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Why We Recommend Integrating Microsoft Teams With Your Existing Phone System 

This is the third in a series of articles on using Microsoft Teams for voice calling in your environment.

So far in this series, we've talked about why so many companies are adopting Microsoft Teams, what options are available to add PSTN calling to Microsoft Teams, and more specifics on the Direct Routing option. The focus of this post will be some of the major points of consideration before you decide to jump all in on a Microsoft phone calling service.  

When it comes to using Microsoft as your primary voice provider, one argument we hear against this option is, “Would you want to trust Microsoft with all your phone services?”

Microsoft has a history of making abrupt changes in their technology strategy as it suits them.  If your company is heavily dependent on phone service to interact with your customers, then you really do need to take careful consideration before making a big move like this. 

Here’s what to consider.

If you go all in for Microsoft voice calling, you will be moving all of your phone numbers to the Microsoft Cloud.  This means Microsoft will have control over those phone numbers.  This technically isn’t much different than any other voice carrier, except this is Microsoft.  And sometimes it’s nice to just have things separated out.  If Microsoft’s cloud goes down for any reason, or there is any kind of disruption in service, it’s very difficult to get ahold of someone who can find a solution to your problem. 

This is not the case with most voice carriers.  You may not like your given carrier, but there’s still a decent mechanism to report a trouble ticket and work through the issue.  With the Microsoft Cloud, you submit a ticket, then sit and wait.  There isn’t much troubleshooting you can do on your end to fix the problem.  

The Microsoft Cloud is an expensive option for telco services.  They charge a premium for their PSTN services and are not competitive when compared to other telco providers.  Additionally, it’s difficult to get multiple carriers to compete for your business.   

Let’s talk about features.

Basic Telephone Features

Microsoft Teams with calling features enabled provides basic telephone features at this time.  Over time, more features will be added.  But it’s important to note that if you are looking to make Microsoft Teams your primary phone system, then it will also be the engine that provides the features for your users. 

If you use any features beyond the basics—calling, hold, voice mail, etc.—then you will need to make sure the Microsoft voice service can provide those features or that you have an alternate way you will handle them.  Even things like customized music on hold is not available.   

Phone System Hardware

Microsoft relies on third-party vendors for phone system hardware.  Make sure you’ve tested the hardware you want to use ahead of time and put it through the paces. 

Third-party hardware may be cheap, but you get what you pay for.   

Contact Center

If you have a contact center of any kind, this will be an issue.  The Microsoft calling service does not support contact center features at this time. 

As a result, you would have to keep your existing contact center on your current system, or put it in an alternate cloud service.  This definitely complicates matters if your agents need to be able to move calls to other internal users.  

Integrate Microsoft Teams With Your Existing System

These are some of the key considerations to be thinking about.  Using voice calling in Microsoft Teams is a natural add-on, however, we still believe the best solution is to integrate it with your existing system. 

Making Microsoft Teams another end point on your existing Cisco phone system lets you keep your advanced features, maintain control over competitive voice carriers, and provide more options to your users.  

Additional Reading
Using Microsoft Teams for Messaging? Consider Adding Voice Calling Too
How to Make Microsoft Teams Work With Your Existing Cisco Phone System

Jessica's House — For Healing Hearts

https://youtu.be/9-B22RbA66I

Working on this project created a bond between everyone on the site, and it was an honor to be a part of that.

We look forward to seeing the impact that Jessica's House will make on our community in the future through their new permanent home.

Meet the Team: Victor Gutierrez

Welcome back to Meet the Team, where every month we introduce you to someone here at Telcion. This month we're talking to another one of our newest team members, Victor Gutierrez.

Victor Gutierrez

Collaboration Engineer

Years at Telcion: <1

Hi Victor! What are your main responsibilities at Telcion?
My function is to support any of the Cisco collaboration products for the managed services department.

What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?
I’m looking to add a few of the WebEx Calling and Teams, and the Microsoft Teams version as well. That’s my goal for this year.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
I would say troubleshooting under high pressure. Situations where you’re kind of put on the spot and you’ve got to figure something out super fast. Everybody’s calling upset, so you’ve got to figure out a way to isolate all of that, focus in on what you’re doing, and just tackle it.

What’s the best advice you were ever given, and who was it from?
It’s from a book—Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson.

Basically, you can overthink everything, and if you’re constantly worried about every small thing, you’ll never get anything done. So let that slide off your back and keep going with your day. Just keep going forward.

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?
I have a hot tub with a TV next to it, so I tend to run out there and kind of let the muscles relax a little bit while catching up on the news or sports.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a doctor. I didn’t quite take that to fruition, but that was my goal.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
I’d trade places with one of my favorite artists, Post Malone.

He’s got an enchanted life so it’d be fun to be him for a day. He’s pretty unique, just a down-to-earth guy.

What three words would your friends use to describe you?
I would say loyal, funny, and compassionate.

What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?
About 80% of the time, I’m hosting a pool party for someone. So either my kids and their friends, or we’ve got some family, or friends and family depending on who’s doing what which weekend. More than likely we’re outside around the pool.

Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?
I brew my own beer. I’ve been doing it for a long time—about 12 years or so. It all just kind of started with playing around when the craft breweries were coming out. I started learning how to do it, and after a while my friends were like, “I want your beer more than their beer!”

I entered a couple of the state fair beer competitions… I entered the amateur version and won four medals. It was fun. A blast.

What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Buy Amazon early. Get in day one and hold onto it… don’t let go. [laughs]

What’s one item you want to own that you don’t?
One of the things I miss the most is my first car, a Ford Bronco, when I was a teenager. I drove that thing around everywhere and then when I got to college I sold it. But now they’re going to make a whole new version of it this year, so that’s one thing I really would love to get. A new Ford Bronco to kind of rekindle my teenage years.

What’s one song or artist that you’re embarrassed to admit you like?
Taylor Swift’s "Shake It Off." When that gets going, I’m all in.

What’s something you’ve done, but will never do again?
Cliff diving in Mexico. No thanks. It was fun when I was a kid and everybody was going to jump off. And then you jump and you’re like, “What did I do?” I’ll pass next time.

What’s your favorite sport to watch and which team do you root for?
I watch a lot of football most seasons. I’ve got a couple of teams. Washington Football Team, and the Chiefs. When they signed Patrick Mahomes, I watch them quite a bit because I do the fantasy football stuff and he’s been my quarterback each year for the past 4 years. So been seeing a lot of them.

What’s one hobby you’d love to get into?
Horticulture. One of the things out here in New Mexico is obviously there are not a lot of farms. So a couple of friends and I have been talking about going in on a place where we can put a large greenhouse and then grow vertically through aeroponics.

Thanks so much, Victor!

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