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A Game Changer—Microsoft adds a compelling new feature to Office 365

The COVID 19 pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on business managers looking to pull together a remote collaboration system for their locked-down staff. While there are plenty of apps and services for specific workplace tasks, this piecemeal approach can create a complex system with multiple accounts and suppliers. Security concerns surrounding communication apps like Zoom have motivated organisations to find more secure solutions that can be readily implemented.

A Unified Solution

From April 22, Microsoft is lowering the cost of their Teams Direct Routing business voice service – included in their Office 365 Business product. Subscribers to this service will be able to migrate their entire phone system to MS Teams—giving them end-to-end encryption of voice and video calls, as well as full Microsoft Office integration and collaboration. Office 365 (now called Microsoft 365), is already commonplace in most businesses and the addition of voice calling makes it a compelling solution for workplace collaboration. MS Teams is completely integrated with the existing Office suite of products such as Outlook and SharePoint, providing a reassuringly familiar interface for staff.

At Sphere 12, we keep a constant lookout for new technology solutions that offer genuine benefits for our clients. Microsoft’s move to a lower price point for a complete suite of workplace collaboration tools, including voice calling through MS Teams, gives SME’s the same feature set that was previously only available with an enterprise licence. For clients who already have Office 365 Business and need to deploy solutions for secure remote collaboration, we think adding Teams with a voice calling plan is a no-brainer.

However, companies looking to switch to MS Teams for their full phone system will require a 3rd party calling service, known as a SIP Trunk provider. To meet this need, Sphere12 have partnered with NZ-based VOIP solutions provider Hero, who provide an excellent Microsoft Teams Integration service. We’re offering new and existing clients a turnkey solution: a fully functional Teams calling environment proof of concept in as little as two days.

Sphere12 were one of Hero’s first MS Teams clients. As Wintel certified professionals, we set up our own Teams phone system and use it for everyday communications amongst our team and our inbound Helpdesk. Hero was so impressed—they invited us to become resellers.

Why an MS Teams Phone System makes good business sense:

  • Secure voice, video and screen sharing

  • Tight integration with Office apps

  • New lower-cost 365 plans for SME's

  • Leverage your existing 365 Business subscription

  • Secure calling from mobiles via the Teams App

  • Consolidate your workplace services into one unified platform


The Benefits of a Managed Service Provider

As an NZ-based MSP, Sphere12 have built up a comprehensive skill set, including:

  • Azure/AWS Cloud implementation and support

  • VOIP integration into MS Teams

  • Management tool support (Autotask, ConnectWise, CRM, SharePoint, Atlassian)

  • Desktop, server and storage support and implementation

  • Networking (Cisco, Fortinet, Meraki)

We’re a Microsoft Azure and 365 CSP partner and can administer and maintain your 365 Business subscriptions with no added cost to the licenses. If you’re already planning a switch to MS Teams for video conferencing, you should consider implementing their complete end to end phone system solution. Our experienced team can help you through the trickier aspects of installation, backed up with training and documentation.

As a Managed Services Provider, Sphere12 acts as your trusted advisor. We support all of your IT services and wrap it all together. If you’d like advice on your current workplace IT situation, please feel free to get in touch.

Tel: +64 9 394 7870

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