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CallTower: The Truth about Microsoft Teams

April 12, 2019

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The differences between Skype for Business and Teams are bigger than you may think 

MS-Teams-Workflow_BannersAt the Microsoft Ignite Event in 2017, Microsoft dropped a bombshell on the Unified Communications (UC) industry: they announced they would be transitioning their Skype for Business Online Edition to the newly developed Microsoft Teams. Naturally, any such large service transition carried a lot of questions and concerns - the primary question being "Does this transition include my company?" You can read the answer to that question hereThe second question is similar but different: “What is Microsoft Teams and how does it differ from Skype for Business?” This blog speaks directly to CallTower customers who may face this next question.  

The Answer

CallTower's Skype for Business (SfB) customers will not have their services affected by this Microsoft transition (read more here- but anyone considering a transition from SfB to Teams should consider the wide differences between the features and services of each solution. While the primary functions of SfB are voice / video calling, IM and conferencing, Microsoft Teams is a unified communications platform that integrates the Office 365 suite of applications and file storage. While some see Teams as an “upgrade” or “evolution” of Skype for Businessmany important SfB features are not present in Teams. 

Microsoft Teams is not "purple Skype"

Microsoft Teams is a unified communications platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. The service integrates with the company's Offic365  subscription office productivity suite and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products. Users can be arranged into “Teams” for group organization and access. 

Some features of Skype for Business are not available with Microsoft Teams, and vice versa.While there are a few key SfB features Teams is working on developing (like Auto Attendant, Hunt Groups and more Desk Phone options), there are many components that are not supported and have not been addressed. Features like Contact Center, Call RecordingBToE, Call Pickup, Common Area Phone, DND Routing, Unassigned Number Forwarding and API Integrations are only available with SfB for the foreseeable future. 

What does Teams have that SfB can’t match? Microsoft Teams offers persistent and searchable threaded chat and content that is easy to follow and reference. Microsoft Teams also has integrated access to the entire Office 365 suite, including SharePoint and OneDrive, to allow for single client to manage groups, meetings and projects. 

Teams Calling Plans with Direct Routing

CallTower delivers an integrated Office 365 Microsoft Teams experience with global calling plans empowered by a US-based client services team, ensuring a personalized implementation, adoption, training and support strategy. As a Microsoft Gold Partner providing cloud voice solutions, our monitoring and management services ensure the highest quality user experience.  

The Microsoft Teams Phone System powered by CallTower enables customers to bring their current voice serves into the Microsoft Cloud through Direct Routing. Direct Routing ensures the ability to leverage CallTower’s preferred rates and unlocks the full app-integrating potential of a Microsoft Teams Phone System. CallTower is dedicated to enabling our Teams customers to be as effective as possible – we'll be adding new features like contact center integrations and enterprise recording to our Teams solution very soon. 

CallTower Managed Partner Network

CallTower has been a Microsoft Gold Partner for years, which allows customers to take advantage of a fully developed Managed Partner Network. This means CallTower can entirely manage the transition to a Microsoft voice solution, complete with 24/7/365 US-based support and a single point of contact for Office 365 and Voice. License migration is incredibly simple as well - customers just accept the invitation from CallTower. Finally, customers can use CallTower Connect, a proprietary solution management application, to manage the voice integration of users. 

For more information about Microsoft Teams and to see if your organization is a good fit, please download our handy guide today: 

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