Hybrid and remote work are the new normal and the need for efficient and integrated communication tools has never been more important. Microsoft Teams is a popular choice, offering a comprehensive suite of communication and collaboration tools. One of its key features is the Teams Phone system, which provides a cloud-based business phone solution. In this post, we will guide you through the migration process to Teams Phone and highlight how Regroove can assist you in this transition, whether you opt to migrate with Microsoft calling plans, or with a service provider like Rogers or TELUS.
Why Migrate to Teams Phone
Before exploring the different migration options, it is important to understand why organizations would want to migrate to Teams Phone. Teams Phone helps save time and improve communication and collaboration by bringing together calling, chat, and meetings, empowering your employees to stay connected no matter their location.
Migrating to Teams Phone Options
Migrating to Teams Phone comes with a variety of options, each catering to different needs and circumstances. Let’s delve into these options and consider the key factors when making this important decision.
Migrating Without a Service Provider (Microsoft Calling Plans)
When you’re looking to migrate without the involvement of a service provider, Microsoft Calling Plans can be an appealing option. A migration via Microsoft Calling Plans allows your organization to configure your new solution without the assistance of a telephone service provider, such as Rogers or TELUS, therefor streamlining the implementation process. Here’s a brief overview of the pros and cons of this approach:
- Several Pricing Models: Microsoft Calling Plans offers three plan options for your organization: Domestic Calling, International Calling, and Pay-As-You-Go.
- Streamlined Setup: This option does not require lengthy negotiations with a telecom provider, making the setup process more straightforward.
- Microsoft Reliance: By choosing this route, you can rely on Microsoft for all your telephone needs, eliminating the need to search for third-party providers or PSTN carriers.
- Internet Dependency: Microsoft Calling Plans are dependent on a stable internet connection, which may not be ideal for organizations in areas with unreliable connectivity.
- Limited Support Options: While Microsoft offers support, some issues can only be resolved by Microsoft themselves. However, collaborating with a Microsoft Solutions partner, like Regroove, can help mitigate this limitation.
- Geographic Limitations: Depending on your location, Microsoft Calling Plans may not be available.
Migrating with a Service Provider (Operator Connect)
On the other hand, you can migrate with a service provider, like Rogers through Operator Connect, which involves partnering with a telecom operator to provide and implement Teams Phone services rather than migrating directly with Microsoft. This presents its own set of advantages and disadvantages:
- Cost Efficiency: This option can be more cost-effective, as you can leverage your existing operator’s contract or choose a new one from participating operators, tailoring your plan to your specific needs.
- Extended Coverage: Operator Connect enables you to select an operator with coverage that extends beyond Microsoft’s geographic calling plans.
- Operator Managed: If you have an existing on-premises telephony system, like a Session Border Controller (SBC), it is simpler to use Operator Connect if you want to continue to utilize this system, as they will continue to manage your network, direct routing, and more.
- Time-Intensive Process: Migrating with a service provider can be time-intensive and involve significant back-and-forth communications.
- Provider Availability: Not all telecom providers are signed up for this service, limiting your choices.
- No e911 Testing: Some service providers do not offer dynamic emergency call testing via 933 with operator connect, which can limit the ability to test the necessary emergency calling configurations prior to your launch date.
How to Decide Which Approach to Take
The decision of whether to migrate with Microsoft Calling Plans or with a service provider through Operator Connect ultimately depends on your organization’s unique requirements. We encourage you to assess your specific needs and preferences, considering the following:
Choose Microsoft Calling Plans When:
- You need a voice service that can be quickly activated on a per-user basis.
- You value regular monthly billing for budgeting and forecasting purposes.
- Your requirements are basic, and you are unlikely to need advanced calling functionality.
- You want to, or are content with, managing your voice setup via the Microsoft admin center.
Choose Operator Connect When:
- Your organization requires advanced calling functionality and integration opportunities.
- You prefer a telecom service provider’s expertise in deployment and ongoing support, which can save you time and resources.
- Your geographic location demands coverage that extends beyond Microsoft’s calling plans.
Either way, we recommend you work with an expert like Regroove when migrating to Teams Phone, regardless of which solution you choose. From building your Teams Phone setup using Microsoft Calling Plans to leveraging your SBC with Operator Connect, you’ll want to work with a provider who has a deep bench of expertise and experience to ensure the smoothest possible transition.
Migrating to Teams Phone is a significant step towards modernizing your communication infrastructure. Whether you opt for Microsoft Calling Plans or Operator Connect, we are here to assist you in making a smooth transition.
Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can work together and transform your organization’s communications using Microsoft teams Phone.