phone systems moved to the cloud.

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