Exploring Call2Teams with Qunifi
Microsoft Teams has emerged as the number one fastest growing application created by Microsoft of all time. It’s also one of the biggest collaboration solutions for today’s Enterprise, offering a secure and reliable way for people to link their collaboration strategy with the productivity tools that they’re using every day.
Unfortunately, one of the areas where Microsoft Teams falls short is in calling and PBX connections. Although Microsoft offers a Cloud UCaaS solution, it’s not currently comparable with the feature-rich on-premises PBX solutions that companies are used to. Routing and other essential user features are limited compared to what you would expect from a full cloud solution. However, there could be an alternative way to bring calling into Microsoft Teams, with help from leading communications and cloud company, Qunifi.
Qunifi have created their incredible Call2Teams solution; a channel focused opportunity that allows partners to connect on-premises customer calling solutions to the Microsoft Teams environment, this solves a big problem for customers who might not be ready to rip and replace their old phone systems and move into a full-stack Microsoft experience.
I spoke to the COO of Qunifi, Mark Herbert, and he talked me through the possibilities of Call2Teams as a new entry point for Teams users.
Mark told me that Qunifi originally came to life a few years ago as a feature of another business, but today, the company is completely independent. In recent years, the company began to see the impact of the collaboration environment and felt that there was an incredible opportunity to integrate with the Microsoft environment, and help people in the Microsoft portfolio do more with their products.
As a service provider working with Telecommunication companies and PBX vendors, Qunifi is dedicated to helping people combine their phone system network with the expanding Teams solution. “Microsoft Teams is really becoming the go-to solution for collaboration these days. However, the PBX offerings just haven’t been enough for today’s companies up to now. People who don’t want to take a rip and replace approach to their communication strategy needed a different solution, and that’s what we’re offering.”
The Call2Teams service, built on the AudioCodes SBC technology, allows organisations of all sizes to seamlessly integrate their existing PBX environment with the Microsoft Teams Calling and Direct Routing strategy on a monthly subscription basis. This simple add-on solution offers a kind of “Direct routing as a per-user service” that allows companies to take full advantage of Microsoft’s solutions when it comes to Office 365 and collaboration.
Microsoft Teams is becoming a successful offering on the current collaboration marketplace. As Mark told me:
“It’s spreading like wildfire. A lot of enterprises like it because it allows them to access all of their tools for Microsoft productivity in a single environment”
“You don’t need to access separate hardware and software for your Teams environment, but you do need to go beyond Microsoft to get more advanced calling solutions.”
The offerings provided by Microsoft Teams do give people an entry point into connecting their PBX with their collaboration solution, but it’s a bit complicated to get everything set up. Call2Teams gives smaller businesses access to easier calling solutions via Teams. “You don’t need to port all of your numbers or rip out your tech. We allow companies to keep all the technology they have and their numbers and more; it’s like turning Teams into a softphone for your PBX.”
The Call2Teams solutions works on all devices, and there’s no need to rip and replace anything. As Mark told me, you get the exact same experience as you would as a large enterprise spending a fortune on routing. Since many companies have already made huge investments into their existing PBXs, it’s not simple for them to just give up on all of that technology. What’s more, since Microsoft’s own phone system doesn’t completely replace the on-premises PBX, Call2Teams removes an essential barrier.
Qunifi are taking Call2Teams to the current market through the channel today. They’re dealing with some of the biggest vendors available, including RingCentral and other organisations. “If you’re running a cloud PBX and you don’t have a solution for the Teams environment, that’s something we can provide to make your offering really stand out.”
It doesn’t seem like Microsoft Teams is going to slow down in terms of market share, and Qunifi is making it easier for partners to bring the solution into their portfolio alongside other PBXs. This gives companies a competitive edge. “Microsoft has added us to their catalogue too so that you can buy our solution through them.”
“Microsoft sees us as a valuable solution because although they’ve got their product, their customers don’t always want to rip and replace their existing tech”
The Qunifi Call2Teams solution is now selling through partners, including Microsoft and Ingram, and the business is also partnering with other large cloud providers. As Teams continues to evolve and more features appear, Qunifi sees this as just one of the first products that allow companies to integrate their Teams environment with real-time communication solutions.