by Nathan Hill-Haimes, investor and co-founder at Amvia
Start-up businesses often need greater flexibility from the communications systems they use. At the same time, the solution they choose must enable them to present a professional image. Fledgling firms looking to grow their business and succeed must be dependable and create the right impression with clients.
Using a single communication platform that offers chats, messaging, and VoIP calls under one company number is an ideal option. However, the solution chosen must also be affordable and offer sapling start-ups the ability to communicate from any location and while on the move. Fortunately, Microsoft has made this possible through the Teams application.
Can you make calls with Microsoft Teams?
Provided as part of the Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suite, Microsoft Teams is employed by many enterprises for internal communications without using phone numbers. Now, using an option called Teams Calling combined with a cloud-based phone system, start-ups and other businesses can make and receive Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls from anywhere they choose. This includes to and from landlines and mobile devices, using their business telephone number.
Teams is traditionally viewed as a tool for communicating internally. Now Microsoft is offering a way for firms to convert Teams into a dedicated phone system. After Private Branch Exchange and VoIP capabilities are added to Teams, users can now make and receive inbound and outbound telephone calls while combining messages, meetings, and chats for an all-inclusive communications solution.
How do you use Microsoft Teams Calling?
Making calls in Teams is incredibly simple. Calls can be received or started from within a chat, the command bar or via the calls tab.
In an open chat with others, you’ll see the call icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Click on it to access a drop-down menu. Here you can choose to make a video or audio call. When a new call is initiated the recipient’s device that uses Teams will ring. They can then opt to answer or decline the incoming call. During calls, you can send files or clinks via chat disable or activate cameras and microphones and invite other users to join in calls.
Calls can also be started from the command bar. First, type a backslash (/) into the Teams search bar, it will then offer you the option to make a call. Select “call” and press enter. You’ll then be prompted by Team to enter your desired contact. Once you have selected one, your call will begin.
Finally, on the left-hand side of the Teams platform, you’ll see the conveniently placed calls tab. Here you can speed dial your contacts for quicker calling.
What are the benefits of Teams Calling for a Startup?
Microsoft Teams Calling is exceptionally useful for start-up businesses. Whether a firm is based in offices, at home or entirely mobile, Team Calling is easy to use. It empowers new enterprises with greater business continuity as they can use the same telephone number for all communications while presenting a professional and reassuring image to customers.
Start-up firms adding voice calls to Teams can simplify and unify the way they communicate by using one system for all interactions installed on one device. Rather than running many different systems, installing a single solution that effectively manages all communications provides firms with smoother operations. It also saves companies, funds, time, and maintenance. This can be especially beneficial to start-up firms with limited budgets, hours, and skillsets.
Teams Calling also offers start-up firms a full range of standard phone system features from call holding and forwarding, to call history and voicemail.
How can a Startup get Teams Calling?
To access Teams Calling, Start-ups must have a phone system licence, Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity and a business telephone number. Both PSTN connectivity and phone numbers can be bought through direct routing or from a Microsoft Calling plan.
New firms must also have a device that can run Microsoft Teams and equipment for making and receiving video and voice calls like webcams, microphones, speakers, or headsets.
Last but not least, firms must have a dependable and fast internet connection. Using leased lines and bonded broadband can ensure start-up companies have a healthy connection where they never share bandwidth with other businesses.
Nathan Hill-Haimes is an investor and co-founder at Amvia, a serial telecoms entrepreneur, and inbound marketing expert. From his home in coastal North Devon, Nath works with a portfolio of technology, property & sports investments through his fund Croyde Bay Ventures.