Cloud PBX Integration with Microsoft 365: How it Works

In today’s business world, it is essential to keep up with technology; especially communications and productivity technologies. Among these, Cloud PBX and Microsoft 365 (On April 21, 2020, Office 365 was rebranded as Microsoft 365, to emphasise the services current inclusion of products and services beyond the core Microsoft Office software family) are often must-haves for growing businesses

Perhaps you are already using one or the other, or maybe you’re considering adopting both of them. Either way, the question remains. Do cloud phones and Microsoft 365 integrate well with each other, and if so, how does it work, and who can provide the integration for you?

Can a Cloud PBX phone system work with productivity software?

Cloud PBX is popular for many reasons, one of which is the ability to work with different kinds of productivity software, platforms and other types of business tools. 

Some examples of software applications cloud PBX easily integrates with include Microsoft Teams, Zoho Desk, Salesforce and Bitrix. 

Does Cloud PBX work with Microsoft Office 365 apps?

Yes, when correctly integrated by a reputable telecoms company, cloud PBX works seamlessly with all the services and applications that Microsoft Office 365 has to offer.

Why would you integrate Microsoft 365 with a phone system?

The two most obvious perks are simplified business solutions and reduced costs. Combining a cloud phone network with Microsoft 365 means that you only have one platform to deal with instead of two systems. 

Additionally, when these two technologies are integrated, the costs are normally also a lot less than what you can expect should you purchase and run them separately. 

In the past, Microsoft 365 on its own has always been beneficial to business owners. However, adding the ability to integrate PBX capabilities made the deal even sweeter. Now, those who need reliable communication methods to conduct meetings and sales can look forward to extended VoIP capabilities

Instead of just being able to make and receive calls, Microsoft’s Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams can be turned into a full-fledged business phone system.

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How cloud PBX works with Microsoft 365

Cloud PBX works with Microsoft 365 via the Microsoft Phone System. Once you have an integrated system, all you need is an internet connection to enjoy the best of both worlds. 

What is Microsoft Phone System?

Phone System is a technology that was created by Microsoft. Its main purpose is to enable Private Branch Exchange, or PBX, features in the Microsoft 365 cloud. More specifically, to work closely with Microsoft Teams. Phone System is complete enough to allow you to forgo your current PBX system with a collection of similar features that run directly in Microsoft 365. 

When calls are made internally, the costs are very affordable. Since you will never connect to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) for insider calls, you no longer have to worry about the expenses that are connected to long-distance internal calls. 

  • What about external calls? In such a case, the Phone System allows you to connect to the PSTN by using add-ons.

Just some of Phone System’s features include the ability to place and receive calls, hold conference calls, mute or unmute calls and transfer calls. This system isn’t locked away in the office, either. It’s flexible enough to access and use from your mobile device, laptop, PC or IP phone. 

What do you need to integrate Microsoft Phone System with cloud PBX?

In order to be successful, you require a fair understanding of how to integrate technology systems; but if you don’t have that expertise or you don’t have the time, there’s no need to worry. At the end of the article, we’ll have a quick look at how experts can take the integration problem off your plate. 

First, here’s an overview of how the two systems are usually amalgamated into one by activating the Microsoft Phone System.

Purchase a Phone System Licence

Every person in your organisation who will be using the system must be given a Phone System licence. There are several Microsoft bundles available to make the process more cost-effective, should you have multiple users in mind.

Choose a PSTN Connectivity Option

In order to place external calls, you have to choose a related connectivity option. There are several choices available, including the Microsoft Calling Plan, a solution that is fully in the cloud and provides you with calling plans like Pay-As-You-Go, Domestic and International. 

The second choice is Operator Connect. This is perfect if your existing carrier is already a part of the Microsoft Operator Connect program; they can manage all your PSTN calling needs. If your carrier instead links to the Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile program, they can alternatively manage calls through the Teams Phone Mobile PSTN option.

The final option is direct routing which allows you to choose your own PSTN carrier by connecting your SBCs to Microsoft’s Phone System.

Assign Phone Numbers

Before your users can make and receive calls, they must each be assigned a phone number. This step offers a degree of flexibility that can help businesses that need more than just the usual digits. 

In other words, besides normal phone numbers for your users, you can also install toll or toll-free numbers for services, such as call queues and auto attendants. This is good news if your company handles lots of calls on a daily basis because a service number can answer countless calls simultaneously.

Set Up Emergency Calling

It’s always essential to ensure that you and your staff can quickly alert emergency services when there’s a fire, medical emergency or a crime in progress.

Emergency Calling allows you to define emergency locations so that when a staff member calls emergency services, their address or location is forwarded to the first responders. This allows police and ambulance teams to reach someone in trouble a lot faster. 

Setup is not a single process. It differs based on which PSTN connectivity option you chose in the beginning. The good news is that, in most cases, your carrier will assume responsibility for setting up this feature. Always make sure that this is indeed the case. Otherwise, you or an expert will have to configure the system to accept Emergency Calling.

Set Up Your Phone Features

You might be happy to know that there is a wide variety of Phone System features to choose from. Some can be used from the moment they are chosen, but others require configuration. 

Some of the features include auto attendant, call queuing, caller ID, cloud voicemail, and call forwarding and delegation. 

How United Telecoms can help

As you can see, setting up cloud PBX as part of your Microsoft 365 productivity platform is a project that requires time and some degree of expertise. 

United Telecoms have experts who are experienced in cloud-based technologies and integrations and can assist you every step of the way. Please feel free to contact us for more information on how we can integrate these two services for your business.

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