04 May VoIP – Revolutionizing home working with Teams Telephony
As we have already explored in the last blog in the series, the world of work is changing – partially due to the technological age we are living in but most recently due to the sudden arrival of the worst health crisis the world has had to face in over 100 years.
Covid-19 forced many businesses to adopt a remote working strategy, when, practically overnight, business owners were forced into the change just to continue trading and keep the wheels turning. It was admirable the way businesses approached the change – with an open mind and a readiness to do what was necessary to beat the virus – but the way they chose to operate from home was only fit for purpose temporarily.
Going forward – with many adopting an at least partially remote working team – the long-term solution must be much more flexible.
We have covered VoIP and Microsoft Teams briefly in the last blog, and know that they are the logical solutions to the majority of issues business owners have with remote working. The advanced levels of collaboration, communication, and productivity the platform offers – as well as connecting with VoIP – can rival even the on-premise setting. In the remainder of the blog, we will explore VoIP in more detail, VoIP in Teams, and the options that you have in regard to your VoIP choice.
VoIP – what is it?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is a phone service delivered over the internet – it allows you to make a call directly with a computer or a VoIP phone.
I am sure we will all agree that the most important thing in business is profit. Yes, of course team morale, happiness, etc, are important as well as many other things, but the bottom line is the main concern of all business owners. ISDN is already on life support and hasn’t got long left, and with traditional phone systems being – in some cases – extortionately expensive, VoIP (with its dramatically reduced price tag) is the modern logical decision when it comes to the choice of which way to connect to your employees wherever they are, making it appealing to business owners from all around the globe.
We will now list some more of the reasons VoIP is the go-to choice for businesses all over the world.
- Service Mobility
On a traditional phone system, a telephone line that runs to a business is assigned a specific number which makes any movement to remote working a tedious task, as your employees will have to remember the right codes or keys to dial in order for it to show up as the office number. Time – and a lot of it – is wasted in doing this and waiting for calls to be transferred – time that is valuable to the business.
VoIP allows for advanced service mobility. You can have a fully flexible team that works from home two days a week, for example, and spends the rest of their time in the office, with their days changing weekly according to their schedule. With VoIP it makes no difference what days they work or where from as – from the client’s perspective – they are still sitting at their desk in the office.
- Seamless mirroring of the office setting
Your clients should have no clue that you aren’t at your desk in the office. With VoIP it is easy to mirror the professionalism achieved in the office – with every step of the process being exactly the same for the customer, the number they call is the company number and the call is answered with the company slogan or greeting. This can make a massive difference – especially for new customers – to the amount of trust your organization receives. Also, being able to sustain the professionalism achieved in office is a big factor as to whether the transaction will be successful or not – after all, without professionalism your repeat customer base will be practically non-existent.
- Client interaction
Voicemail, what was once a big help to business operations, has gradually become far too time consuming to put up with any more – for some of the biggest organizations in the world anyway (Coca-Cola and JPMorgan Chase). Understandably, eliminating Voicemail altogether isn’t for everyone, but with a VoIP phone system you can choose where your calls ring, and how. For example, you could have the first few rings take place where you are going to be for the majority of the time – your office desk, for example – but you may be out of the office, too busy, or unable to answer there for whatever reason. VoIP allows you to make the following rings take place to a second device, then a third device, and so on, allowing you to be confident in announcing to customers that you will never miss their call again.
- Versatility of features
VoIP opens doors to feature versatility that traditional phone systems can only dream of. VoIP small features – when all connected – can revolutionize your work day, take ‘Voicemail-to-text’ for example. This is a feature that takes transcripts of your Voicemails and sends them directly to your Email inbox – allowing you to miss your call (deliberately if the situation calls for it), get a Voicemail, and carry on with your day as normal, confident in the fact you can simply refer to the transcript at a time that suits you. It is recommended that you explore the many features within VoIP – there are many useful tools and functions – and, as small as some may seem, they have the power to revolutionize the way you work.
The rumours you have heard about VoIP are true in that if you lose internet connection you do lose the ability to make calls. Understandably no business in the world can walk the tight rope simply waiting to fall off and lose the ability to communicate with their customer base.
If VoIP is used correctly this should not be a problem as call-forwarding (that we touched on previously) is completely flexible and makes this problem irrelevant.
As we already explored, choosing where your calls are forwarded to, and how – not only means that you are completely free to work wherever you like but also that you do not have to lose the ability to operate if you experience power outages or problems. The office is down? Simply forward the call to a different location without the power issues.
VoIP with Teams – Why it’s the clever choice
I’m sure you know what Microsoft Teams is, but, just in case, we will give you a brief overview. Microsoft Teams is one of the fastest growing applications of all time. It is one of the best additions to the Microsoft suite of tools by quite some way – and that isn’t just my opinion as over 115 million people a day use Microsoft Teams to complete their daily work tasks and stay connected from anywhere in the world – a number that makes Teams the most popular app of its kind on the market. Teams is designed specifically to provide businesses with the means to collaborate, communicate, and be productive no matter their location – at the desk, or laying on the beach – because as long as you have an internet connection you have full access to all of Teams features, including Chat, Teams, Calendar, and Files. Businesses across the globe have – and are still – discovering how useful Teams can be and how. With the correct use of its features, it can revolutionize the way your organization does business, now and into the future.
So why VoIP with Teams?
The answer is simple. As we just explored, Teams offers levels of collaboration, communication, and productivity that rivals even the on-premise work setting, so therefore intertwining VoIP with such an already revolutionary tool would make it practically faultless.
Using VoIP effectively within your organization will truly set you up for the future, especially with ISDN slowly on its way out. It will be mandatory to change soon – so now is the time to get ahead of the curve and make the change to your business infrastructure – you won’t regret it!
This part can be difficult, as there are many different options on the market and knowing what’s best for you can be impossible.
If you already have a Microsoft 365 license (which you undoubtedly do) you will need to purchase a ‘Microsoft 365 Business Voice Over license’ on top of your monthly subscription. You will also need a ‘Trunk’ for those that don’t know, a Trunk provides network access to multiple users at the same time by sharing a set of circuits, carriers, channels, or frequencies, instead of providing individual circuits or channels for each user).
Once having achieved the above, important considerations need to be made regarding the features of VoIP that enable you to use it effectively. These considerations include; options around phone handsets, headsets, and laptops, and whether you want DDI (Direct Dial In), all of which can be worked out with you (depending on the number of users you would like and your own requirements regarding best service). VoIP with Teams has the power to take your business into the future ready for whatever the world can throw at you, be that on-premise or remotely.
Improving the ways you work remotely – SRS
Since 1996 we have prided ourselves on providing professional IT support for businesses in and around Salinas, California. We strive to give our clients enterprise-level services and solutions at prices that work for small businesses. We can recommend and provide the tools needed to enable your business’ operations to be safely conducted while your employees are working remotely. This transition may not be temporary, but with the world of work going remote, is your business ready to make the change? Book a free consultation call today and find out what changes you can make to your systems.