Microsoft Business Voice is the new cloud-based phone system from Microsoft. Make calls, hold virtual meetings and message colleagues all from within Microsoft Teams. We had a chat with Dave Scott to find out more about how Business Voice could help organisations.
'Microsoft Business Voice is a really accessible and affordable way for small businesses to hit the ground running with a cloud-based phone system. It combines standard telephone system features like call queues and call routing and audio conferencing, you can have menus so that customers press keys to reach the correct people or department. And then it takes it to the next level with Microsoft Teams functionality.'
'Through Microsoft Teams, you get everything you would in the standard telephone system as well as a great front end platform to use it all from. Using Microsoft Business Voice, you can call anyone - whether they're on a computer, landline or mobile. Customers don't need to have Microsoft Teams installed; they can join conference calls regardless. It doesn't matter where you are either, or if people are on different devices; if you have an internet connection, Business Voice can connect you.'
Dave says there are clear benefits of Business Voice for clients, 'For the people routing calls, it shows when your employees are at their desk and when they're on the phone- all that information is there in Microsoft Teams. You don't have to ring round to see who's available, you can see it all at a glance. It reduces the amount of time you're keeping a customer on hold - you can just send the call straight to an available person.'
'Think of Microsoft Business Voice like the link between a standard telephone network and Microsoft Teams. All of the great features of standard VOIP telephony, that you can use within Microsoft Teams - a platform that a ton of enterprises already subscribe to. It's really simple to use, easy to install and understand. It's providing small businesses with the kind of phone system that you'd expect from larger enterprises.'
So how much does it cost? 'Microsoft charge you a small fee every month per employee, which you can adjust as people join the organisation or leave,' says Dave. 'There are two different options for businesses. On Call and Plan Way, you pay £12 per person per month. Microsoft can then either generate phone numbers for you, or you can use your own telephone number. With each user added, your company receives 1200 minutes. This goes into a bank that everyone takes from, so you don't waste any minutes on people who aren't making calls often.'
What about if you're already using VOIP? Dave says Microsoft Teams has an option for that too. 'If you already have your own VOIP lines set up, you can select the 'No calling' plan. You can just add your current VOIP into Microsoft's telephone system and continue using the calling plan from your original provider, for £7 per user per month. Business Voice is really flexible; if organisations don't want to use Microsoft as their telephony provider they can still get access to Microsoft Business Voice and all its functionality.'
Dave says that the big selling point for Business Voice is that Microsoft are offering it as part of something consumers already have, 'People who are already using Office 365 only need a headset, and all this is only a click away. With Office 365, Microsoft are slowly but surely integrating all the features people need to run a business.'
If you're interested in Microsoft Business Voice, give our IT support team a call on 0191 482 0444. They'll be able to talk you through the options, and work out which phone system is right for your business.