Last year, employees spent a whopping 70% of the workweek on communication activities.1 Fast, reliable cloud communication and collaboration tools are critical for keeping work-from-anywhere teams connected, which is why many businesses have turned to Microsoft Teams.
MS Teams daily active users reached 270 million in 2022, nearly doubling from 2021.2 Since the platform offers a wide range of communication tools, including chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and more, it’s no wonder many depend on it for company-wide collaboration. However, business leaders looking to streamline their communications may wonder if they can use MS Teams as a business phone system.
If your organization uses MS Teams, we have good news: you can maximize your investment by turning the platform into a unified communications system. In this blog, we’ll discuss how businesses can use MS Teams for phone calls and texts, and the benefits of transforming your MS Teams platform into a UCaaS solution.
How Can Businesses Voice-Enable MS Teams?
Businesses have a few different options when it comes to voice-enabling MS Teams. One of the quickest ways to use Teams as a business phone system is to purchase a Microsoft Teams Phone license directly from Microsoft. With this option, Microsoft assigns phone numbers to your Teams users, allowing them to make and receive external calls and access standard calling features such as voicemail, call transfers, and ring back.
While this option is typically convenient, it might not be ideal for companies that need to connect an existing phone number or existing telephony hardware. Luckily, MS Teams can be integrated with communications software to provide businesses with a comprehensive UCaaS solution.
These fully-integrated UCaaS systems enable businesses to leverage their provider’s cloud voice calling capabilities alongside Teams’ collaboration tools – directly within the MS Teams platform. With this option, organizations can benefit from having support from their provider when voice-enabling Teams, which can be a challenge without advanced IT knowledge.
Can Businesses Send Texts Through MS Teams?
The short answer is yes, you can send and receive texts via Microsoft Teams.
Not everyone installs the Teams app on their personal devices, so having a way to convert IMs in MS Teams to SMS has become essential for hybrid workforces. One way to do this is with third-party integration tools that can route Teams IMs through your call provider as text messages. Another option is integrating the Teams app with your UCaaS platform, which provides MS Teams phone numbers with more advanced communication tools like text messaging.
What Are the Benefits of Using MS Teams as a UCaaS Solution?
By using MS Teams as a business phone system, your hybrid workers can get all the tools they need to communicate and collaborate in a platform they’re already familiar with. Some of the biggest benefits of voice-enabling Teams include:
Better Worker Connections
Employees at companies that promote connection report higher well-being (58%) and productivity (34%) than those without a connected culture.3 Integrating MS Teams with your UCaaS platform allows your employees to access voice and video calling, text messaging, instant messaging, file sharing, and online meetings in one place, ultimately improving communication across the organization.
Integration with Microsoft Office 365
As part of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite, MS Teams integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft applications such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This allows for easy file sharing, editing, and collaboration within the Teams platform to improve productivity and efficiency.
Security and Compliance
MS Teams provides robust security features, including multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and compliance with various industry standards. This helps protect sensitive data and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements.
Remote Work Support
UCaaS solutions enable employees to communicate on the go. Remote and hybrid workers can stay connected and engaged with MS Teams’ collaboration tools – a must, considering disengaged employees cost businesses worldwide $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.4
Regardless of the route you take to voice-enable Teams, using MS Teams as your business phone system can help reduce costs and improve ROI by eliminating the need for specialized telephony equipment or separate communication and collaboration tools.
What Features Should a UCaaS Platform With MS Teams Include?
While there are several options for voice-enabling your Microsoft Teams app, finding the right platform is crucial. Alongside basic calling features such as voicemail, call recording, and call transfers, your UCaaS solution should let you leverage Teams for:
- Video Integration – Easily elevate voice calls to video meetings with a single button click.
- SMS – Send and receive text messages to mobile numbers within the Teams platform.
- Integrations – Integrate CRMs and other tools, like Salesforce, HubSpot, and more.
- Auto Attendant – Automatically route callers directly to the right person or department.
- Call Escalation – Escalate one-on-one calls into group calls with screen sharing, video, and more.
- Call Queues – Share custom greetings, pre-recorded messages, or music while callers are on hold.
- Analytics – Gain advanced reporting and insights into call activity from directly within the Teams app.
- Hot Desking – Access preferences, contacts, and meetings across every Teams-enabled device.
Maximize Your MS Teams Investment With OnDemand
Voice-enabling Microsoft Teams can give your business the full-featured cloud communication and collaboration solution your hybrid workers need to stay productive and connected from anywhere.
Whether you’re in the process of implementing Teams or want to upgrade your investment, OnDemand will help you maximize the power of this user-friendly platform. Trust our experienced, knowledgeable experts to provide vendor-agnostic guidance and help you make smart technology decisions. Contact OnDemand today for help finding the right MS Teams calling and texting solution to meet your unique business needs.