A Guide to Integrating Microsoft Teams and Cellular Phones

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of various communication platforms including Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack. The need for a complete workspace offering that has chat, videoconferencing, application integration, and storage features to seamlessly transition into the new work-from-home normal allowed companies to experiment with different platforms.

Among the most preferred business communication platforms was Microsoft Teams that exploded in popularity during the lockdown. The daily active usage of Teams went from 32 million in March 2020 to 250 million by July 2021. As employees felt more convenient collaborating on Teams, regular meetings and conference calls were conducted on the communication platform.

Now, having experienced the numerous productivity benefits of Microsoft Teams, organizations want to continue using the platform and are even considering using Teams as their primary phone system, replacing their existing legacy or cloud PBX system.

With no certainty over the full return back to offices, work from home and hybrid workspaces are here to stay. Organizations are looking to be more strategic and take advantage of the situation while ensuring work doesn’t get interrupted. They’re looking to add solutions that make remote work feel normal and connected.

While video conferencing and video calls work great for meetings and work sessions, regular cellular phone calls have become the preferred communication means among colleagues, and with customers and prospects. This drives more and more organizations and companies to look for a holistic solution that integrates their landline and cell phone communications onto one platform. For example, this brings organizations to consider replacing their legacy PBX systems with Microsoft Teams. The next natural step in the ‘evolution’ is that along with replacing the telephony infrastructure, they are also looking to integrate their communication processes and infrastructure with other systems, such as the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, call recording and analytics software, and add other capabilities.

The final result of this evolution should include:

  • A centralized Microsoft Teams phone system for all employees (office, home, worldwide) with one business number per user, replacing the existing PBX
  • Local and worldwide cellular connectivity with the same business number as that of the Teams phone system
  • Recording of all business or work-related phone calls – landline, cellular, and via Teams
  • Text (SMS) and Whatsapp communication on the employee’s business number
  • CRM integration of all Microsoft Teams and cellular communication. For example, call recording, SMS and Whatsapp to automatically appear in the customer’s or prospect’s CRM records
  • A complete coherent centralized managed communication system integrating the organizational address book (Exchange / Outlook / Active Directory / Custom), allowing calls, conference and collaboration with Microsoft Teams.

 

A good example could look like this:

While envisioning a company-wide implementation of new systems to improve processes seems like a good strategy, like any other strategy, if not implemented properly, it can hurt productivity.

To begin proper integration of Microsoft Teams and cellular phones and encourage end-user adoption, technical requirements have to be met and best practices have to be followed.

Research

Organizations have to research the benefits of switching to Microsoft Teams for all voice communications and take into account the financial impacts for the business and the forecast for improvement in productivity across the board.

When there is compelling statistics and evidence that switching to Teams will benefit the organization, processes such as readiness of the organization, designing and planning the new system, testing the system, deploying, migrating users, and ensuring users are happy with the changes have to be prioritized in order.

The Process of Migrating to Microsoft Teams

A six-step process to migrate to Microsoft Teams is recommended. By following the process, organizations can effectively migrate to a Teams phone system while reaping the benefits.

  1. Readiness Test

Reviewing the network health is essential before starting the migration process. Organizations should consider their current phone system and the problems that would be solved by the implementation.

It is not mandatory for Teams to have every feature of the current PBX and hence rarely-used features should be left out. When most companies don’t ever use all PBX features, there is no point in including features that aren’t going to used.

  1. Designing and Planning

When you’ve reviewed how to effectively implement the solution and are 100% convinced in your analysis and actions, you can plan and design great things for your organization.

Your experts should understand network topology to ensure you move forward with the Microsoft Teams telephony migration. Your IT department should figure out the dialing configuration with a suitable communication partner that can aid in the process.

Replacing the legacy PBX system requires working with a strategy that is outlined with the necessary steps to move to Teams phone integration. There are many benefits of migrating to a cellular voice call over VoIP including no call delays, network coverage issues, cellular network mobile data availability, etc.

  1. Testing

When you’ve designed and planned the environment for migration, you have to test the phone migration system. A handful of users with new numbers can test the new system functionality to ensure everything is configured properly.

The testing phase is extremely important to go through to identify flaws in the implementation and correct them before all phone numbers are ported to the new system.

Organizations should take advantage of the built-in analytics functions available on Microsoft Teams to make sure the settings are properly configured. When it is shown that the platform configuration is reliable and can handle separate calls without drops in quality and other issues, the testing phase is considered a success.

  1. Deployment

The new voice call system facilitated through Microsoft Teams has to be enabled. For starters, the Teams phone system should be activated alongside the existing PBX system to avoid any

disruption in communications and business processes.

Teams use as a voice solution should be encouraged across the organization for business calls internally and externally. The new voice platform should be ready to solve most of the voice call challenges of the internal team and tie it up together with other daily applications for seamless operations.

  1. Migrating Users

Migration of users to the new phone system powered by Microsoft Teams should happen gradually and in stages. The old phone system should co-exist and run alongside Teams to allow the migration to happen smoothly.

While the simple scenario to migrate users is to move them all together at the same time, most of the time it is a huge challenge as users may need to warm up to the new system before being able to comfortably use it.

However, the co-existence with the older system should not be for long and organizations should set a deadline to completely move all voice calls and related services to the new phone system.

  1. User Experience

User experience is paramount to ensure a smooth migration. When users are prepared and happy to migrate to the new system while reporting fewer and lesser technical issues and quality problems, the better it is for the adoption and usage of the new system.

Organizations should take the feedback from their users and decide to make changes to the system that will improve the new phone system for everyone.

It is always a good idea to have your IT department ready beforehand to address any security concerns and helpdesk tickets from concerned users. By constantly getting feedback from users and addressing their concerns, you increase the probability of completing a successful implementation of the new telephony infrastructure.

A proven step-by-step implementation strategy such as the example above will drive the adoption of Teams calling. You will have all the tools necessary to assess your current situation, troubleshoot problems, enhance the new voice system by making modifications, and continue to innovate with a focus on improving productivity.

Microsoft Teams and Cellular Phone Integration with CRM Integration and Other Features

At Mobile2CRM, we offer a comprehensive solution that makes Microsoft Teams your default telephony system with added sophisticated communication and collaboration functionality. We help businesses and organizations integrate their CRM system with Microsoft Teams, add call recording and analytics feature to Teams, and permanently retire the existing PBX systems in favor of the new Microsoft Teams infrastructure.

The CRM integration allows users to add voice calls (landline and cell phone), text messages, and native WhatsApp communications to the CRM of their choice. Call recording feature includes recording voice calls and WhatsApp 1:1 communication. Integration of call analytics systems allows users to measure the effectiveness of their business communications to enable themselves to be more productive throughout the work hours.

There are other features that come with Microsoft Teams and cell phone integration including transcription of Microsoft Teams PSTN voice calls, click-to-call functionality where business calling is facilitated through CRM mobile apps or desktop for more convenience, regular cellular mobile calling with Teams number, multiple numbers per user, and using the same numbers irrespective of the geographical location.

As the work-from-home system morphs into a work-from-anywhere system, employees will want to stay as connected as possible while also being able to easily move from one place to another. With Microsoft Teams as the primary telephone system, many communication issues including constantly switching to new numbers are solved as users can have multiple numbers that don’t change when they change in their physical location.

VoIP-related complaints are common, especially by remote workers who experience issues with their mobile network coverage, call delays, and other technical difficulties. As a forward-looking organization, you have an effective solution at hand by implementing a cellular-native solution that uses the same number for your cell phone and Microsoft Teams.

You can close the communication gaps with the effective implementation of a new phone system that offers lots of beneficial features while offering integration with your favorite work apps for easier communication and collaboration. By having all your communications within one infrastructure, you can seamlessly access all threads with other users without having to constantly switch devices.

When you choose to use Mobile2CRM as your implementation partner in the migration to Microsoft Teams telephony system, user privacy is assured. Only business calls and text messages are captured without violating user privacy. All personal communication and other private conversations are respected and are not captured by the system.

Want to know more about the benefits of integrating Mobile2CRM and Mobile2Teams with Microsoft Teams and upgrading business, operations, revenues and cost savings? 

Contact us at [email protected] 

Shai Benarzi

Shai Benarzi

CTO Mobile2CRM

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