When you’re considering implementing a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) service, you have a tons of options and important topics you need to consider. What requirements do you have in regards to features? Which provider offers the best price? Do you want control over your own infrastructure ? Also, not everyone is an expert on VoIP. How can you decide on a service when you do not understand what VoIP actually is?
What is VoIP?
VoIP allows businesses to place phones calls over the internet, allowing them to save a lot of money per month in comparison to a regular telephone service. Besides that, it is more flexible, easier to manage and it integrates with many other business services.
Dynamix Business Voice is a great example of a cloud-based enterprise phone system, which allows users to place and receive calls over the internet without the need for any on-premise equipment. Skype for Business/Microsoft Teams, formerly known as Microsoft Lync Server, is a communications platform that integrates common channels of business communication and online meetings through on-premise server software.
Skype for Business/Microsoft Teams
Almost everyone is familiar with Skype. Skype was one of the earliest VoIP services and became incredibly popular with people trying to stay in touch with friends and family across international borders. Since Microsoft bought the business in 2011 and made Skype/Teams available for both consumers and enterprises.
The Limitations of Skype for Business
Skype for Business/Microsoft Teams sounds similar to other VoIP services that you can find on the market. It includes audio and video conferencing, IM integration, voicemail, cheap calls etc. However, Skype/Teams is different from Hosted VoIP services in many ways as Skype/Teams has certain limitations in comparison to hosted VoIP services making it not the ideal choice for your organization.
In fact, Skype/Teams targets a specific type of organization: large corporations that use Microsoft Office. It is not a service that can be tailored to accommodate all types of businesses.
Major hosted VoIP services work with Google apps, CRM Systems, IT Glue and so on. Skype for Business/Microsoft Teams is notorious for lacking such third-party integration, although it works well with Microsoft’s own Office applications.
Its tight integration with other Microsoft products can be an advantage to companies which already have licenses to those products. On the other hand, it also means that companies that don’t have a need for these products may end up paying for them as part of the entire bundle.
Microsoft’s Enterprise licensing plans are complex and expensive. Over a longer period of time, businesses may not see much of a difference when compared to regular telephone service.
In the early days, the communication protocol SIP didn’t have the functionality we know today. Skype was developed as a service using peer to peer technology and does not use SIP. However, as the VoIP industry developed, SIP became the standard for hardware manufacturers, service providers and software developers.
If you choose for hosted VoIP services, you don’t have to worry about interoperability. Most SIP compatible handsets and equipment will work with the service and if you want to switch providers, you don’t have to buy new hardware. It is not the same case with Skype/Teams. Since the service does not use SIP, changing your telephony service provider may not be as easy as you think.
Ease of Management
With Hosted VoIP Services you do not have to maintain your own servers and other equipment needed for your communication service. This is all being handled by the provider of the service. Skype for Business/Microsoft Teams works with an on premise configuration and this requires not only a large infrastructure expense, but high levels of expertise in telephony and server configuration and maintenance.