Microsoft Teams has spread throughout the business world as the go-to solution for communication and collaboration. Teams began as a close competitor to Slack, focusing on chat alongside internal voice and video calls. However, continual development and robust add-ons have helped Teams reach 270 million daily active users, while Slack has 18 million daily active users.
Microsoft Teams can now become a comprehensive Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) platform rivaling isolated UCaaS tools by choosing the right add-ons and licensing plans. All that’s required is choosing the right plan and public switched telephone network (PSTN) add-on, as PSTN service is required to make and receive external calls to non-VoIP numbers.
Calling Plan was the first PSTN option, but it required making Microsoft your PSTN provider and managing expensive calling credits. Direct Routing was then announced, allowing organizations to bring their own PSTN provider, but it has a complex setup and user management process.
Finally, Microsoft developed Operator Connect as a response to criticism of available options. The relatively new feature allows organizations to bring a Microsoft-approved PSTN carrier into the Microsoft Teams ecosystem without a complex setup process or costly calling credits.
Accelerating your company’s path to Microsoft Teams can remove frustrating IT issues, cut communication costs, and prepare your telecom stack for the future.
Should you migrate to Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams? Keep reading to learn why — and when — it’s worth upgrading or migrating to the new standard in business communications.
Prioritize building a future-proof Microsoft Teams phone system
On-premises phone systems and legacy telephony networks are being left behind. With every new upgrade to a provider’s infrastructure, more tech challenges emerge for legacy systems. The result is that many older phone systems are already or nearly obsolete.
Upgrading to the right platform will keep you at the forefront of emerging technologies rather than continually trying to catch up or applying quick fixes.
On-premises telecom systems have been the standard for decades. However, recent years have seen on-premise PBX systems move to cloud-based PBX, then use a UCaaS system that provides internal and external calling. Simultaneously, businesses adopted Microsoft Teams or Slack, which offered advanced features like mobility, file sharing, and chat.
Now, Microsoft Teams can become your single platform for the variety of communication and collaboration tools a future-ready business requires.
A future-proof phone system will also scale alongside your business. Outdated or expensive telecom systems won’t be able to grow as you take more calls, hire more employees, and create new partnerships. You need a system that’s ready for ten employees or 10,000 employees.
Is it time for your organization to migrate to Microsoft Teams?
When to make Microsoft Teams your complete UCaaS solution
Adopting Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams can cut costs, reduce complexity, and create a better experience for employees and customers. Let’s explore a few scenarios that indicate it’s time to migrate to Operator Connect.
You need a single feature-rich platform
Using a UCaaS platform for external calls and a different platform for internal communication can hinder productivity. Additionally, you may not have access to all the required features when split among multiple platforms.
Migrating to Microsoft Teams with Operator Connect allows you to provide employees, partners, and customers with various communication options, including voice, video, text, and chat. Additionally, you’ll have the core business calling features you rely on, such as:
Customizable call routing
Auto-attendant and call queuing
Call holding and forwarding
Customizable business and holiday hours
Bringing business calling into Microsoft Teams with Operator Connect gives you one platform with everything you need. You’ll be able to cancel other services, simplify IT’s workload, and give everyone a better telecom experience.
Migrate if you already have Microsoft licenses
Do you already have a Microsoft license for other apps and services? Review your agreement to see if Microsoft Teams is included — the app is included in most plans. If you have Teams, you’ll need additional add-ons to enable Microsoft Operator Connect for your license, which are:
Microsoft Teams Phone System
PSTN Operator Connect/Direct Routing add-on
You’ll also need a Microsoft-approved Operator, such as G12 Communications, through the Teams Admin Center, or another existing operator listed in the official directory. “Operator” is a key Operator Connect term that describes a PSTN carrier that has undergone and passed Microsoft’s approval process.
You’ll be ready to migrate all PSTN services to Microsoft Teams once you have an active agreement with an Operator, the correct license, and add-ons.
Upgrade if you have issues managing telecom services
Earlier, we explored why future-proofing your phone system is vital to your business. A symptom of a phone system that is not future-proofed is frequent issues with existing services. These issues can range from poor voice quality to extensive downtime.
Downtime directly impacts your business, while other issues can cause frustration among your employees and customers. It’s simply not worth continually applying quick fixes as issues emerge. Instead, upgrade to Microsoft Teams with Operator Connect for a robust and future-proof solution.
When to migrate to Microsoft Operator Connect from other Teams PSTN options
What if you’re using Microsoft Teams as your sole communication solution, but you’re not using Operator Connect? If your existing solution is cost-effective, reliable, and manageable, you might not need to migrate.
However, you may discover that Calling Plan is becoming cost-inefficient or managing Direct Routing is absorbing too much time. Operator Connect can alleviate both of these issues, making migrating from legacy options worth considering.
Migrate from direct routing for better user management
Direct Routing provides a similar service as Operator Connect with some notable differences. A significant difference between them is that Direct Routing has a complex setup and user management process.
Working with Direct Routing requires PowerShell knowledge and telecom experience. Even a simple task like provisioning a new user will necessitate opening PowerShell and running a series of commands with both your PSTN carrier and Microsoft.
Conversely, Operator Connect gives administrators an easy-to-use dashboard for managing your Microsoft Teams environment — which includes simplified user management, the ability to assign phone numbers and manage your calling services with your Operator through the Teams Admin Center and a specialized Operator Connect dashboard. The initial setup process is also streamlined and does not require advanced training. Organizations with delays setting up new users, re-assigning phone numbers, or struggling to even complete the setup process may wish to migrate to Operator Connect instead.
Migrate from calling plan for cost-effective business calling
Calling Plan is prized for its easy setup process, but the trade-off is a complicated billing structure involving calling credits. Businesses that make little to no external calls might be fine with Calling Plan, but most organizations will quickly discover it’s not cost-effective.
Operator Connect solves this issue by contracting a PSTN carrier with more effective billing plans. The exact plan will depend on your carrier, but you’ll sidestep managing calling credits to make sure you don’t go over your limit.
Partner with G12 Communications for reliable Operator Connect Services
Is it time for your business to bring all of your communications under one umbrella? Microsoft Teams with Operator Connect provides a feature-rich platform ready for everyday internal collaboration or managing an entire contact center. You’ll have a future-ready platform ready to grow alongside your business and stay up to date with new technologies.
G12 Communications is an industry leader in providing reliable Operator Connect services with a high uptime rating, crystal clear voice quality, an easy-to-use interface for user management, and an unmatched support service to ensure solution availability.
Ready to accelerate your company’s path to Microsoft Teams? Try our Operator Connect 14 day trial today to discover how simple and cost-effective it is to create a future-ready phone system.