Businesses can choose from a variety of configuration options when it comes to setting up their communications with Microsoft Teams (Teams). This blog explains the fundamentals of Teams-certified desk phones, displays, and room kits, as well as the “bring-your-own-device” (BYOD) approach.
Microsoft-Certified Desk Phones & Teams Displays
Microsoft offers a variety of certified devices from a variety of manufacturers to support internal and external communications. Some of these offerings include headsets, speakerphones, monitors, cameras, and other accessories that teams can use to uplevel day-to-day business operations.
Microsoft showcases two featured Teams devices on its website: ThinkSmart View and MP56 for MS Teams. Microsoft highlights the desk phone and Teams display because of their unique support for Teams functionality. These devices seamlessly integrate with workflows to help enhance business collaboration and communication.
ThinkSmart View is a touchscreen communication device that connects with Teams for the most immersive collaboration experience. With an 8-inch display, the device can fit comfortably on a desk or conference table. It supports chats, calls, videoconferencing, scheduling, and other administrative collaboration tasks. The ThinkSmart View is a great asset for any conference room, workspace, or home office where users frequently rely on Microsoft collaboration and workflow programs. The device enables a truly inclusive and collaborative work environment because it is compatible with nearly any device. Users can see content and presenters simultaneously, which boosts productivity. With the ThinkSmart View, Teams and connection between employees is even more accessible and rich.
MP56 for Teams
MP56 is a desk phone created by Yealink for Teams. Individuals can configure the device to display their Teams interface through a dedicated Teams button. The phone features a touchscreen for users to view presentations and easily navigate Teams tools. These features provide users with convenient access to the platform so that they can seamlessly communicate within one interface, boosting efficiency and productivity. MP56 also supports the firmware for Skype for Business Edition, granting greater flexibility to teams that use a variety of collaboration tools.
Businesses can also use the ThinkSmart View and MP56 to create an Teams Room.
What Is an Teams Room?
Teams Rooms are small in-person huddle spaces or medium- to large-sized meeting rooms that feature devices and solutions with high-quality audio and video. Teams Rooms enable companies to have more consistent, intuitive, and productive meetings by allowing employees to join meetings using high-quality devices. Moreover, since the devices in these rooms work with Teams, they provide a seamless user experience and allow employees to collaborate from any location in the world without sacrificing connection quality.
Microsoft offers specific devices to enhance the experience of Teams Rooms interactions, including the Studio X30 with TC8 and Thinksmart Hub Gen 2 medium room. These devices offer capabilities such as built-in, cloud-based video services that do not require a computer. Instead, they operate on small tabletop devices that can fit in your hand. The Studio and Thinksmart devices also help offices manage cables, optimize audio of voice communications, and chat in real time on Teams. These devices deliver a native Teams experience to users, which means communicating with team members is straightforward and hassle free.
Teams Rooms Cloud Licensing
Recently, Microsoft outlined new licensing models for Teams Rooms to provide its customers with enhanced communications capabilities. As part of the licensing update, Microsoft now offers two subscription options: Standard and Premium. Teams Rooms Standard and Premium enable all of the licenses needed to set up and run Teams Rooms while also providing customers with the flexibility to determine which level of management is best for them. Microsoft customers can sign up for a free trial of both licenses in the Microsoft 365 admin portal.
Standard Teams Rooms
At $15 per month, a standard subscription provides teams with access to the following collaboration tools and capabilities:
- Skype for Business
- Phone System
- Audio Conferencing
- Microsoft InTune
- Worldwide availability
Although labeled "standard," this licensing option provides users with everything they need to be successful in a Teams Room. This deployment is a great option for teams or companies that have a robust IT team that are equipped to internally manage the Teams Room. With access to a variety of tools, businesses can leverage the solutions they’re most interested in at a reasonable price.
Teams Rooms Premium
At $50 per month, a premium subscription offers all of the same services as a standard account, with one key differentiator: Users gain access to managed services. With managed services, users can enjoy the tools and capabilities that matter most to them without any management burden.
Teams Rooms Managed Services
Teams Rooms Managed Services is a high-quality option for companies that want to strengthen their meetings and collaborations while outsourcing the tasks associated with managing a Teams Room. It is defined as “a cloud-based IT management and monitoring service.” Premium license holders can offload the responsibility of their IT teams managing the room and its devices to a team of Microsoft experts. This virtual support team oversees and maintains Teams Rooms devices, ensuring they are secure and up to date with automatic updates. They also spearhead room planning, monitoring and troubleshooting, updates, and compliance. Teams Rooms Managed Services offers customer support in the event that users have questions or run into issues.
All of these services are offered through a dedicated Teams Rooms Managed Services portal, where users can review and update settings or request support.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
“Bring your own device” (BYOD) means that employees can use their personal devices for work purposes. Devices can include laptops, smartphones, tablets, or other IT equipment. BYOD is a popular way for companies to reduce hardware investments and expand mobile-friendly productivity options for employees.
There are typically four ways for businesses to provision and manage BYOD deployments. If a team decides to use a BYOD approach, they can set their employees up with one of the following configurations:
- Allow employees unlimited access to data and systems when using personal devices.
- Grant access on personal devices to only nonsensitive systems and data.
- Permit access to data and systems but only with IT control over personal devices, apps, and stored data.
- Authorize access but prevent local storage of data on personal devices.
Decision makers interested in a BYOD approach should evaluate each of these configurations and consider how best to enable a mobile workforce while also mitigating security risks. By allowing employees to use their own devices, companies can increase productivity, boost employee satisfaction, and save costs while incorporating Teams and other collaboration suites.
Employees are sometimes more comfortable and proficient with their own devices because they don't have to also worry about managing or maintaining other devices. By seamlessly integrating Teams on their device, employees gain access to collaboration tools that can positively impact productivity. Users can spend less time switching between tools and more time responding to messages, sharing files, and moving projects forward.
Strengthen Employee Satisfaction
BYOD supports employees’ ability to work remotely, making it acceptable and easy to bring their devices wherever they go. This mobility grants employees more flexibility over their schedules, which can result in higher employee satisfaction. As businesses continue to see that more flexibility equates to improved retention and productivity, the BYOD method will remain a favored approach to give employees autonomy.
Save on Enterprise Costs
The BYOD approach can help organizations cut equipment costs by leveraging existing devices that employees use. With BYOD, businesses save money on the cost of each device, telecommunications expenses, and equipment support and training. Moreover, these business savings continue through the life of the device.
Access Microsoft's Applications and Collaboration Tools
With BYOD, users can add Microsoft applications, such as Teams, to non-Microsoft certified devices. This means that users can also add PSTN calling to their Teams application through Microsoft's Direct Routing and Operator Connect offerings.
Businesses that want to uplevel their business communications with Teams can consider leveraging high-quality devices that support Teams, a BYOD approach, or a combination of the two.
Here at Intrado, we support decision makers in evaluating devices and Microsoft offerings. We’ll also help your company pick a device or plan that’s best for your team, customers, and overall business needs. Visit our Intrado Microsoft page to learn more.