Microsoft Teams is becoming increasingly popular, especially in light of COVID-19. In April, The Verge reported that the use of Teams has increased from 44 million daily active users in March to more than 75 million in April – up 70 percent in just 30 days. In June, Computer Weekly published an article that referenced a study that showed that microsoft teams usage grew by nearly 900 percent in just four months, a growth rate faster than that of its closest competitor, Zoom.
With more people using Teams than ever before, medium to large companies are noticing and wondering if Microsoft Teams can completely replace their phone system. It makes sense. Traditional phone systems lack many of the Teams features businesses need during the pandemic, and there are free versions of Teams to cut costs. But before you jump on board, there are several factors to consider.
Microsoft Teams features – and limitations
Microsoft Teams does offer a free version of its collaboration platform, but only for commercial Office 365 subscribers. If you have this subscription, PCMag lets you enjoy unlimited chats, audio and video calls, 10GB of file storage for your team, and 2GB of file storage per employee.
It’s advantageous to have this Office 365 package because you can integrate the Office features you use daily with Teams like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can also integrate nearly 150 other business applications and add up to 300 people to your Teams’ contacts, even those from outside your organization.
While Microsoft Teams offers capabilities that a basic phone system can’t provide, such as video calls, chat, and file storage, it doesn’t provide business-level PBX call features for handling multi-location and advanced call features, such as advanced call routing, queues, and advanced call reporting.
Your current system
Before you can know if Microsoft Teams can replace your specific phone system, you need to compare your business needs with teams features. For small businesses, Teams might work just fine, as long as you stay within their call plan parameters and don’t need more advanced calling features. Microsoft offers call subscriptions, but these can be relatively pricey and are limited compared to what most providers offer, especially in terms of the availability of features in certain countries.
Think about the experience you want your incoming callers to experience as well. Uptime, call quality, call routing, extensions and forwarding are just some of the phone features they’re used to. It is clear that you need to provide a seamless calling experience, one that brings them to the right person quickly and with minimal repetition. Teams really aren’t built for this kind of communication. There is still a need for telephone system functionality at the company level.
Can Microsoft Teams replace your phone system?
This is possible for small businesses that don’t need business voice functionality, but you don’t have to. Investing in your current network is expensive. Letting go altogether may not be a good financial decision. Fortunately, you need to completely replace your existing communications network to take advantage of the benefits of Microsoft Teams. You can have the best of both worlds by adding business voice features to the Microsoft Teams platform, so you can scale your communications network to meet all your business needs.