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4 Best Practices for a Microsoft Teams Phone Migration


Jose Alvarez

Managing Director of Infrastructure Technology

In the new era of Work from Anywhere, migrating to a cloud-based phone system like Microsoft Teams Phone delivers the flexibility, scalability, and functionality you need to support a modern business environment without heavy infrastructure investment. But telephony Microsoft Teams phone migration isn’t turnkey for companies with global footprints that stretch outside Microsoft’s coverage area – and several key considerations are essential to ensuring a smooth experience when a third-party telecom vendor is required.

As organizations adopt flexible work models, the need for 24/7 mobility has a growing number cutting the cord with the traditional concept of a fixed phone on a fixed desk in a fixed office.

Microsoft’s cloud-based voice calling capability keeps communication flowing smoothly no matter where employees are – giving remote workers access to a full-featured phone system while ensuring customers receive a consistent calling experience. Calls can be answered from multiple devices, including computers, mobile devices, and Teams-enabled desk phones.

As an add-on to Microsoft 365, Teams Phone also helps companies keep external and internal communication activities like chat, messaging, video calls, phone calls, and collaboration in a single place – boosting efficiency, tracking, and productivity. It seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft 365 products as well like SharePoint and Outlook, enabling users to quickly access content without leaving the interface.

Microsoft reports more than 80 million active Teams Phone users placing more than a billion calls monthly. More than 90% of the Fortune 500 has used Teams phone capabilities.

Such high demand is underscored by the rapid growth of the overall global cloud telephony services market, which is projected to expand nearly 17% this year to $20.7 billion.

But leaping into a cloud-based phone system without taking time to understand the complexities of global implementation sets you up for trouble down the road. Microsoft calling plans don’t cover all geographies – and finding the right third-party provider to fill the gaps can be challenging.

Here are 4 smart tips for global enterprises considering adding Phone services to their Microsoft Teams Phone migration:

How to prepare for a smooth Microsoft Teams Phone migration with third-party vendors

1. Assess your global footprint and services.

Ensuring a smooth transition from a legacy phone system to Teams Phone requires a clear understanding of your global needs.

Profile your users, digging into the details of existing locations and services so they can be mapped to your new solution. Be sure to also consider regional specifics like regulatory measures that you need to comply with at each location.

2. Determine if Microsoft offers service at all your locations.

Microsoft currently offers calling plans in about 30 countries. For businesses with offices in countries that can use some Teams Phone services but are unable to obtain Microsoft phone numbers, Microsoft relies on third-party partners like AT&T, Verizon, BICS, Intrado, and more that can integrate their services with Teams Phone.

Microsoft Azure Cloud Migration

Here’s where it gets complicated: Microsoft’s list of suggested providers doesn’t rate or detail coverage. Too many businesses get a nasty surprise when they realize mid-implementation that the carrier they chose doesn’t provide quality telecom services or any service at all for one or more of their locations.

Multiple providers may be required to create a comprehensive cloud-based phone solution. With so many choices and complexity, many organizations rely on IT services partners to help select a third-party solution that meets their global requirements, providing experience with carrier capabilities and strengths in various markets.

3. Consider whether you want to retain or replace current business phone numbers.

Retaining existing phone numbers is typically a chief concern for enterprises considering adding Phone services to their Microsoft Teams migration.

After all, many companies have invested heavily in tying their existing number to their brand identity and/or splashing it across business cards, billboards, and more. Many also worry that changing numbers will trigger customer churn.

Fortunately, Microsoft Teams Phone migration enables you to add existing direct-dial business numbers to the cloud, with number porting permitted from local providers in most major markets. That can include your main voice line, local voice lines, fax numbers, wireless numbers, and toll-free voice lines.

However, in some cases obtaining new numbers makes sense – for instance, company divestitures may require brand-new phone numbers. New numbers are available through the Microsoft platform for countries within its coverage areas.

Microsoft’s third-party telecom partners can supply numbers for other countries or regions. They can also support companies that require specific phone numbers or area codes that aren’t available through Microsoft.

4. Verify carriers and obtain documentation for phone numbers you plan to retain.

Few companies realize the complexities that may accompany moving existing numbers to a new phone system. Few companies realize the complexities that may accompany moving existing numbers to a new phone system.

To ease the process, start by creating a master list of all the numbers you plan to port – and verify the carrier for each number. Unfortunately, elapsed time and acquisitions in the telecom industry often make verification more challenging and time-consuming than it sounds.

You will need to gather information and approval from the phone carrier that owns your numbers to keep them in your new solution. Delays and repeated communication are most likely inevitable, so it’s wise to start as soon as possible.

If necessary, you can assign users temporary numbers in your new Phone environment so they can communicate until their permanent number is ported. Be sure to update your master list with any new carriers for your numbers once they are ported into the new system.

Not surprisingly, many organizations once again turn to IT services partners to smooth this cumbersome process. After analyzing each case – which may include a single phone number or range of numbers – your partner will review the laws, conditions, and requirements of each country and its telecom providers for transferring numbers. They can also help navigate waiting times, which can extend three months or more in some countries.

Modernize your communications infrastructure with the right IT partner

Modernizing your communication infrastructure rings true as good business sense. But while adding Phone services to your Microsoft Teams migration can deliver many benefits to globally distributed workforces, companies that fail to look before they leap into the cloud may fall short.

Partnering with an exceptional IT services partner can help ensure a successful transition to cloud-based telephony, with deep experience crafting and executing end-to-end Microsoft Teams migration strategies for a wealth of global enterprises.

Partnering with an exceptional IT services partner can help ensure a successful transition to cloud-based telephony, with deep experience crafting and executing end-to-end Microsoft Teams migration strategies for a wealth of global enterprises.

In the modern business world, work is increasingly a thing we do – not a place we go. With the right support, Microsoft Teams Phone migration delivers the flexibility, efficiency, and reliability to build a global remote team that works.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of implementing Microsoft Teams Phone and other cloud-based Microsoft 365 products for your business? Schedule a free consultation with our IT services experts today!

Written by

Jose Alvarez
Managing Director of Infrastructure Technology
Jose leads our IT Outsourcing and Solutions practice and has extensive experience always delivering best practices. His expertise includes IT strategic planning, cost control programs, emerging technologies, IT operations and infrastructure management.

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