Microsoft 365 offers an abundance of communication methods. These are driven largely through Microsoft Teams. The service excels at providing a communication platform for staff to stay in touch, via voice call, video call, chat or even just an @mention.
However, what about when you need to make an external call to a partner, customer or supplier? How can external contacts get in touch with you?
With the recent rise of home working, many businesses realised that their phone system isn’t suited for remote use. This has led to challenges in setting up forwarding rules to mobiles, advertising different numbers to customers and using personal mobiles for outbound calls. The whole experience highlights the need for a new phone system, that can effortlessly handle remote working.
If you’re a Microsoft 365 customer, Microsoft 365 Business Voice should be your first choice.
What is Microsoft 365 Business Voice?
M365 Business Voice is a cloud-based telephony solution, aimed at businesses with a remote workforce. It’s an all in one solution comprised of a cloud-based phone system, a domestic calling plan and an audio-conferencing bridge. As it’s part of Microsoft 365, it’s priced per user, per month. It comes with no upfront costs, no long-term commitments and no infrastructure requirements.
It also integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Teams. This means there’s no requirement for new software, no additional training and no additional admin overheads. Once the license is applied to a user, they’ll get access to a dial pad within Microsoft Teams, along with an allocated telephone number.
They now have a telephone number that is accessible everywhere and, rings on any device that is signed into Teams. M365 Business Voice eliminates the need for call forwarding and ensures that you don’t need to give out personal numbers. Your allocated phone number goes where you go.
The fully-fledged telephony solution gives you access to common features such as call park, call transfer, voicemail, group pickup, auto attendant and call queues. These are all available within Microsoft Teams.
The solution is available to any business up to 300 users, with Microsoft Enterprise Voice offering the same capabilities to those who require more users.
What’s more, it can integrate with your current telco provider, so you can keep your existing calling plan if desired. You also have the option to specify a new pool of local numbers, or port your existing ones into Microsoft 365 Business Voice.
How does it work?
The functionality is already built into Microsoft Teams, so all you need is a license.
Once a license is applied, your employee will see a new Dialpad feature within Microsoft Teams. They’ll also receive a conference bridge number. This allows them to set up meetings with any party and, provide a dedicated conference number for those who aren’t using an internet connected device. PSTN calls are made directly through Teams so you only need internet access, either through WIFI or 4G/5G.
The number allocated follows the user wherever they go. If they have access to a device and are signed into Microsoft Teams, they’ll be able to make and receive calls on that same number from anywhere and on any device.
Each licensed user will have access to 1200 domestic calling minutes per month, to either landline or mobile. Communication credits can be purchased to increase that, as well as providing international calling capability.
Contact Centre features such as auto attendant, call queue and call routing are all configurable from within the Teams admin centre. This means there are no new interfaces for admins to learn. A recent development adds call queues to existing Teams within Microsoft Teams. As a result, your remote support desk can see everyone available in the group, see which calls are coming in as well as, transfer and chat with one another, all in one interface.
For devices that are shared by multiple people, such as receptions or a lobby, you can apply a special common area phone license. This allows you to manage these devices through the Teams admin centre, like any other user.
To get the best out of the solution, we recommend you look at the marketplace of Teams devices. These are products ranging from headset and handsets to meeting room systems. They all come equipped with a copy of Microsoft Teams running natively on the device.
Why do I need it?
If you are reading this, it’s likely that your existing phone system has presented some challenges since working from home. While we don’t know how long restrictions will remain in place, we do know that remote and flexible working are here to stay. The future of work will be a blend of office and home based. That’s why you need a phone system that is designed to accommodate both.
Whether you’re an existing M365 customer, or not, Microsoft 365 Business Voice could be the perfect solution. The speed of onboarding with single, transparent business model and the familiar user/admin interfaces, make it a compelling choice.
How do I get it?
Business Voice can be added onto Microsoft 365 subscriptions that include Microsoft Teams. Qualifying plans include Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, Business Premium, E3, or A3; F1, E1, E3, A1, or A3. You can purchase up to 300 seats of Business Voice. If your company has more than 300 users, you can achieve all the same benefits using Microsoft 365 Enterprise Voice.
If you have one of the above licenses, you can enable a trial of Microsoft 365 Business voice. This gives you 30 days to test the service, with up to 25 users. You’ll be able to see for yourself how seamlessly the service integrates with Microsoft Teams and how quickly you can add new users and numbers.
If it ticks all the boxes, you can add it to your Microsoft 365 subscription from just £12 per user, per month.
How can LIMA help?
LIMA is an expert in driving modern workplace transformation. We provide tools and resources that ensure employees can collaborate effectively and share information securely, no matter where they work.
As a Microsoft Gold Cloud Productivity Partner, we are perfectly placed to assist our customers with evaluating and integrating solutions, from the entire Microsoft 365 stack.
LIMA’s Microsoft 365 Teamwork Assessment enables us to engage with our customers, to identify use-case scenarios, create strategic alignment and define actionable roadmaps, that deliver transformational business value. We have a module dedicated to calling and meeting solutions, whereby we can assess your existing communication platforms, understand your future requirements and align those to capabilities within Microsoft 365.
Speak to your Account Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how LIMA can help mobilise your workforce, with our Microsoft 365 Assessment Services.Contact us Back to News & Events
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