Everyone’s talking about Microsoft Teams right now and with the future of work having moved to a hybrid model, it’s easy to understand why, as it’s by far the fastest growing and highest adopted collaboration app available. But surely now that we’re moving on from the Covid pandemic, it’s time to move back to our previous ways of working? Thankfully not, and as the past two years have taught us a lot, let’s take a look at a few statistics to put the future of work into perspective:
If you already use Microsoft Teams for collaboration within your business, you’ll know how easy it is working within Teams; how simple it is to chat, conference and video call and share files. And as a business leader you’ll know that integrating it into your communications strategy is the next logical step. Making use of the Teams app on your desktop or mobile to make and answer calls really does provide a unified communications solution that every size of business can embrace.
But how do you get there? Like any journey the path you take will depend on your starting position and where you want to end up.
There are two main routes – either using Microsoft Teams’ inbuilt calling functionality through Direct Routing, or by integrating your cloud telephony platform with Teams. Both are great solutions and will deliver your teams with a great unified comms experience, choosing which depends on what your current setup is and how you see your business communicating in the future.
We’ve identified 6 criteria to help you decide, regardless of your size and starting place:
Cloud PBX integration
|How invested are you in Microsoft Teams?||If you’re 100% committed then Direct Routing is a great option, it’s usually more cost-effective and has great standard functionality.||If you’re just at the start of your Teams journey and not yet fully committed, then Cloud PBX integration gives you the flexibility to separate from Teams in the future and keep your Cloud PBX investment.|
|Do all your users use Teams?||If all your users are on Teams then Direct Routing gives everyone one easy place to communicate and collaborate across locations and devices.||If not all your users use Teams, then Cloud PBX integration gives you the flexibility to have some users on Teams and some making use of the Cloud PBX native apps.|
|How complex is your call routing needs?||Direct Routing has simple routing functionality built-in but isn’t great at handling complex call flows. However, it can be a great underlying solution if call routing is to be handled by an overlaying contact centre solution.||Cloud PBXs are renowned for having great routing functionality, some of which even venture into low-level contact centres, so with complex routing needs, this may be the right solution for you.|
|Do you need your calls recorded?||Direct routing doesn’t come with inbuilt functionality to record calls, so it’s an expensive addition. Again, maybe not an issue if it’s being used with an overlying technology that provides this.||Cloud PBXs have the ability to record calls, both in and out, with varying retention durations.|
|What are your reporting needs?||Microsoft will provide some standard call reports and dashboards including call volumes and missed calls, however, nothing complex and nothing bespoke.||Most Cloud PBX solutions will have an in-depth reporting suite with some offering the option for bespoke report and dashboard building.|
|What’s your budget?||Direct Routing is usually a more cost-effective option and is perfect for most businesses with relatively simple calling needs. Work with an expert to check your chosen solution delivers the right functionality for all your colleagues. And remember that both options also need a Microsoft Phone Licence or M365 E5 licence to operate.||Cloud PBX integration may be a more expensive option on paper but for more complex needs it delivers greater functionality and flexibility. Work with an expert to check your solution delivers the right functionality for all your colleagues. And remember that both options also need a Microsoft Phone Licence or M365 E5 licence to operate.|
If you haven’t already started the move to Microsoft Teams Calling the time is now. Cavell predicts that by 2025, adoption within businesses will have increased by around 600% across Direct Routing and Cloud PBX integration.
It means that businesses are fast moving towards an integrated approach to communication and collaboration making it easier to work from anywhere.
We’ve been helping businesses over the past two years throughout the Covid pandemic to develop their Microsoft Teams Calling solutions. We worked with B P Collins, a Times’ Top 200 law firm, vastly improve their customer experience with an integrated Cloud Telephony and Teams solution for their 120 colleagues.
If you’d like a chat about the different options and guidance then please do get in touch, we’re always here to help.