Microsoft 365 Business Voice: Microsoft's latest VOIP service

12 MIN READ

Microsoft 365 Business Voice: Microsoft's latest VOIP service

Topics: Microsoft 365 IT Managed Services

By Calligo on 7 July 2020

We recently held a panel discussion with Microsoft and Lenovo to discuss Microsoft's latest VOIP offering, Microsoft 365 Business Voice.

 

The Business Voice panel included Calligo's William Shilson, VP of Client Technology Strategy, who was joined by Microsoft's Rachel D'Agostino, Channel Manager - Modern Workspace, and Lenovo's Chad Medlin, Smart Office Specialist, and the panel was moderated by Calligo's Scott Barrett, Chief Commercial Officer.

 

During the webinar, the panel talked in depth about what Microsoft 365 Business Voice is, how to deploy it and the benefits it delivers to organizations. The panellists also answered questions from the live audience and to end the webinar, headliner comedian, Collin Moulton joined the guests and delivered a virtual stand-up routine.

 

If you'd like to watch the entire panel discussion, you can sign-up to the on-demand webinar here.

 

In this blog, we round up the key Business Voice topics and audience questions that were discussed during the panel.

Calligo-Microsoft-365-Business-Voice-Mindmap

What is Microsoft 365 Business Voice?

Microsoft 365 Business Voice is a secure, cost-effective cloud-based phone system that integrates with Microsoft Teams. Business Voice enables users to make, receive and transfer calls to and from landlines and to mobile phones on the PTSN within Teams application.

 

It acts as a replacement for traditional telephony providers and in-house phone systems that can be difficult and costly to manage.

 

Who is Business Voice suitable for?

Microsoft 365 Business Voice has been designed especially for small and medium-sized businesses and organizations up to 300 users and is available in 70 countries and regions.

 

It is ideal for those wanting to reduce or control telephony costs or those that require a more modern, functional, and user-friendly collaboration experience, with chat, email and file-sharing fully integrated with domestic and international calling and video conferencing.

 

What benefits does Microsoft Business Voice deliver?

"Business Voice makes it easy for SMEs to turn Microsoft Teams into a powerful and flexible telephone system."

Rachel D'Agostino, Channel Manager - Modern Workspace, Microsoft

 

With a Business Voice service, your phone is no longer a separate tool. It turns Microsoft Teams into an all-in-one communications platform, enabling users to voice or video call, chat, meet and share-files all within one single application.

 

Microsoft 365 Business Voice also delivers all the functionality of standard phone systems, such as domestic and international calling, voicemail, caller ID, shared phone lines, emergency calling and call menus which can all be managed within the platform.

 

Business Voice allows users to make and receive calls directly through Microsoft Teams on their desktop, Teams-supported hardware, or their mobile devices, meaning it is suitable for remote working, offices or those on the go.

 

"During COVID-18, many remote workers who relied on traditional phone systems were either no longer able to take live customer calls, relied on calls being manually forwarded to mobiles or relied on voicemail notifications to receive calls. Microsoft 365 Business Voice changes that, with the Teams integration, users can access chat, make calls and meet from anywhere."

Scott Barrett, Chief Commercial Officer, Calligo

 

With a built-in audio conferencing feature, Microsoft 365 Business Voice is also an inclusive communications platform, as it enables third parties who do not have Microsoft Teams or an internet connection to join the call or meeting, ensuring everyone can be involved.

 

Importantly, Business Voice also reduces business costs as its functionality eliminates the need for multiple communications platforms. It also removes the burden and risk of having multiple logins and passwords.

 

"As Microsoft 365 Business Voice integrates into Microsoft Teams, users don't need to learn how to use various platforms or have to remember multiple login details or passwords for different applications."

Rachel D'Agostino, Channel Manager - Modern Workspace, Microsoft

 

Can users make domestic and international calls on Business Voice?

Business Voice enables users to make domestic calls within their country and region for free. Each user is given 3,000 minutes per month for domestic calls, which is pooled within the organization.

 

For example, if you have ten users, you will have a total of 30,000 domestic call minutes to share within the business.

 

However, if international calling is required, admins can add international calling plans to specific users. These plans include 600 minutes of international calling, and these minutes are also pooled, making them all available to all enabled users.

 

How does Microsoft 365 Business Voice compare to traditional VOIP services or phone systems?

"Business Voice is similar to most traditional VOIP services and phone systems, however, it removes the need to have hardware installed on-site such as a PBX system and phone lines. With Microsoft 365 Business Voice, all that is required is reliable internet connectivity."

William Shilson, VP of Client Technology Strategy, Calligo

 

Can you port existing phone numbers into Business Voice?

Businesses are easily able to move across their existing phone numbers, including dedicated phone numbers, direct dials, extensions, and toll-free numbers into Business Voice.

 

This is usually handled by a service provider, like Calligo, who will ensure all the numbers to be carried over are collected and then work directly with the existing carrier to arrange those numbers to be ported over to Teams.

 

This process can take up to two weeks, but this does not mean the business will be without phone numbers or a phone system. Calligo will set you up with temporary numbers that will not be seen by the public, that the existing numbers will be forwarded to, ensuring the business can still make and receive calls.

 

"And once the preferred phone numbers have been ported to Business Voice, it's a completely seamless process to switch the temporary numbers over to the existing numbers, with the customer experiencing no downtime."

William Shilson, VP of Client Technology Strategy, Calligo

 

Microsoft 365 Business Voice and Microsoft Teams can be used across any device, such as desktops, laptops, Macs, and mobiles, however, is there any hardware specially designed for Business Voice and Teams that improve the experience?

Lenovo has designed products, especially for Microsoft Teams, to create better experiences for the office and home workers.

 

While investing in additional equipment isn't essential as Business Voice and Teams can be used on any device, the Lenovo hardware can help improve collaboration and productivity as it ensures users get the very most out of the applications and have access to calls at their fingertips.

 

Lenovo ThinkSmart View

ThinkSmart View

"The ThinkSmart View is an all-in-one purpose-built Microsoft Teams assistant. It has been designed for the office desk or home worker environment. It sits next to the user’s main device, freeing it up for improved productivity, whilst the ThinkSmart View is used for voice and video calls, as well as calendar and sharing content."

Chad Medlin, Smart Office Specialist, Lenovo

Lenovo's ThinkSmart Hub 500 has been designed especially for office meeting spaces such as huddle rooms, phone booths and conference room for improved communication and collaboration during meetings.

Lenovo ThinkSmart Hub 500

ThinkSmart Hub 500

 

How easy is the Lenovo Microsoft Teams enabled hardware to set up?

"The devices are simple to use and deploy. Users can open the box, set the devices up by logging in with their Microsoft 365 account details and start making calls within 5 minutes."

Chad Medlin, Smart Office Specialist, Lenovo

 

Is there a free trial option so I can see if Business Voice suits my business?

Calligo is offering a 30-day free trial of Microsoft 365 Business Voice for up to 25 users and will provide all the same capabilities as the paid-for service

 

The trial is only available in the UK, the US and Canada, and to qualify you must have a paid-for or trial subscription of the following Microsoft 365 subscriptions (which we can provide if you do not already have one):

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic (formerly Office 365 Business Essentials)
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard (formerly Office 365 Business Premium)
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium (formerly Microsoft 365 Business)
  • Microsoft 365 E1, E3, A1, A3

To register for the free 30-day trial of Business Voice, click the button below and we'll be in touch shortly.

Register for the free 30-day Business Voice trial 

Where can I find out more about Business Voice?

You can visit our dedicated Microsoft 365 Business Voice page, by clicking below, or alternatively, if you'd like to discuss Business Voice and would to be contacted by a Calligo representative, click here.

 

 

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Microsoft 365 Business Voice

Find out more about Business Voice & the free 30-day trial