Business Class VoIP
The Evolution of Best-In-Class Voice and Data Convergence
VoIP services empower your organization with enhanced collaboration, redundancy, mobility, and efficiency benefits while removing clunky equipment from the phone closet and reducing capital expenditures.
VoIP, AKA "Unified Communications as a Service" or UCaaS, has evolved dramatically over the last twenty years.
In the early days, Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) with hosted VoIP services had an awkward relationship with Managed Service Providers (MSPs).
CLECS were putting customer premise equipment AKA "edge devices" on local area networks, and MSPs were getting all kinds of new requests to change the settings to firewalls.
The two forces didn't always play well together. Voice quality didn't fare well with even the slightest of changes to the network. MSPs didn't "get" voice, and CLECs didn't "get" local area networks. They were separate disciplines.
There were too many cooks in the kitchen, and clients didn't know who to call for resolve. Was it a T1 issue, a problem with the hosted telephony software, or did someone misconfigure the switch?
Questions, delays, and finger-pointing incidents ruled the day.
Thankfully, times have changed, and enterprise-class telephony is now available as an add-on to the Microsoft 365 (M365) portfolio of diverse, unified communications services.
Simplify your IT system footprint with Microsoft Business Voice (MBV).
Twenty years ago, very few IT professionals would have recommended you move your voice services to an MSP, much less Microsoft.
There were many valid objections: voice and data networks were siloed and clunky. So hardware, software, and carrier services didn't always play well together.
However, voice has evolved into a software application that your MSP can manage through a single pane of glass and troubleshoot any of the Internet nuances directly with their technical counterparts at all the major carriers.
Adding voice to SharePoint, OneDrive, Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, etc., will help you leverage integrated messaging services, including Teams, Instant Messaging, Conference Calling, Video Conferencing, and more.
Even better, the entire stack is more cost-effective to manage as a unified whole. It's also significantly less prone to equipment failure, power outages, and environmental risks.
This value proposition applies to MBV and other VoIP services you integrate with MBV or use independently: Ring Central, Nextiva, Vonage, and others.
Every company's phone service requirements are unique. You may require something completely different than a Microsoft solution.
Your MSP can help. They’re highly skilled at vendor selection, vendor technical assistance, and monitoring complex customized integrations.
Services and benefits include but are not limited to:
- Remote management of your phone system 24/7/365 from any web browser: change call forwarding, simultaneous ring, and greetings on the fly
- Automated Attendants direct calls to specific departments, users, a general mailbox, or an after-hours greeting, and more
- Voicemail-to-email allows you to check messages from your computer or smartphone
- Find Me/Follow Me routes incoming calls to as many numbers, phones, and extensions as you like before sending the caller to voicemail
- No matter what happens at the office (floods, fires, pandemics), your phone system stays up and running because it resides in redundant cloud data centers
Six Reasons to Consider Migrating to Microsoft Business Voice
Reason #1 - You are migrating everything else from a server to the cloud
Transitioning Active Directory (AD), file-sharing, and storage to Azure AD, SharePoint, and OneDrive is the perfect inflection point to re-imagine your digital workspaces.
Reason #2 - An upcoming office move is in the works
Less equipment equals lower real estate costs. Why move something that will take up more space and require additional network build-out project fees like low voltage cabling and switches?
Moreover, your phone system lease or its useful life may closely correlate to the terms of your old office lease (five or ten years), so there's a solid business justification for a new direction.
Reason #3 – You have a high volume of staff onboarding and offboarding
Adding and removing voice users from MBV is just as easy as activating and deactivating email accounts.
As the administrator of your Microsoft suite, your MSP can provision and de-provision users as quickly as you can say, "Hey, where did that Word document go?"
Just submit a support ticket.
This feature is especially convenient if your organization is deepening its work from home footprint.
Reason #4 – A phone system lease is expiring soon
If your system is five years old, I would not recommend renewing the agreement until you examine the MBV alternative, especially if you want the flexibility to add and remove users without contract penalties or avoidable cost overruns.
Moving forward, you'll never have to buy more equipment or licenses than you need. A piece of hardware that accommodates 100 voice users is a sunk cost you can't get rid of if you later decide you only need fifty voice users.
Not so with MBV, you can trade up and down, in the same manner, you switch between M365 Business Standard and M365 Business Premium licenses.
Reason #5 - You want to ditch desk phones
You can use a wide variety of VoIP handsets with this solution, but you don't have to.
Wireless and wired headsets reduce clutter, cost, and handling fatigue. The devices also free up an extra hand and give your employees enhanced integration with everything on their workstations, laptops, and mobile devices.
Reason #6 – Vendor Consolidation
No business has ever said they wanted to deal with more vendors. Simpler is always better.