How Teams Voice helped me to kickstart my new job
With just 3 months in the Timico team, but more than a decade of enterprise communications experience, UC&C Product Manager, Tommy Dowd explains how Microsoft Teams Voice was not only instrumental during his enrollment into the team, but also opened his eyes to new possibilities, and new levels of freedom.
How Teams Can Bring Freedom to a Tighter Team
Microsoft Teams has been a godsend for me in the last couple of months. I started my role here at Timico in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, during lockdown. So, I had to be onboarded, meet my colleagues, manager, stakeholders and embed into the company all remotely. Whilst a little strange in the beginning, I soon got used to it.
Life before Teams Voice
I wasn’t a stranger to Teams prior to starting at Timico, I was using some of its collaboration functionality in my previous role but voice and video services hadn’t been enabled in Teams there, so I was still primarily using Skype for Business for call functionality. However, Teams Voice takes you to a whole new realm of collaboration, and as soon as you start using Teams for the same tasks, you can clearly see the improvements in the tool.
It’s the little touches that stand out – such as telling you on screen that your microphone is muted when you start to talk (we’ve all done it) and then (when you remember to unmute…), the way background noise is blocked out is very good – it really surprised me when I found that other people on the calls couldn’t hear my washing machine on full spin just a few feet from my desk!
It is no shock that Microsoft are decommissioning Skype for Business Online next July to focus on Teams and would urge any businesses to make the switch sooner rather than later. Here are the reasons why:
Teams Voice for everyday use
So, what have I been using Teams for? Initially, it was video calling my new colleagues to meet them face-to-face, attending onboarding sessions, watching presentations, and keeping in touch with people. Now, on top of the standard instant messaging, internal voice and video chats, I have some Teams Channels setup for certain projects where all involved parties can message each other, share and store files and even edit documents simultaneously. I can start a voice or video call with a contact and share a presentation from the handy share tray with zero fuss. Teams even has my recent documents listed for that added touch of convenience; one of the joys of having a suite of collaboration tools such as Microsoft Office 365.
However, external calls were starting to become inconvenient. I had spoken to partners about our products and services using my mobile phone, which wasn’t an issue, but it wasn’t as simple as dialling a number from the intuitive Microsoft Teams interface. For meetings I could send a Teams meeting invite and invitees could join me that way, but that wasn’t ideal for ad-hoc conversations with external parties, such as customers and partners. I do have a mobile phone of course, but in the interest of speed and productivity, switching devices wasn’t ideal. That is where Teams Voice comes in.
Thanks to Teams Voice, I now have a geographical phone number associated with my Teams profile and a Dialpad in the Calls section. This enables me to make and receive ad-hoc calls via my Teams app, meaning all my communication is one place and I don’t have to worry about whether I’ve remembered to charge up my mobile! Don’t get me wrong, I will still need my mobile for when I’m out and about, but in the current climate this is quite a rare occurrence and I don’t foresee moving away from remote meetings and catch-ups any time soon. Why? Because with Microsoft Teams Voice added onto the Office 365 platform, I really don’t need to.
For me, enabling Teams Voice has been about productivity and convenience, but there are many more benefits for businesses, such as cost savings and future proofing against things such as the PSTN closure. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in businesses considering working practices not just for now, but also long term.
Many organisations will have rolled out Teams as an emergency measure to enable remote team collaboration. The tool has, without a doubt, helped many businesses through lockdown. But further, the advanced features and collaboration tools have opened doors to new ways of working post-lockdown; a new normal that, as ironic as it sounds, from the dark days of lockdown, the unknown and wide-spread negativity, creates tighter teams, streamlined collaboration processes and above all, greater freedom for businesses and employees alike.
Timico has a range of Teams Voice options that can be tailored to support each business’ needs, ranging from enabling a few users while keeping your existing PBX, enabling all users alongside your PBX or even replacing your PBX with a fully Teams Voice solution.
We also offer Contact Centre options and network-based call routing. If your business is just thinking about digital transformation, we can also manage your Microsoft 365 deployment or migration from Skype for Business to Teams in preparation for Teams Voice.
Our aim is to keep our customers connected, productive, and secure. Our Microsoft Teams Voice packages are designed to do just that, and as Microsoft Gold Partner, we’re well-positioned to partner with you.
Book in your free consultation today to discuss how Timico can bring the freedom and assurance of Microsoft Teams Voice to your organisation and beyond.
Product Manager - UC&C and End-User Services