Tips For Choosing A Microsoft Teams Partner
Teams has emerged as the fastest-growing business app in Microsoft history in the last couple of years. What started life as a simple replacement to Skype for Business has since become a comprehensive tool for Unified Communications as a Service. In fact, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO suggests Teams will soon become a digital platform as significant as the computer OS.
To make the transition from simple collaboration app to comprehensive communication system, Microsoft introduced not just one option for business telephony – but multiple.
While Microsoft Business Phone plans do allow users to build an entire communication strategy with just Microsoft, most leaders agree that the alternative options, direct routing and operator connect, offer a better option or extensive, flexible, and comprehensive communication functionality.
The question is, how do you choose a partner to help you take full advantage of Microsoft Teams?
Why You Need a Microsoft Teams Partner
Let’s start with the basics – why you need a partner for Microsoft Teams communication.
Simply put, Business Phone functionality from Microsoft Teams isn’t enough on its own. While you can manage basic calling requirements with a Business Phone plan, everything from the global coverage of your network to your calling controls are limited with Teams on its own.
Microsoft might be a technology pioneer, but it’s not a communication expert. This is why the company introduced “Direct Routing” as an alternative to Business Phone telephony. With direct routing and the right Microsoft partner, companies can easily connect their existing telephony ecosystem to the Microsoft Teams landscape.
Not only is direct routing the perfect solution to avoid ripping and replacing your entire communication technology stack, but it also provides access to far more flexibility, for a lower price. Companies can access all the communication technology they need, at a price that suits their business.
As of 2021, around 70.4% of organisations adopting Microsoft Teams said they were using direct routing to connect to the PSTN environment.
Choosing a Microsoft Teams Partner
While Microsoft Teams calling plans may have their benefits for very specific companies, the majority of brands prefer the flexibility of direct routing. Work with the right partner, and you can even use direct routing functionality to access new capabilities in Teams, such as call centre functionality for interacting with customers.
As demand for Microsoft Teams communication landscapes have evolved in recent years, the number of companies partnering with Teams has grown too. This means there are a multitude of potential organisations you can partner with to transform your UCaaS or CCaaS strategy. When choosing your Microsoft Teams partner, here are some points to keep in mind:
- Communication capabilities: The flexible nature of Microsoft Teams as an open environment, combined with the ever-evolving potential of the landscape, means you can accomplish almost anything with the right vendor. When looking for the perfect Teams partner, ask yourself what kind of features you want to build into Microsoft Teams. Do you just want to centralise your communication and collaboration tools with business telephony features, or extra tools like recording?
- Simplicity and deployment options: Microsoft Teams partners can offer varying levels of support and guidance to businesses making the most of their Teams instalment. If you’re looking for help leveraging your new investment, you might want to look for a communication partner who can offer managed services, additional support, and various value-added services into the mix.
- Agility: A great direct routing or Microsoft Teams communication partner will help you to rapidly upgrade and enhance your communication system as your business evolves. Make sure it’s easy to add new locations, phone numbers, and features at the speed that makes sense for your business. Today’s partners can work with the Microsoft environment to offer a highly flexible solution for business leaders.
- Consistency and reliability: A great communication partner for Microsoft Teams will offer a consistent level of exceptional communication quality regardless of how far your technology stack needs to spread. Look for a partner capable of offering regional carrier redundancy, high SLA guarantees, and exceptional uptime. In general, a direct routing provide should be able to offer more flexibility and scale than Microsoft alone.
- Future innovation: A good direct routing provider or partner for Microsoft Teams should also have their eye on the future. Microsoft is constantly rolling out new features and functionality for vendors to take advantage of. Look out for a partner who can help you to take advantage of all the best features Microsoft has to offer, and a range of new potential features too, like contact centre functionality.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to choosing a partner for leveraging Microsoft Teams communication technology. However, whichever direction you go in, you can rest assured that a partner will give you benefits and scalability beyond anything you can get from Microsoft as a standalone solution.
Schedule a review meeting with one of our consultants and we can help you work through your options.