Does Teams really have a ‘scary side’?

Microsoft Teams is used by businesses across the globe for communication, collaboration and so much more on a day-to-day basis. Its popularity has skyrocketed in 2020, with users responding to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown measures.

Why? Microsoft Teams is the ultimate communication and collaboration tool, offering serious value when working remotely – as well as in the office. That said, there are some people who still doubt the platform. In an article on UC Today, Editor In Chief David Dungay has outlined the supposed ‘scary side’ of Microsoft Teams, listing four alleged problems that businesses could encounter.

Is he right? Absolutely not! In this post, we’ll clear things up and explain why these problems simply don’t exist with a complete service like Aura Connect.

Problem 1

If your customers choose the Microsoft Phone System, they could be getting a diminished service.

Microsoft’s Phone System is still behind the industry when it comes to functionality, but it is getting better. If your customer’s requirements are straightforward, like dial tone and voicemail for instance, then you probably won’t have an issue, but make sure they know how the MS service stacks up against the losing provider before you make the jump.

Get everything on the table upfront. Be that trusted adviser. If they move and the service doesn’t fit, then guess who they are going to blame?! Avoid that howler…

Don’t forget, whatever route customers choose for their in-Teams calling they will need a phone system license. That’s £7.50 per user before they have even got started.

In his opening gambit, Dungay makes an interesting point. It’s partially correct too – Microsoft Teams does not have the 800 features that Avaya Aura offers. But are the functions provided of old still what users today need and want? How many of these features are needed in a normal UC deployment?

The way we work has changed and the way we interact with smart devices and communicate has really evolved over the last few years. Traditional calls are very single mode – just voice. With Microsoft Teams we have the ability to migrate from one type of communication method to another.

As for “trusted advisers”, this simply highlights the importance of choosing the right partner. Lots of Microsoft partners understand Microsoft Teams but not voice. Voice partners understand voice but not Microsoft. But there are partners out there, like Aura, who understand both voice and the new world

Finally, the point about the cost of a phone license is plain misleading. You can’t have the voice in Microsoft Teams conversation in isolation. The value that E5 can offer a customer is endless, with productivity tools, security and powerful BI features. This can easily justify the change in licenses a customer has. The industry assumes all customer are on E1 or E3, but partners need to drive value across the Microsoft 365 offering, not just voice.

Problem 2

When your customers choose Microsoft, what are you losing… actually?

If your customer decides it is time to jump from your cloud telephony product to Teams, you aren’t just losing the cloud PBX revenues. You are also losing the hardware, the services, numbers and the minutes revenue too.

Microsoft bundles everything into one price – when a customer moves you could be losing more than you think! Don’t forget to look behind the curtains before you initiate a move!

Next, Dungay moves onto the downsides for those providing Microsoft Teams. But they’re not necessarily true. At Aura, we provide our partners with access to a whole eco-system of revenue opportunities, including recurring services, with Aura Connect providing voice in Microsoft Teams for over 60 countries. Instead, it’s the partners focusing on selling hardware alone who won’t drive the value in their business going forward.

The same applies to the point about partners losing revenue. The way partners earn their keep is changing, with more focus on services, enablement and customer satisfaction. Selling hardware, running and giving customers a call a week before the renewal is due isn’t the best way to drive revenue in the long run. Instead, it’s best to focus on the long-term customer relationship – what’s actually best for them.

Aura provides access to a global-managed voice in Microsoft Teams service, including analytics, customer success managers and change management. It provides true value to the customer and drives revenue for our partners.

Problem 3

Configuring your Direct Routing service isn’t as straightforward as you think.

We are hearing a lot of noise in the Direct Routing community, but people that decide to use a Direct Routing provider need to be aware of how far they take you down the process. Be aware of your part to play and the skills you have in-house, do you need to set up the back end and configure the PBX? What about hunt groups, time schedules, auto attendants and everything else? If you don’t have those skills in-house you could be heading for the ultimate shock…

By this point, you’re probably sensing a pattern – this ‘problem’ isn’t relevant to Aura and Aura Connect. Not only do we have a global offering, but our panel automates the deployment within Microsoft Teams. That’s paired with coverage in 120 countries, providing onsite and local support where our customer and partners need it.

We also provide integration into cloud contact centre platforms and on-premises based PBXs, supporting the migration strategy at the customers’ pace. There’s no need for a ‘big bang’ approach to migration.

Problem 4

Charges to mobile numbers are eyewatering… watch out for bill shock!

Someone get me a time machine; I appear to be stuck in 1997. Out-of-bundle calls to UK mobiles come in at 12.3p per minute when calling out from Teams, 4 times the current national average charge from the traditional providers! When you consider that large swathes of the business world have been communicating exclusively on mobiles for the last five years this is will catch some people out.

Again, not with Aura Connect. We provide unlimited domestic and mobile calls in 12 countries. In all other countries, we offer a competitive rate card in line with the market.

The final verdict

In the introduction to his article, Dungay asks whether providers have considered the “less appetising parts” of Microsoft Teams. At Aura, we would instead be asking, what’s not appetising?

Simply put, if you have invested in the Microsoft 365 platform and want to drive collaboration and employee productivity, why wouldn’t you look at migrating qualifying users from a legacy PBX to voice enabled Microsoft Teams when it offers:

  • A single user experience for all collaboration channels
  • Seamless document collaboration between employees and partners
  • The ability to work from anywhere on any device

Some businesses might encounter problems with Microsoft Teams, but only if they don’t have the right partner and eco-system to successfully deploy and manage it.

All that said, one thing we do agree on is Dungay’s closing statement “don’t let your customers be that victim”.

Don’t let your customers be that victim by not talking to Aura first. Get in touch with us today to arrange a consultation with one of our Microsoft Teams experts.

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