If your business uses Microsoft Teams, you are in the majority. More than 70% of organisations with more than 100 employees (and 60% overall) use Teams. But only 39% name Teams as their “primary platform” — which is actually still the top spot, followed by Zoom at 23%.
We built Callroute to solve a central problem in business collaboration: people are using too many tools. Although collaboration tools free us to work more flexibly and more effectively, their real potential is undermined by increasingly splintered workflows and complex infrastructure.
Our proposition is simple: creating a comprehensive business collaboration platform hinges on one thing — the ability to place phone calls. This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s what we’re going to explain here. Let’s get started.
Improvement #1: Place phone calls with Teams
Callroute is calling integration technology. We let you place and receive high-quality PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) calls straight out of Teams. These can be made on any device that’s logged into Teams and can be controlled with sophisticated analytics and call management software.
We aren’t the only way to integrate calling with Teams. However, we offer some critical advantages over the Microsoft Solution (Microsoft Calling Plan), and some significant simplifications and improvements compared to our direct competitors. Because everything else in this article roots back to this point, it’s worth explaining in more detail.
- It’s actually integrated: Not everything that says it will let you place a call from Teams delivers on that promise. Applications like Zoom, RingCentral and Cisco Webex can enable external calls, and provide cross-launch overlays for Teams. However, the result is simply using another app to place the call — losing federated presence, centralised access and seamless workflows.
- Full PBX functionality: Microsoft likes to compare Phone System to a PBX (Private Branch Exchange). In reality, it leaves a lot to be desired. No call recording or skills-based routing, and limited queue management and reporting tools make it difficult to effectively replace your actual phone system with Microsoft’s Phone System and Calling Plan. Callroute connects Teams to a real PBX and SBC (Session Border Controller) to provide sophisticated control without compromise. Use any device and replace your phone system with Teams.
- Per-channel pricing: Rather than sticking with per-user pricing, we’ve opted to provide per-channel flexibility. You can add multiple users to each channel and take advantage of auto-scaling to ensure that no one ever hears a busy tone, while still only paying for what you use. It makes it easier to control and predict costs while minimising total expenditure.
- Start for free in minutes: Because we are the PSTN carrier, we can get things up and running literally in a few minutes. We also take care of number porting (including international numbers) and can guarantee service quality. Most other integration solutions can take up to seven days to set up and integrate. You can get started for free today.
Improvement #2: Make external collaboration easy
Teams already provides the internal collaboration tools you need to centralise communication, particularly if you take advantage of native Outlook and SharePoint integrations. You have chat, conferencing, file sharing and email communication channels at your disposal, simply by logging into Teams.
Where Teams falls down is external communication. You can add guests. But guest users still need Teams and they will still need to remember to log in and use the system. It’s not a realistic solution for external collaboration or communication.
Adding Callroute to Teams lets you quickly jump between internal and external communication channels without needing to plan ahead, switch devices, or switch applications. You can simply bring in someone from outside your organisation by dialling them in with PSTN calling right from your internal communication network (and do so wherever you are).
The outcome is a better experience for customer-facing scenarios, and simpler communication and collaboration with any contractors or freelancers you’ve brought on board for a specific project.
Improvement #3: Create a single point of access
By introducing calling and external collaboration capabilities to Teams, Callroute creates a single point of access for all of your communication requirements. This means your entire organisation (even those who are out in the field or currently working from home) will always have every communication tool they need, no matter what device they are using, as long as they are able to log into Teams.
A single point of access simplifies remote workflows, brings consistency to communication, and improves collaboration. Users can jump between chat, email, conference calls and direct phone calls, all from one device. They get device-agnostic access to their business phone number, and since Callroute is Direct Routing, there are no additional investments in hardware required.
Effective communication is a huge barrier to getting work done even when you’re in the office. In the current WFH environment, it’s even harder. Teams provides WFH users with familiar access to a consistent interface. They get a single sign in point to a complete suite of business collaboration tools on any device. You get simpler infrastructure, fewer maintenance problems and greater flexibility.
Improvement #4: Centralise information
Centralising access to communication channels also makes it easier to centralise access to information. That means no more confusion over multiple contact lists, call records, etc… you’ll always have the complete story whenever you’re logged into Teams.
Internal information sharing is a big challenge for most businesses. For example, larger enterprises often struggle to align their organisations on collective knowledge. And businesses that are growing fast often struggle to manage the ways critical business knowledge evolves.
By adding Callroute to Teams, every information channel your organisation needs is now in a single place, accessible from any device and location. This turns Teams into a complete business platform, rather than just another piece of your internal communication network. And if you need to update something, you only need to do so in one place.
Improvement #5: Greater collaboration and productivity
Collaboration and communication drive productivity. Companies that promote collaborative working are five times more likely to be high performers. The use of collaboration tools has been demonstrated to increase productivity by as much as 32%, and 44% of surveyed respondents say that digital workplace investments have increased productivity.
The sudden increase in those of us who are working remotely has made connectivity more difficult and left many organisations scrambling to figure out how to address it. But businesses that have deployed collaboration platforms have had an easier time. 52% of organisations have actually experienced increased collaboration during 2020. Disproportionately, these were the businesses with a digital workplace strategy already in place.
Simply put, adding Callroute to Teams is a cost-effective way to help your organisation communicate better and work together more smoothly no matter where they are (which results in greater productivity for your business overall). And since you don’t need any special hardware and costs are determined by channel (not user), it easily scales with your business as you grow.
Make Teams work
Out-of-the-box, Teams delivers the ability to centralise your organisation’s internal collaboration and communication on a single platform. Doing the same for external collaboration requires the ability to place a phone call.
We’ve been able to use our background in corporate telephony to develop a fast, simple and sophisticated way to get that done. Callroute will not only let you place a call from Teams, it will let you replace your entire phone system with Teams. Consolidate your infrastructure and collaborate better with fewer tools. That’s what “making Teams work” is all about. What’s more, you can start for free and get a free channel for life — no card details required.
For more information on how Callroute can help streamline your telephony, get in touch and we’d be happy to help. Upgrade Teams and see where the collaboration takes you.
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