2 min read

Jamie's Pros and Cons on Teams Only Telephony

Jamie's Pros and Cons on Teams Only Telephony
In the ever-evolving landscape of communication and collaboration tools, Microsoft Teams has made its mark as a versatile platform, offering a wide range of features to facilitate seamless teamwork. While Teams excels in internal communication, it's not without its challenges when it comes to external telephony capabilities. In this blog, we'll delve into some of the key considerations and obstacles that organisations may face when using Microsoft Teams for external telephony purposes.


Phone Numbers


Microsoft’s inbound PSTN call traffic is supplied by a third party. That provider also processes all porting and number purchases for the Teams platform in the UK. They don’t currently have porting agreements in place with every other UK communications provider, so it can be hit-and-miss as to how long porting takes (or even if it succeeds at all). Also, customers frequently have to get more involved in the porting process than they would like. Porting numbers away from Teams can be even more tricky (but if you want to move them over to our platform, we can assist in making that process as pain-free as possible.)

 

phone-systems-voip

 

 

Call Recording

 

Teams have no PCI or MIFID II compliant call recording solution natively. It’s a native solution that only records Teams internal calls, i.e. recording calls to PSTN numbers from Teams users is not currently possible. Third-party call recording solutions can be integrated (and we even supply a really good one), but that is an additional cost that should be considered before Teams deployment.

 

Call Routing 

 

There are quirks to how call flows are implemented in Teams that will trip up unsuspecting users and are a good indication that Teams is not a mature telephony platform yet. Here's one example of many to illustrate the point:

 

Calls that get answered in Teams often have a significant delay between answering the call and audio being received at either end (5 seconds is not an uncommonly-reported figure. Longer than 10 seconds has been known).

A feature called Conference Mode, when enabled, can reduce this delay. However, if compliant call recording is enabled – see above point about call recording - then Conference Mode and “Attendant” call routing (i.e. ringing all users simultaneously like a normal ring group might do on every other phone system) won't work together on a call queue.

So you can either ring all the phones (but wait a few extra seconds for the audio to come through once you answer), or you are forced to use a different ring strategy for inbound calls to the one most companies are familiar with.

 

Handsets - there are a limited range of Teams physical handsets and they have had mixed reviews as far as features and reliability are concerned. Teams-specific firmware can be flaky and manufacturers update schedules may lag behind the platform, causing interoperability issues. And, as Teams resource requirements inevitably increase, Teams handsets appear to become outdated quicker than those on traditional VOIP platforms, causing performance issues.

 

team-microsoft

 

Analogue Devices 

 

There are no native Analogue Terminal Adaptors (ATAs) for Teams. You can't simply plug in any analogue devices that might need integration with your phones (e.g. loudspeakers, bells, fax, PDQs etc) and expect them to work.

 

Reliability 

 

Teams is a groupware product designed for internal communication, that is in the process of having external telephony features bolted on to it, and it shows.

Randomly-appearing bugs and issues in basic features pop up often, and fixing them can often take a long time for Microsoft to get around to doing. When it comes to tech support, traditional VOIP platforms are staffed by people who specialise in it and are familiar with the subject when support queries come in. That’s sometimes not the case when a call is put into Microsoft’s support infrastructure.

The Impact of Technology in the Real Estate Industry

The Impact of Technology in the Real Estate Industry

Technology has transformed the business world - but what is the impact of technology in the real estate industry? Let's take a look at some of the...

Read More
The Game Changers In Mobile Tech

The Game Changers In Mobile Tech

The mobile tech market has always been a hotbed of innovation, a fertile landscape tailor-made for small, edgy, forward-thinking entrepreneurs to...

Read More
The Dawn of a New Era in Telecommunications: Vodafone and Three Merge

The Dawn of a New Era in Telecommunications: Vodafone and Three Merge

In a groundbreaking development, Vodafone UK and Three UK have joined forces, heralding an exciting new chapter for the telecommunications landscape...

Read More