When much of the world shifted to hybrid working, tools that could bring the collaboration functionalities of a traditional office to a mobile, desktop or in-browser were urgently needed. In this article, we’ll look at how businesses can modernise their telephony infrastructure using Microsoft Teams Direct Routing.
More specifically we’ll take a closer look at how unified communications works using cloud telephony, Microsoft Teams, and Direct Routing.
Why do organisations need a modern approach to communication?
Businesses with global and remote workforces need a secure and reliable approach to communication and collaboration. This is especially true when working from home has become the new norm, and colleagues no longer see each other in person every day.
In the past, traditional business telephony was sufficient, but in today’s digital environment, these solutions have their limitations. Modern workers aren’t often tied to a specific location, move offices frequently, and travel to meet clients. These situations make relying upon on-premises communication infrastructures challenging.
Today’s workers need to be able to communicate anywhere, and they need the flexibility to use any of their devices. That’s because many employees use laptops, phones, tablets, and more throughout the workday. The ability to seamlessly transition between these devices and continue conversations in real-time is critical.
Enter Teams Direct Routing...
Many businesses are already using the Microsoft Teams suite of integrated services such as instant messaging, video conferencing, document and application sharing, to improve workplace collaboration.
Microsoft Teams is invaluable for many organisations because it closely integrates with other Microsoft products as well. For example, Office 365 (Microsoft Cloud Office Suite) includes business-critical apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Sharepoint, and more. That means team members can immediately share documents within Microsoft Teams without switching apps.
In response to the global pandemic, Microsoft has also launched an Advanced Communications add-on for Microsoft Teams. With this new add-on, organisations can host live events for up to 20,000 viewers and interactive meetings with 1,000 participants. There are also additional customisation, monitoring, and analytics features to ensure a positive user experience. These advanced features can help organisations broaden their reach and make the most of the Teams suite.
Microsoft announced that by the end of 2021 most SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) phones will be compatible with Teams. The SIP protocol is used by most UC Platforms and mainstream vendors like Cisco, Yealink and Polycom. That means businesses may not have to replace their existing phones with more expensive Microsoft-certified SIP phones or Skype (3PIP) phones anymore.
As Microsoft continues to grow its market share in the enterprise communication space, using its technologies as a comprehensive solution is becoming even more enticing each year. Microsoft Teams hit 145 million daily active users, up from 44 million at the start of the pandemic.
What are the key benefits of Microsoft Teams Direct Routing?
Most digital transformation initiatives aim to shift IT software and processes towards a more integrated and consistent approach, yet telephony often gets overlooked. In fact, many businesses continue to use a fragmented set of PBX hardware distributed across their offices worldwide.
Shifting to Microsoft Teams, however, is an efficient way to achieve unified communications. Here are some of the key benefits businesses can expect:
Moving to Microsoft Teams with Direct Routing standardises communication throughout the business. That means businesses can leverage a single telephony solution to streamline compliance, centralise IT Support, and simplify employee training because the same user experience can be replicated in all locations globally.
MS Teams Direct Routing also reduces the number of vendor relationships necessary by replacing multiple local carriers with a single managed provider service. In addition, existing numbers can be ported to the cloud telephony solution and used globally across the organisation. This greatly reduces the complexity of a business communication technology stack.
By using the same Microsoft Teams use interface for internal and external communication, businesses can deliver a consistent employee experience. Nearly every collaboration tool from video conferencing and file sharing is accessible from the same platform as external phone calls. This can enable a more productive work environment that’s tightly integrated with other business applications or Microsoft products as well.
A centralised telephony solution is easier for IT teams to control and monitor. For example, global data on usage can help pinpoint issues and reroute calls to better manage capacity. This is especially true for managed providers that offer regional carrier redundancy with failover in case the are issues with a single carrier. Since the system is tied to Microsoft’s security and access solutions enterprises can also have more peace of mind that their communications will continue working as expected.
On-premises telephony hardware is expensive and time-consuming to install and maintain. Moving to the cloud frees up time and ensures businesses only pay for the resources they use. Direct Routing also creates economies of scale by consolidated regional carriers into a single global plan. For most businesses – where communication technology isn’t a core competency – migrating fully to Microsoft Teams can reduce costs and enable a shift in focus towards other digital initiatives.
Wrapping things up...
Remote work may have been on the rise, but the global pandemic has greatly accelerated the shift. As organisations adapt to remote workforces by adopting more agile business processes, closing underutilised offices, and other digital initiatives, they should consider a more modern communication strategy.
BDM Voice is a service provider that enables organisations to use Microsoft Teams with Direct Routing on our partner’s global voice network.
Consider Microsoft Team Direct Routing to adopt a modern approach to communication. that way, your organisation can remain competitive during the global pandemic and long after it passes.
Want to know more about Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams? Contact BDM Voice on 0330 159 4000 to discuss how we can support your communication journey.