Legacy Systems, Integrating the Microsoft Teams Telephony
Legacy Systems can now be integrated with Microsoft Teams Telephony. Anyone who has ever been responsible for the procurement, installation and even removal of telephony equipment in an organisation will know that there have been several iterations of ‘the next big thing’ over the last few decades. Once, the big name in telephony was the private branch exchange: by making sure that those within an organisation could telephone one another at the drop of a hat and enjoy a seamless and reliable call, productivity in offices began to improve.
As the consumer became king in the 1980s and beyond, call centres were added into the mix as the benefits of handling incoming external calls at scale became clear to commercial leaders.
In recent years, a suite of tools designed to convert analogue telephony kit into modern technology has also appeared – to much acclaim. For some business leaders and operations managers, the question of why it would make sense to switch to a cloud-based solution such as Microsoft Teams Telephony is a legitimate one: if everything is already in place, why bother changing it?
The good news for anyone who is looking to move to the latest offer on the telephony solutions trajectory is that there is a solution from Microsoft that is interoperable with all of these different legacy systems. This article will explore what some of the key stages in the development of telephony have been – and how the Microsoft Teams Telephony package has been designed to be as interoperable as possible with all of these different multifaceted forms of telephony from years gone by.
Private branch exchanges
Ever since the days of switchboards and centralisation, private branch exchanges have been opted for by those in the position to decide what telephony solutions are best for their organisation. These exchanges work in a particular way: they allow for many different offshoots from the same central line, permitting companies to give every worker a phone number and an individual handset to let them connect to the external phone system without having to create an individual connection for each individual. This means that employees can communicate both with each other and with the wider world in a cost-effective manner.
If an organisation already has a legacy system (private branch exchange) in place, those responsible for telephony may be worried about giving it up in favour of something new-fangled, such as Microsoft Teams Telephony. Luckily, however, the legacy system can be used alongside Microsoft Teams Telephony – meaning that those organisations that have invested in a PBX, as it is often abbreviated to, won’t have to dismantle it or forget about it.
After private telephone exchanges arrived to systematise the process of handling calls within an organisation, the next logical step was to ensure that there was a systematic approach to handling incoming calls from those who were not internal – the ‘public’ side of the equation, in other words. Contact centres were touted as the solution.
As a result, many organisations that face the public have now invested heavily in contact centres that can handle high volumes of incoming customer service enquiries and outbound marketing calls. In some cases, the contact centre might be exclusive to that organisation. On other occasions, to save costs, they may be tied into a contract with either a domestic or an international provider of international call handling services. Either way, there may be a perceived financial cost of dropping an invested-in call centre for something new.
Luckily, all the benefits of Microsoft Teams Telephony can be integrated with many types of contact centre services by Microsoft specialists such as Qubic that can integrate Microsft Teams with legacy or modern contact centres to provide a seamless service.
Analogue conversion tools
Understandably, many senior commercial leaders responsible for telephony might breathe a sigh of dismay when they first hear that a shift to cloud tools such as Microsoft Teams Telephony is becoming the done thing. That’s not because Microsoft Teams Telephony offers a bad service or a set of useless functions: it’s often because the organisation may have just spent a large amount of time and cash on installing tools that convert analogue phone services into digital or ‘voice over IP’ ones.
One such device is the analogue telephone adapter, which is a device designed to take a traditional non-digital phone and enable it to have calls placed over an internet-based network. Some of these devices are hardware-powered, and create a direct stream from the phone to the internet through the USB socket of a computer: many of them have what is known as an RJ-11 jack to enable this. In fact, for business users, there are often many such jacks designed to ensure that phones from across the organisation can reap the benefits of voice-over-IP communication. Others can do this with their built-in software.
Either way, those business leaders who are worried that their analogue to digital conversion devices won’t be interoperable as legacy systems with Microsoft Teams Telephony do not need to worry, as they can be sure that both devices will be able to work together.
When an organisation needs to take telephone calls, a systematic and useful solution is needed – especially if the organisation is taking calls at scale or on a highly regular basis. In recent decades, everything from analogue conversion tools to complex, expensive call centres have formed part of organisations’ telephony landscape. Now, there’s a new kid on the block – but Microsoft Teams Telephony has been deliberately designed to be interoperable with all of these older forms of telephony kit. For those who want an interoperable solution to their telephony needs, this package could be just the ticket.