4 Advantages for IT Pros to Extend PSTN Calling Capabilities in MS Teams
As an IT professional, odds are you’re now working from home due to the current pandemic, and you’re going all-out to support your home-based users. Like hundreds of IT pros globally, you likely opted to roll out Microsoft Teams, quickly and at scale, enabling your users to communicate and collaborate with dispersed colleagues and distributed project teams. But growing usage of Teams are prompting users to ask, “Can I use Teams to make external phone calls?” or “How can I get my existing phone number into Teams?”
Questions like these are common, and Microsoft provides two options for Teams users to make, receive, and transfer calls to and from landlines, and mobile phones on the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Microsoft Phone System and a Microsoft Calling Plan is one way to turn Teams into a phone system with a small set of calling routing capabilities and user features. Another alternative is through Teams Direct Routing, where IT pros connect Teams and the public telephone network without using Microsoft Calling Plans.
One of the most exciting things about Microsoft Teams Direct Routing is the ability to configure this directly from a service provider into Microsoft, and IT pros can pursue different options. 8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based Direct Routing solution with zero on-premises voice infrastructure, not requiring any SIP trunks, no PowerShell scripts nor additional end-user software. This approach quickly and easily equips Teams with enterprise-grade telephony and extends PSTN calling capabilities from Teams.
A previous blog describes the business merits of 8x8 Voice for Microsoft so let’s look at some advantages of 8x8 Direct Routing through an IT admin’s lens.
Risk-free, uncomplicated set-up
Telephony is a business-critical tool, and more so in today’s uncertain environment. IT pros need to accelerate PSTN calling to Teams users but ensure the deployment is de-risked. However, Direct Routing with Microsoft Teams can get complicated, depending on your preferred approach. Deploying 8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams takes less than two days, with no Teams service interruption. IT doesn’t need to allocate limited resources to port phone numbers or even replace old phones. Admins assign 8x8 calling abilities to users, either through “bulk” an upload or individually from a simple interface, making the entire PSTN call provisioning process for Teams quick and easy.
Instant PSTN calls and higher IT productivity
Users gain immediate access to the public phone network to make and receive calls directly from the Teams desktop or mobile app, with no apps to install or devices to setup. It also means no more Teams-related helpdesk queries about making phone calls to landlines or mobiles. With your newly reclaimed time, you can focus on implementing all those IT projects that kept getting pushed back, simply because there wasn’t enough time.
Better end-user adoption
Telephony using 8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams is an invisible experience. Teams users are entirely unaware that voice calls and PBX features like ring-groups, call-queues, call transfers, voicemail, call hold, or call-recording are delivered seamlessly from 8x8. Extending these calling capabilities to Teams, gives your users the best experience from their productivity stack, without additional training. It’s a quick win, so you can drive Teams adoption throughout each area of your organization with positive ROI implications. You also overcome user apathy and confusion - in a wink - as Teams telephony tech support calls stop.
With full PSTN services in 38 countries and full number coverage in over 120 countries, 8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams gives your users the flexibility to communicate with the rest of the world using call plans that offer more value than Microsoft Calling Plans. Our partnerships with a network of global carriers and 17 distributed data centers world-wide, mean that you get the best value for telephony calls and make it much easier to manage your telephony spend using a single global telephony provider.
8x8 Voice for Microsoft Teams gives IT pros everything needed to enable global PSTN calling from Teams. It’s a risk-free solution driving deeper Teams adoption and removes the ongoing management complexities of a Direct Routing communications infrastructure.