The PSTN calling plans for Microsoft Phone System (AKA Skype for Business Online) and for Microsoft Teams is finally here for Australia. Here in Australia, we call it as “Telstra Calling for Office 365”.
It is bit different to how the service offering was done compared to other regions such as Americas and Europe. For Australia, if any organization wants to use Microsoft Phone System with Cloud PSTN, then they will need to directly engage with Telstra or, talk to one of the Telstra partners that are authorized to provide the service.
Other regions, organizations has the option to directly purchase numbers from O365 it self and assign to users. In this scenario, Microsoft act as the Telecommunications provider that provides the service. But, in Australia, Telstra is the Telecommunications provider that provides the service and not Microsoft it self.
However it is, the service is now available to use and lot of small to medium organizations was waiting for this to be available to complete their cloud migration goals. Since the announcement of service availability, few organizations are already lined up to register and many more to follow. It’s going to be busy and exiting months ahead.
For more information about the service, visit the Telstra web site.
“Teams” is the new team based collaboration tool that was introduced by Microsoft few years ago. The key purpose of Teams is to compete with Slack and Zoom, which are commonly used team based collaboration tools in the market.
Teams is part of Microsoft O365 cloud based offering which needs to be enabled within the O365 admin portal. Once enabled, users can sign in to the application using Teams desktop client or using the Web client. Currently, Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business share most of features with each other. But, Teams still lacking some of key features that Skype for Business provides as a telephony platform.
Microsoft Teams is getting developed rapidly and more features getting added frequently. Below are the current available features and potential roadmap of additional features for Teams;
Based on current feature availability, Microsoft Teams is more than capable of supporting as the sole standard communications and collaboration tool. But, for complex environments that demand critical telephony features sch as Analogue integration, Contact centers, etc.., Teams might not be a good fit (yet). For such environments, Skype for Business will still be the ideal platform for communications workloads. Teams can still exist in such environments as only as the team based collaboration tool with limited features enabled.
Microsoft will continue to maintain both Skype for Business and Teams as collaboration platforms. It’s up to the end users to select which tool will suits their needs the most.