If you are a small to midsize business - defined in Microsoft terms as having less than 300 employees - you can use the Microsoft Business Licenses for Microsoft 365 - Basic, Standard or Premium. These all include the Microsoft Teams client.

Recognizing that their separate Addon licenses for Phone, Calling Plans and Audio Conferencing would be too costly for many smaller businesses, Microsoft introduced a bundled Addon license called Microsoft Business Voice, that provides all three Addon licenses in one single per user per month fee. It works out at about a 33% discount over paying for the licenses individually.

Certainly it you are under 50 users this is probably a reasonable option. It allows you to use Microsoft Teams as your single communications hub and get rid of your phone system. You can consolidate all your communications into one place, as well as access all your Office applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. 

If you are over 50 users, you may want to check our Direct Routing offer, which we explain here, as an alternative. 

Microsoft Laptop iPhone Yealink phone easy intelligent calling

What is Business Voice?

Microsoft Business Voice is simply a bundle of Microsoft features that are sold over and above your Microsoft 365 Business license. If you want to replace your phone system you will need your users to have a Microsoft Phone license, that enables the phone calling features in Teams and a Calling Plan, which provides a DID and an amount of minutes of calling per month. There is also an optional Audio-Conferencing capability as well.

For Business Voice, Microsoft have included the Calling Plan with 3,000 minutes of Domestic calling within Canada and the US.

Business Voice also includes the Audio-Conferencing Addon license which supports audio conferences up to 250 people per meeting.

You can add optional communication credits for toll-free and international calling.

Once you have added Microsoft Business Voice, your staff can now use their Microsoft Teams client to make and receive PSTN calls, use voice mail (including voicemail to email) as well as take advantage of calling features like Automated Attendant, IVR, Call Park and Pickup, Call Forwarding and more.

You can even port over your existing phone numbers (you may need to be checked depending on location.)

Being a cloud based solution, it means you can make calls using Microsoft Teams + Business Voice from anywhere you can get internet access.

Man using Jabra Evolve 80 in cafe

Man using Jabra Evolve 80 in cafe

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a client that users of Microsoft 365 have access. By adding a Microsoft Phone license, a DID and the means to make or receive PSTN calls, the Microsoft Teams client can replace your normal telephone set. With a quality headset, your laptop (or mobile phone) and Microsoft Teams become your phone system.

On the left hand Microsoft Teams sidebar there is a small phone icon called Calls. Once you add the Microsoft Phone license to Microsoft Teams, a dial pad becomes visible. This indicates you now have the Phone feature. If your organization has also set up Direct Routing or Calling Plans, you are now able to make and receive calls here. You can add users to your contact folder, see call history, access voice mail and much more.

Phone Features

You may be wondering if Microsoft Teams can truly displace your PBX - does it have enough functionality? The answer is yes. 

We have to understand that the way we communicate has changed, especially when we have access to tools like Microsoft Teams. Many phone systems can't offer the same level of collaboration capabilities that are replacing PSTN phone calls. So many PBX features which were necessary and essential 20 years ago, are not so important today. For example, built-in presence, chat and file-sharing.

Notwithstanding that Microsoft Teams supports a wide variety of features including Automated Attendant, Call Park and Pickup, Call Forwarding, DND, Call Blocking, Distinctive Ringing, Speed Dial, Call Queues, IVR, Shared Line Appearances and more.

Microsoft Teams with Calling corner shot

Devices, Rooms and Meetings

Microsoft Teams supports a wide variety of devices.

Headsets: Staff equipped with a laptop or mobile phone and their Microsoft Teams client simply need a headset to engage in PSTN calls (or video calls.) A good voice quality headset should be used. Our primary offer are from Jabra that are not only engineered for the highest quality but are also Microsoft certified. They come in a variety of form factors - over the ear, in the ear, on the ear; mono or stereo; wired or wireless and more.

Handsets: Yes, Microsoft Teams supports SIP standard telephone handsets. Unity offers handsets from Yealink as the primary handset with Microsoft Teams as they have great features at an incredible price. You may have areas like lobbies or meeting rooms that require a handset for guests, staff or for emergency situations. 

Room Systems: One are where Microsoft Teams excels is in handling meetings. Meetings can be enhanced with real-time translation, options for displaying video attendees, connecting remote users and those in a meeting room and the ability to share a whiteboard. People can be automatically joined to a meeting taking place in a conference room upon entering the room or using a device to connect to the in-room meeting without physically touching the controller. We offer room based systems from Logitech, who are currently leading this space and Jabra.

Logitech Microsoft Teams Room System