Evaluating the latest offering from Microsoft, designed to support an increasingly mobile workforce operating on a hybrid or remote model.
Any renowned chef will tell you the key to creating delectable dishes is knowing your staples, the key ingredients that compose the foundation of meal. It’s the same in business where a major staple is Microsoft 365, a core platform that’s been in offices across industries for decades. In fact, it’s exceedingly rare for a new hire to not have at least a basic comprehension of the programs in the Microsoft ecosystem. This familiarity also makes it easy for businesses to quickly integrate new Microsoft solutions into the fold, like during the pandemic when remote work bolstered Microsoft Teams users from 20M in 2019 to 270M by the end of 2022.1 So it’s no surprise that when organizations began transitioning to hybrid models, Microsoft collaborated with Rogers to launched their newest tool: Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile.
Mobile devices in the workplace: Helpful or hindrance?
Most Canadians rely on their smartphone for daily tasks like shopping, scheduling and communicating and mobile devices are becoming increasingly important in the workplace. Studies have shown that the use of smartphones on the job can improve productivity.2 Plus, today’s workforce is more likely to be meeting, collaborating and working outside the office space.
"Essentially it combines all the features of Microsoft Teams with the calling capabilities and flexibility of a business phone."
What is Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile?
Building upon their already-popular Teams platform, Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile extends the platform’s functionality to include voice communication. Essentially it combines all the features of Teams with the calling capabilities of a phone, along with the advanced features of a comprehensive platform. With a workforce that’s increasingly on-the-go, enabling mobility has never been more important. Each member of your team will be assigned one phone number that, when dialed, initiates a call to their smartphone, Teams app and any other Teams-enabled device – simultaneously. It’s a sharp departure from the days of a business card packed with multiple points of contact.
Not only does it simplify communication for customers and team members alike, but perhaps most importantly, it supports a truly hybrid model of work. Your team has access to the same features and functions across devices, providing a cohesive experience, regardless of their location. This may seem minor but according to a 2023 survey, 85% of Canadian job seekers are only considering hybrid or remote options for their next role and consider that flexibility more important than compensation.3 Plus, corporate security settings are extended to devices, so data is as secure when viewed at a cottage as it would be in the office.
Top features of Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile
Like any Microsoft platform, there are a wide-range of features, whose priority will vary depending on the industry. The ability to transition from a phone call to a screen-sharing Teams call might be key for graphic designers while others in healthcare may jump at the chance to easily record and transcribe conversations. Overall, here are the standout features of the platform:
One number: As workplaces become even more flexible, the ability to reach someone anywhere with a single phone number is invaluable.
Unified call history, recording and voicemail: For businesses with regulatory obligations, the ability to quickly access this type of reporting is hugely beneficial.
Seamless transfers: Easily uplift a regular phone call to the Teams platform, on the same device with a single click, where it’s simple to share, collaborate and add other participants.
Presence integration: Automatically enable status updates to “In a call” when you’re chatting, across devices.
Reliable calling: Enjoy calls via cellular voice network or internet connection.
Use cases: Common scenarios for Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile
Scenario 1: You lost your phone. It’s a nightmare state for anyone, but it’s easy to drop leave a device in a taxi or drop it into a lake. No matter the situation, Teams Phone Mobile is the first solution that allows a cell phone number to be backed up. You simply log onto another device, such as a laptop, and make or receive calls directly from Teams until your device can replaced.
Scenario 2: You want to hide your personal number. There is always a concern that if you phone a client or prospect, they will save your number and consider you a main point of contact for all issues, regardless of your role. With Caller ID policy management, each person can control and modify both the number and name seen by the recipient.
Scenario 3: Stay secure. Experience Teams capabilities on enabled devices while enjoying advanced mobile security.
Is it worth it?
With the standard model of work in flux, it’s necessary for IT teams to invest in solutions that make mobile work easier and more secure. However, that can be difficult when faced with cost-saving mandates and reduced budgets. The argument to further invest in a new technology can be a difficult one. However, Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile can actually help in reducing costs by replacing redundant phone services and their associated maintenance costs. Plus, because the solution is cloud-based, leaders do not need to invest in complex infrastructure and can easily scale according to growth.
"Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile can actually help in reducing costs by replacing redundant phone services and their associated maintenance costs."
So, is it worth it? Organizations seeking to increase their mobility and align with current workforce trends should certainly take a closer look at the solution. As businesses further digitize and take a mobile-first approach, the considerations for solutions such as Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile are becoming less of a “why” and more of a “why haven’t you done this yet?”