Microsoft Teams Phone delivers rich communication and collaboration with Teams Phone VoIP calling capabilities complemented by an enterprise-grade public switched telephone network (PSTN) service.
The milestone of 12 million PSTN users reflects the growing value Teams Phone provides through innovative functionality, enterprise-grade reliability, and simplicity to deploy and use. While we’re excited about what’s ahead, it’s worth taking a moment to look at what we’ve been able to accomplish in collaboration with our customers and partners. Let’s dive into the new services, features, and partnerships that are being highlighted at Ignite 2022.
Enterprise-grade calling simplified, with Teams Phone Mobile
Earlier this year, we shared our vision for using a single, business-provided phone number as a user’s mobile and Teams Phone number, enabling new levels of mobility, flexibility, and efficiency. This resonated with organizations responsible for supporting a mobile and hybrid workforce. Teams Phone Mobile, previously known as Operator Connect Mobile, is now available for Rogers Business (the first operator partner to offer Teams Phone Mobile) customers in Canada and Telia customers in Sweden. BT, Deutsche Telekom, Swisscom, and Verizon will expand Teams Phone Mobile market coverage in coming months.
With Teams Phone Mobile, you get:
Calling that works, across your devices, wherever you are
- Convenience of having a single, business-provided number for Teams and your mobile phone.
- Simultaneous ringing on your mobile phone and Teams.
- Unified presence shows “In a call” status when you’re using your native dialer.
- Unified call history and voicemail on your mobile phone and Teams.
- Outbound calls can be configured to show a company number, keeping your personal number private.
The power of Teams at your (mobile) fingertips
- Uplift native mobile calls to Teams for video and screen sharing, collaboration, adding multiple people to the experience, and recording and transcription capabilities.
- Transfer calls from the native dialer to others within Teams.
Streamlined management of services, devices, and policies
- Easy to deploy, configure, and manage.
- Apply security, compliance, and policy settings across mobile devices.
- Benefit from shared technical support, service level agreements and guaranteed call quality between Microsoft and partnering operators.
Teams Phone Mobile is now included as part of Phone System
What’s more, Teams Phone Mobile is included as part of Phone System*. Configuring Teams Phone Mobile can be as straightforward as enabling an operator, importing, and assigning phone numbers, and configuring policies and settings.
* Customers will need to procure and pay for wireless lines through their mobile operator partners.
New capabilities for deeper integration of calling and productivity
Management of busy-on-busy settings: Coming early 2023, users will be able to manage how incoming calls are routed when they’re on another call.
Detailed call history: Now generally available, this feature provides a comprehensive view of how calls arrived, how they were routed and forwarded, and how they were controlled once received. Check where a call originated, whether it was forwarded or transferred, what happened once the call was answered, and how the call ended.
Federated group calling: Starting this month, you can easily start a group Teams call with federated colleagues, including video and screensharing, all over an internet connection without any PSTN usage charges. You will also be able to add users outside your organization to an ongoing 1:1 call with a teammate.
Enterprise-grade quality and reliability
Teams Phone receives top marks in competitive reliability study: Microsoft Teams earns highest scores for UCaaS provider uptime and quality in third-party testing. This benchmarking study conducted by GigaOmTM showed that Microsoft had a 100% uptime during the testing period, like the other competitors that were considered. And Microsoft ranked highest in call quality, both for synthetic testing and human testing. Read more here.
New survivable branch appliance (SBA) capabilities: Service continuity during a network outage is critical, so we are continuing to invest in our Survivable Branch Appliance capabilities. In early 2023 we will release two enhancements to our SBA capabilities. First, users will be able to use chat or call history in addition to using the dial pad to make outbound PSTN calls even when in offline mode. Also, when connected to the same SBA and network, in the event of an outage, VoIP calls will be routed to PSTN if the call recipient has an associated phone number. This capability unblocks a number of compliance scenarios, for example, people in remote mining sites will be able to connect with their local healthcare facilities in case of an emergency.
Solutions for enhanced customer service
Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform: Bringing together Dynamics 365, Nuance AI, Azure Communication Services, Power Platform, and Teams, the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform enables agents to answer questions faster and reduce time spent on admin tasks, reducing average call handling time by 73%, and enabling 85% first call resolution. Agents can deliver a personalized experience on the customer’s preferred channel, with access to key customer insights, all while securely storing and managing customer information. Additionally, the Digital Contact Center Platform integrates with existing third-party solutions and allows organizations to add customer care channels as their needs grow. These investments in Nuance’s industry-leading conversational AI, intelligent task automation, and extensibility demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment and innovation in the contact center market.
Azure Communications Services support for Teams users: With the recently announced Azure Communications Services support for Teams, we are giving partners the ability to build even richer solutions for Teams. With this capability developers can build custom applications that integrate audio, video, and telephony for Teams users. New enhanced Teams’ call flow management can be developed to place and receive calls between external and internal users, from attendant consoles to call center scenarios. Organizations will be able to enhance both their employee and customer communication experience at a whole new level.
CRM Integration: Launching soon, new CRM integration capabilities, enable Admins to give team members the ability to have customer records pulled up as the incoming call is answered. This ensures that customer records are automatically opened when an incoming call is answered by a call queue agent.
Simple and flexible device options for staying connected
Teams phone devices UI updates and performance improvements: To provide customers with choice in their phones and peripherals, there are currently over 150 IP phones and peripherals from nine Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) certified for Microsoft Teams. For customers that rely upon their Teams phone devices, we are excited to share that updates to the IP phone client generally available in September 2022 have made call connection of the UI near-instantaneous. Additionally, the UI has been updated to make the experience more intuitive and accessible, with features such as call transfer, call hold and mute now showing as part of your main in call screen. Learn more about the UI updates here.
Microsoft Teams Shared Device license: As the new way of working has expanded the usage, importance, and range of experiences that are conducted on shared devices expands, the Common Area Phone license has been updated to include support for hot desking and panels. This follows updates made to enable a more complete calling experience on a shared device, including adding call queue and auto attendant support, call park and retrieve, cloud voicemail, and group pickup. To reflect these expanded scenarios, the Common Area Phone license branding is now updated to the Microsoft Teams Shared Device license, effective December of this year.
New form factors, partners and peripheral enhancements: As part of the on-going effort to certify new devices to give organizations the flexibility they need to stay connected, we are excited to partner with Cisco to certify Cisco peripherals for Teams, delivering a rich calling experience. This will start with the Cisco Desk Camera 4K and Headset 320, with the Headset 720 to follow early next year.
Legacy devices investments: SIP Gateway launched last December enabling core calling capabilities for many legacy devices, Since then, additional calling capabilities have been added to SIP Gateway along with continued support for new endpoints.
We are integrating Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) devices with SIP Gateway, allowing frontline workers to use Teams calling functionality on DECT devices to communicate with colleagues while on the go. DECT device integration with SIP Gateway is generally available on the following models from Spectralink and Poly:
- Spectralink (IP-DECT 200/400/6500/Virtual IP-DECT, handsets 72xx/75xx/76xx/77xx)
- Poly (base stations Rove B2/B4, handsets Rove 30/40, repeater Rove R8)
And will be generally available by the end of October 2022 on the following models from Ascom:
- IP-DECT Access Points IPBSx, Gateway IPBL, Virtual Appliance IPVM, TDM Base Station DB1, handsets d43/d63/d81/d83/Myco3 DECT
We will add compatible DECT handset models from Yealink by the end of December 2022.
Beginning in early 2023, SIP Gateway will support analog telephones, allowing you to use Teams calling functionality on the following compatible Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA) models from AudioCodes, Cisco, and Poly:
- AudioCodes (MP-112 FXS, MP-114 FXS, MP-114 FXS_FXO, MP-118 FXS, MP-118 FXS_FXO, MP-124 FXS)
- Cisco (ATA 191, ATA 192)
- Poly (OBI 300, OBI 302)
With this improvement to support analog endpoints like elevator phones, Teams Phone will serve a significant number of scenarios that previously required an on-premises PBX.
Also in early 2023, SIP Gateway will support overhead paging devices, allowing you to use Teams calling functionality on pagers, ringers, and speakers while in a noisy environment such as a manufacturing plant. We will share more details about compatible device models from Algo coming soon.
Learn more about planning for and configuring SIP Gateway in your organization.
Catch up on other Microsoft Teams highlights from Ignite 2022
And that’s just the news for Microsoft Teams Phone! Be sure to catch up on the rest of the Microsoft Teams sessions from Ignite 2022 including Microsoft Teams: Supercharge the who, where, and how of work with Nicole Herskowitz, Vice President of Microsoft Teams.