The Economic Case for Teams Calling in SMBs
Next Telecom have been delivering Microsoft Teams Phone Systems Solutions since mid 2018 so we know the business benefits our clients get. The Teams Phone System is built into the Teams application inside the Office 365 Suite.
When one of our Microsoft partners forwarded me the Forrester report into the Economic Impact of Microsoft Teams Calling Solutions on SMEs and Enterprise, it came as no great shock that the ROI for some business with cost savings, Business benefits and efficiencies could be at least 185%. Our clients have been telling us this since we started deploying Teams Phone Systems.
The modelling for SMBs was based on a range of SMEs with an average of 100 employees.
We won't replicate the full report on the economic benefits of using the Teams Phone System. A link to the full report is below but some of the takeaways and salient quotes follow.
Improved security and business continuity on the Teams PBX
Teams Calling is integrated into Microsoft 365 and the full Microsoft security stack. It provides better security because Voice is now tied to a user’s identity within Azure AD, and the IT organization has better visibility and threat signaling as a result.
Additionally, moving voice capabilities into Microsoft’s data centers made it possible to work from anywhere, which helps with business continuity and disaster recovery efforts. Organizations that were using Microsoft Voice solutions at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic were more easily able to transition to a work-from-home model.
Happier employees and customers when using Teams Calling.
Employees appreciate the integration and simplicity of making phone calls within the Teams environment. Interviewees reported that employee satisfaction scores have increased; and this is especially important for younger employees who expect modern solutions.
Customers are also happier because they can more easily contact and collaborate with people at companies using the Microsoft solutions.
Improved and integrated communication saves users time
Adding Microsoft Calling to Teams, and making it more readily accessible from any device, streamlines business processes and reduces the time spent initiating and conducting phone calls whether they are using PSTN calling or online conferencing. The benefit for highly mobile workers saving is 15 - 25 minutes per day.
Microsoft’s Voice solutions replace less flexible and more costly voice On Prem & VoIP solutions
Previous solutions included: ISDN, SIP Trunks with on Prem PBXs, plain old telephone service (POTS), voice over IP (VoIP) PBXs, other hosted/integrated voice providers, or often a mix of many different solutions. In addition to replacing these previous solutions, cost reductions can typically be made to usage charges in the form of long distance and international calling and providing mobile phones to users.
Telephony support was integrated into the broader Teams support organization = less time and hassle
In the past, managing telephony required a different skillset from the rest of the IT organization. For enterprises, this meant having a separate team. Because the Microsoft Voice solutions are part of Teams and Microsoft 365, they can be managed from the same console as the other collaboration tools. Additionally, activities such as adding and moving users are much easier. The overall result is less effort spent managing voice infrastructure and users. The SMB model saw a decrease in effort of up to 0.5 FTEs previously spent on telco management.
Key Challenges identified during the study.
There are no real surprises here. Business's choosing Teams were previously using Voice, Conferencing and Video platforms that were too complex, too expensive and too reliant on out side support. Prior to implementing Microsoft’s Voice solutions, all organizations, regardless of size, had prior voice solutions that were not integrated with Teams. Neither on-premises nor hosted solutions provided the desired features in a way that was both cost-effective and easy to manage.
The interviewed organizations struggled with common challenges, including:
- Prior telephony solutions provided limited capabilities at too high a cost and effort.
- Interviewees had either on-premises PBX solutions or hosted IP telephony solutions. In both cases, Microsoft’s Voice solutions were said to be both easier to manage and expand, in order to support growth and evolving business models.
- Companies wanted an end-to-end modern collaboration experience that included voice capabilities.
- In a drive to be more competitive, interviewees were looking to improve collaboration within and outside the company. Adding Calling to Teams was a logical next step for companies that had previously implemented Teams.
- The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing challenges and accelerated the need for change.
Companies that were already using Microsoft’s Voice solutions said that the almost overnight change to a work-from-home model was easier to achieve than their previous voice solutions. Those that transitioned to a work-from-home model were able to do so at an accelerated rate, better enabling their employees to be successful in their new environment.