Microsoft Teams Phone is a service from Microsoft that enables cloud voice and video calling on your computer, tablet, mobile device, or desk phone.
For organizations that need a tailored approach for enterprise-grade telephony, 8x8 provides a dedicated Microsoft Teams integration that enhances the Teams Phone System experience.
Voice Services in Microsoft Teams
Whether you use Teams to do business online, access remote seminars, or simply stay in touch with friends, you’ve probably taken part in a Microsoft Teams meeting.
But, while most people know Microsoft Teams as part of the Office 365 suite, less people know that Teams can also be used to make phone calls—a functionality known as Teams Phone.
What is Microsoft Teams Phone?
Microsoft Teams Phone can be used as a VoIP phone system to make or receive an audio or video phone call to/from anyone, whether they’re using a landline, mobile phone, or the Teams app.
What is Microsoft Phone System?
Microsoft Phone System refers to Microsoft’s hosted telephone service that gives you call control and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) capabilities, with options for connecting to a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
Because Phone System is a part of Teams, you can easily use the service with an IP desk phone, or turn any computer, or mobile device into a phone with which to use your Business Voice phone number.
Some organizations need more advanced features than Microsoft Phone System alone can offer, such as integrated SMS capability and real-time, single-system analytics. 8x8 can enhance the native Teams Phone functionality, turning it into a powerful, enterprise-level unified communications solution.
8x8 calling plans can also be a more cost-effective telephone solution than going it alone with Teams Phone. Although Teams calls are free, expensive add-ons needed to optimize Teams Phone for international calling and SIP trunking mean costs can quickly escalate.
What is 365 Business Voice?
Microsoft 365 Business Voice turns Microsoft Teams into a powerful and easy-to-use telephone system. It replaces traditional telephony providers and on-premises PBX systems.
With 365 Business Voice you can host video meetings, set up both toll and toll-free numbers, call menus to help callers get to the right department, and access lots of other useful features and add-ons. 365 Business Voice does all of this by bundling together Microsoft Phone System features into one easy-to-manage service.
In short, Phone System refers to the virtual infrastructure or hosted system, while 365 Business Voice refers to the specific service with which you use Microsoft Phone System
Features of a Microsoft Teams Phone System
- High-quality video and audio
- PSTN calling
- Direct routing
- Integrates with Microsoft Exchange and Other Microsoft or Office 365 products
- Call forwarding
- Screen sharing
- Cloud voicemail
- Auto attendants
- Call queues
- Caller ID
- Automatic Transcription
- Use from any Android or iOS mobile device
With 8x8 integration
- Optimized for contact centers
- Access all communication tools from a single cloud platform
- Advanced analytics
- Easily access and monitor call data
- No need for expensive add-on subscriptions
- Unlimited calling to 47 countries
- 99.999% guaranteed uptime service level agreement
Do I need separate Microsoft Teams phones or can I use a deskphone?
You may be wondering whether you need to buy new phones in order to use Microsoft Teams Phone. The short answer is no—any IP phone can be used with the Teams Phone System. In fact, any internet-connected device with a speaker and microphone can be used to take and receive calls via Teams.
Nonetheless, many manufacturers offer hand- and headsets with native Microsoft Teams functionality built-in. For example, AudioCodes C450HD IP phones, or the Yealink T58A Smart Media Phone are both Teams certified devices. These products are high-end Teams edition business phones designed to enhance your digital workspace. They offer useful calling features like a color touch screen and designated Teams button.
When it comes to choosing a desk phone that is specifically designed for the optimal Teams experience, there are several things you should consider:
- Call quality
- Upgradability of firmware
- Do you need a USB headset, handset, or device with multiple configuration options?
- Is the product equipped with Bluetooth?
- How will the device integrate with your unified communications solution?
Using Teams with conference phones
If you’re using Microsoft Teams to make conference calls, or as a virtual meeting room, then chances are you have certain requirements for your technical set-up.
Choosing a phone such as one of the Teams devices discussed in the previous section is a great solution for Microsoft Teams audio and video conferencing. These product lines have built-in web cameras and are equipped to transmit and record high quality audio and video streams.
Because it is a unified chat, calling, and video solution, many contact centers employ Microsoft Teams as a central hub to support their customer interaction workflows and internal communications.
While many businesses find that Teams alone meets all their communication needs, contact and call centers often require specialist services and features that only a Microsoft certified provider like 8x8 can give them.
Microsoft Teams Phone and Skype for Business
Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business are both multifunctional unified communications solutions developed by the Microsoft Corporation. As such, you might be wondering why they both exist? After all, both platforms offer similar services and are popular business solutions for setting up virtual conference rooms, video meetings, and company group chats.
Although a full comparison of Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business is beyond the scope of this guide, we’ve detailed the main differences in how the two platforms operate within Microsoft Phone System in the table below.