Understand key terminology through the explanations below.
Your Office 365 subscription (also called a Microsoft 365 subscription) is the mechanism by which you obtain licences for cloud hosted services like email, SharePoint Online and others as well as potentially Microsoft Office licences for your PC’s and laptops. There are a huge number of Office 365 subscriptions on offer but not all of them have the ability to add the Teams Calling functions. To make matters even more confusing, there are 2 broadly different types of Office 365 licences. Home licences and business licences. Only some business licences can be used with Teams Calling. You can take a look at our comparison page here that shows which licences can be used with Teams Calling. If you don’t have one of these licences, we can set these up for you.
In order to use Teams Calling, you will need to have an Office 365 (or Microsoft 365) licence that is compatible with the service. There are a huge number of Office 365 subscriptions on offer but not all of them have the ability to add the Teams Calling functions. To make matters even more confusing, there are 2 broadly different types of Office 365 licences. Home licences and business licences. Only some business licences can be used with Teams Calling. You can take a look at our comparison page here that shows which licences can be used with Teams Calling. If you don’t have one of these licences, we can set these up for you.
When setting up Teams Calling for you we will need to know how many users require the ability to make and receive calls. Not all users on your Office 365 subscription may need this function so the number of base licences may be the same or more than the number of users requiring the ability to make and receive calls. For example. You might have 20 users with an Office 365 Enterprise 3 licence. These users all need the ability to send and receive email and they all need licences for Microsoft Word on their desktops. When it comes to making and receiving calls though, only 10 people need this functionality so they are the only ones who need the Phone System licence and a call plan.
In addition to appropriate licences, you are going to need a call plan to assign to each user. A call plan works just like your mobile phone plan. Some of them include calls and some of them are pay as you go. You just need to select which call plan works for you. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when selecting call plans. The first is that you cannot mix and match call plans. All users must be on the same call plan. The second is that you can change your call plan at any time. Should you wish to upgrade or downgrade your call plan this can be done each month.
A 100 number block is useful for businesses who need to have contiguous number ranges for all of their numbers. If you don’t have a 100 number block you will be assigned numbers drawn from our existing number pools that may not be in sequence. It is also generally easier to port numbers between carriers when you have the entire 100 number block. Some carriers may not have the ability to port single numbers outside of a 100 number block.
Number porting is the process whereby numbers are moved from one carrier to another. If you have a number that is important to your business, such as your primary business number, you probably want to port it if you change providers. Something to keep in mind is that some carriers can’t or won't port single numbers. It is generally easier to port an entire 100 number block.
An auto attendant allows you to create a menu system that callers can navigate to speak to the right person or department. An example of an auto attendant might be that when a caller connects to your main number, they are given the option to press 1 for Reception, 2 for the service team or 3 for Sales. An auto attendant can be used to transfer a caller to a single extension or a call queue.
A call queue allows multiple calls to be held in a queue to be answered by one or more people (sometimes called agents). Call queues can have greeting messages, on hold music and can have rules associated with them to handle call time outs or call overflows. Most businesses will have a call queue configured for their primary number just in case multiple people call in at once to avoid a busy signal. We include the cost of configuring an initial call queue in our setup fees. A business can have multiple call queues to fit their requirements.
Voice mail can be turned on or off per extension. Voice mail is configured to be sent by email to users. You require Exchange Online (email) to be able to use voice mail.
Time based routing is used to enable out of hours messaging, holiday messaging or any other scenario where the default call routing is changed at a specific date or time. An example of this would be a message that is played out of hours to callers that then transfers them direct to voice mail rather than ringing a call queue.
Microsoft provides default on hold music for all Teams Calling customers. You can however replace this music with your own or with custom messages. It is possible to have different music or messages for each call queue or extension. Customers can provide their own messages / music or Sentrian Telecom can provide AI (artificial intelligence) generated messages where required.
While many customers will use devices like laptops, desktops, tablets and mobile phones that have a Teams client installed to make and receive calls, it is possible to also use desktop handsets. Handsets must be teams certified in order for them to work with Teams Calling. Sentrian Telecom can provide handsets where required.