Why You Should Integrate Your Voice Solution With Microsoft Teams

by | Nov 17, 2020 | Business IT News and Information For Small to Large Companies In Polk County

Why You Should Integrate Your Voice Solution With Microsoft Teams

Our evolving remote business and work environments, of course, continue to fast-track new technology adoption. In doing so, they also put substantial pressure on IT infrastructures and staff.

While some companies may have been well-prepared for an organization-wide remote workstyle, most were not and are considering how to best prepare for the future.

Shift Thinking to Long-Term

As the global pandemic stretches on, businesses are rethinking their existing technological band-aids that allowed employees to instantly move to home offices.

In March alone, as COVID-19 sent hundreds of thousands of workers to home offices, video-conferencing application downloads were 10-15 times higher typical rates, with Zoom and Microsoft Teams leading in popularity.

Business leaders are assessing longer-term, secure, flexible, reasonably-priced solutions to take the place of their short-term fixes. As the workplace stays virtual or evolves to hybrid, tools for communication and collaboration are one of the most important resources companies are offering their colleagues.

Streamline Communications and Collaboration

Thousands of companies have adopted Microsoft Teams as their collaboration platform and have sped up implementations to accommodate virtual workers. Teams offers a user-friendly, intuitive workspace for colleagues to chat, instant message, share files, work on projects in real-time and coordinate calendars.

The growing momentum of Teams, coupled with the desire to reign in application sprawl (that is, employees downloading and using whatever software tools they wanted), is pointing IT leaders to think about the best possible integrations for Teams. The goal is to link to numerous productivity tools to encourage employee engagement and maximize IT investments.

Teams’ latest integration with GoToMeeting, part of LogMeIn, combines two fan-favorite platforms into one smooth interface that users will value.

GoToMeeting is the well-known online meeting arm of GoToCOnnect, which offers solutions for voice calling, private rooms for online meetings, webinar delivery and training platforms.

GoToConnect also acquired Jive VoIP as well, bringing an easy-to-use solution for voice services to their popular suite of collaboration products. Layering on reliable, user-friendly VoIP services with GoToCOnnect and Teams offers businesses a turnkey solution for business communications.

Join Two Popular Platforms Together

Jive VoIP has been a popular solution for businesses because of its functionality and affordability. GoToCOnnect will continue to offer VoIP services that make sense for businesses, now that it has brought Jive into the fold.

And Microsoft is known for smart business tools that are popular and secure.

Employees and business leaders enjoy Microsoft Teams for its collaboration features, including:

  • Complete Microsoft Office integrations
  • Screen and file sharing
  • Instant messaging for one-on-one and group conversations
  • Complete enterprise security
  • Access from any device
  • Reliable conversational search
  • Various bots and integration options

GoToMeeting is also a popular and familiar interface. Some of its most appealing features include:

  • One-click meeting starts
  • One-click video and recording functions
  • Virtual whiteboarding
  • Meeting scheduling and calendar
  • Desktop and app sharing
  • Built-in audio options including noise suppression
  • “Call Me” meeting joining capability
  • Download-free functionality

The integration provides the best of the Teams and GoToConnect worlds, allowing users to quickly launch GoToMeeting and GoToConnect from Teams and to access a host of new features.

The updated noise suppression feature is one of the most popular offerings. GoToCOnnect provides a comprehensive filter for background noise like pets, household appliances, TVs, children and other family members that end users now compete with during this pandemic. Calls will provide a clearer, less disruptive experience.

Plus, GoToCOnnect is utilizing a more reliable transport protocol that adjusts to network conditions and optimizes how data is transmitted. This is helpful, as use of the tool has skyrocketed alongside work-from-home employees.

Other new features include toll-free and call-me options that enhance call functionality for users around the world. Mobile multitasking allows iOS users to switch between apps while on a GoToMeeting call, and the company has also beefed up security and reliability.

Maximize Productivity

When you link GoToConnect with Microsoft Teams, your meetings and calls will happen where your team collaborates. Your users can maximize productivity by choosing the right meeting solution for each task at hand.

Use Teams for file sharing, chat and quick internal discussions, but layer on a reliable VoIP solution for important sessions with senior leaders, strategic customers and business partners.

Teams provides seamless collaboration while GoToCOnnect ensures fast, high-quality, and reliable platforms, even for large meetings for up to 250 people. Audio and voice meetings are designed for use inside and outside your organization.

Plus, GoToMeeting has an intuitive, consumer-facing feel and many users may already be familiar with it. Less change, less resistance and quicker adoption may be additional benefits.

Combining GoToCOnnect with Teams makes both platforms better.

Redundancy and Business Continuity

Employees can launch meetings from either application using Teams and GoToMeeting. The integration creates instant redundancy, allowing employees to stay productive even if one platform is down.

It’s a built-in business continuity communications plan and improves IT resilience.

Your team will never be without phone, video and audio conferencing tools.

Although Microsoft is known for its security and reliability, the company has reported a handful of outages since COVID-19 happened, including a widespread outage just a few weeks ago.

Cost Considerations

It may be more cost-effective to bundle GoTo meetings instead of adding on Teams voice services. It’s important to consider the true cost of Teams when making your comparison.

Utilizing Microsoft’s VoIP services will add additional line-item expenses, including audio conferencing, phone systems and domestic and international calling plans, plus the cost of potential Microsoft license upgrades.

In one comparison we ran, the total cost of Microsoft was $56 per user per month (including Business standard licensing, audio conferencing, phone system and domestic and international calling plan).

The total cost for GoToMeeting was $19.95 per month in our example. That’s a significant savings when you multiply by the number of users.

Flexible Features

One way to connect Teams with GoToConnect is using Call2Teams, an add-on to Office 365 that connects any PBX phone system with Teams, allowing users to make and receive phone calls on any device using the Microsoft Teams App.

You can further increase the functionality of Teams by integrating other Microsoft apps and a variety of third-party apps. These include solutions for productivity, project management, news, educational and informational media, communications and more.

Follow two uncomplicated steps to begin adding in apps to your Teams instance:

  1. Click the Apps icon on the left sidebar, then browse or search.
  2. Select an app to add it.

Depending on what you choose, you may even be able to access data or content from the new app directly within Teams. For example, you can link to Salesforce to access CRM data, to SurveyMonkey to create polls or to YouTube to transmit videos.

Choose the Best Consultants

Make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck with Microsoft Teams and its extensive integration options. Talk with an expert to consider your options and make the best business decisions.

At Alltek Services, we’ve been helping businesses maximize their hardware, software and phone systems into a seamless package for 15 years, becoming central Florida’s top choice for IT managed services. Call us today at 863-709-0709 or send us an email.

We would love to talk with you about the best way to implement Microsoft Teams and GoToMeeting or any other technology investments you’re considering for your business.