The voice industry has evolved a lot over the past decade, so how do you navigate that landscape? Polycom’s specialists in voice and Cloud PBX, John Partridge, and Peter Huboi discuss how to use Microsoft for your voice needs.
If your organization is planning to deploy Office 365 cloud voice, then register to hear Peter outline the do’s and don’ts when moving to Office 365 cloud voice.
What is Microsoft Phone System in Office 365 (Cloud PBX) and how does it work?
Peter Huboi (PH):
Microsoft Office 365 contains a cloud PBX or Phone System where typical voice functions are virtualized allowing customers to enjoy their voice services and features services as a cloud service, rather than by a PBX system installed in your office.
Why are companies moving to Microsoft Phone System?
PH: The way we communicate is changing. We communicate using many devices, not just desktop phones—from our PCs and laptops, from our mobile devices, with instant messaging (IM), email and video.
Having these services integrated into the cloud is easier to build and support, not to mention efficient cost-wise. Microsoft’s Phone System integrates email, chat, calendars, and voice and video conferencing services with a rich and consistent user experience that makes adoption easier.
With their recent introduction of Microsoft TEAMS, the collaboration experience will be even better. Microsoft refers to TEAMS as “Intelligent collaboration.”
John Partridge (JP): A cloud PBX like Microsoft Phone System is easier to manage too. You can scale up or down without adding on-site equipment.
You no longer need to schedule PBX hardware and software upgrades and can minimize moves, adds and change costs because you can move phones as easily as you move laptops by connecting them to a different networking jack.
What strategies do you recommend for companies to ensure a successful migration?
PH: Any time you are looking at a cloud PBX service from any vendor, you’ll want to make sure that you are not required to buy proprietary phones that lock you with a single vendor solution.
Some of the incumbent IP PBX vendors will insist you buy their phones, and only their phones, to get all the needed features.
Also, no matter how big or small your business is, you should have a network assessment performed, especially if the network has never embarked on a VoIP type of solution before.
JP: For larger enterprises, with Microsoft Phone System in Office 365 the complexities of deploying a mission-critical set of servers in your office or data center are eliminated.
Start by setting realistic goals and objectives for your Unified Communications (UC) vision. Make sure that you have a great adoption plan around awareness, training, and support.
You need to properly map the legacy PBX features and capabilities into new UC features and capabilities with new clients and phones. Make sure your network, on-premises infrastructure, and cloud portal are ready.
Where do you see the future of this technology in the next two-three years?
PH: With Office 365 being so pervasive in the overall market, we see Microsoft Phone System and TEAMs gaining more line share compared to their cloud services peers.
The seamless user experience across applications and devices is compelling, and the ROI is already proven to be impressive.
Polycom solutions offer investment protection when you decide to migrate your communications to the cloud. With more than a decade of partnership with Microsoft, and a complete portfolio that spans voice and video—from the desktop to the conference room, and with remarkable and innovative technology that helps your teams collaborate with maximum impact, Polycom solutions make the workspace of the future possible today.
About John Partridge: John has been with Polycom as a Services Product Manager and Microsoft practice lead over four years through an acquisition of a Microsoft Consulting practice.
About Peter Huboi: With 30+ years in the Unified Communications industry, Peter has installed and serviced PBX, managed a technical support organization, and has had roles in both product management and solutions marketing.