Once a century or so, human history is impacted by something that changes the world permanently. In the twenty-first century, that event was the COVID-19 pandemic. From cashless becoming king to the abandonment of expensive city centre offices in favour of either fully remote or hybrid working, the pandemic’s brought many changes to our everyday lives, and it looks like some are here to stay.
According to studies by freelance HR experts Hoxby, more than half of all UK employees have said they’re more productive when working remotely – a stat that’s backed up by a recent LinkedIn survey of talent professionals, 72% of whom said that showing flexibility (including remote or hybrid working), is incredibly important in recruiting.
How to make hybrid working work harder for you
Because remote working is here to stay, the use of a dependable video conferencing and unified communications (UC) system is vital to staying ahead of the competition. The proof in the pudding is the integration of Microsoft Teams into most companies’ UC approach. According to Microsoft, the number of daily Microsoft Teams users jumped from 75 million in April 2020 to 145 million just one year later. Teams isn’t just an instant messaging and video calling service, though – it offers a host of really valuable, cost-cutting features that you may not know about.
Direct routing, for example, is a wonderful way to use Microsoft Teams alongside your Voiceflex solution to manage the entirety of your communications system. Direct Routing allows businesses to make, receive and transfer calls to and from Teams just like a traditional PBX system (using SIP trunks to route the calls). With direct routing from Teams, connected via Voiceflex’s simple, elegant telephony, you can make and receive calls both within your organisation and externally. Using Teams and Voiceflex as your telecoms solution allows you to benefit from a connected, unified comms approach, but far more cost-effectively with Voiceflex.
You can also: keep your existing numbers; make and receive calls in Teams from any device and any application, as well as any location; connect your mobile, desk phone, and laptop, as well as applications including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Teams; and share files, make video and voice calls, screen share, transfer and forward calls – all within one seamless platform.
Why can’t I just use Microsoft Teams for Voice?
You absolutely can! Unfortunately, there are a couple of drawbacks. Namely, that ‘plugging in’ to Teams’ cloud-based UC is quite expensive. Microsoft offers users a calling bundle, with a limited number of calls per month – and who wants to go back to the days of expensive landline phone bills or only having a certain number of minutes per month? Using the internet and cloud is supposed to create more freedom and save money, not hamper our communications.
In addition, the calling plans are limited to only 16 countries worldwide – meaning that if you’re an SME or large business with staff all over the world, you’ll need yet another solution to connected business comms.
And, of course, the limited customer support at IT giants such as Microsoft is legendary, so if you need more than cursory support or have a complex set of needs, this may not be the best choice for your company.
With direct routing and a carefully chosen third-party telephony service provider, however, all these problems are solved. Using Voiceflex’s cloud technology, for example, you get all the benefits of advanced Teams features, plus fully-connected worldwide coverage, limitless calls, and a centralised, single-source supplier for all of your communication.
A bespoke solution crafted specifically for your company’s comms needs is the kind of service that a post-pandemic world needs – keeping your hard-working remote workers working smarter, and communicating more easily. If direct routing sounds like it might be the answer to your UC problems, get in touch with us for a quote, and to discuss the boundless possibilities of communication with Voiceflex.