A Practical Guide to Adding Voice to Microsoft Teams

This guide offers a roadmap to help you navigate your Teams voice journey, take advantage of cost savings and enable long-term productivity enhancements. 

July 28, 2021

Microsoft Teams saw an exponential increase in popularity in 2020, adding a staggering 95 million new users during the course of the year, with 895 percent growth from March – June 2020 alone. By the end of the year, Teams had 115 million daily active users.

What lies behind this growth? During the global health crisis, Teams’ rich, easy-to-use interface allowed employees to connect with each other via messaging, video conferencing and voice calls, wherever they were located.

And, because of its integration with Office 365, SharePoint and One Drive for business,Teams offers compelling collaboration capabilities for businesses of every size.

By 2021, many companies were realizing that Teams can also offer a further benefit, by connecting employees to the outside world, as a cost-effective alternative to their PBX phone system. Why run two communications alongside each other, duplicating costs and resources, when you can offer users a single, unified interface for all communication?


Building a business case for adding voice to Microsoft Teams

The arguments for adding voice to Microsoft Teams are compelling.

However, Teams does not come with external dialing out-of-the-box; it lacks many of the phone system features businesses are accustomed to, including universal call recording and intelligent call routing; and there are multiple factors to take into account when designing your Teams voice strategy.

This guide offers a roadmap to help you navigate your Teams voice journey and take advantage of the opportunities for streamlining your solution, manifesting cost savings and enabling long-term productivity enhancements.

Understanding your options

It is vital that you match your Teams voice solution to your organization’s specific business requirements. Your communication platform will be critical to delivering an optimal user and customer experience, now and in the longer term.

Some of the questions you will need to consider include:

  • Which Microsoft licenses will you need?
  • How do you protect your legacy investments?
  • What other technical considerations do you need to take into account?
  • What contact center functionality do you need?
  • Will a phased approach provide a safer bet than an overnight transition?

adding voice to Microsoft Teams


The starting point for your journey will be understanding the options available to you, and assessing the pros and cons of each one. The route you take will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The size and complexity of your organization and its geographic spread.
  • The regulatory requirements of your industry, which may determine what functionality you need.
  • The need to protect your existing hardware investments.
  • The need to maintain existing relationships with your PSTN carrier.
  • The expertise and available resource of your in-house IT department.

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