How to migrate from your PBX to Microsoft Teams

All employees working from home – this is often a big challenge, especially in a contact center: employees have to carry a lot of equipment home, set up complicated call forwarding to private phones and in some cases contact centers remained completely closed this spring. The Corona lockdown has shown that it is time to replace the traditional telephone system (PBX) with a more flexible solution, for example with Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft’s leading solution enables employees to do more than just collaborate efficiently. It is a powerful communication platform that also makes customer service efficient and easy from anywhere. Reception, main number, internal or external helpdesk, service hotlines or even complex contact centers – Teams together with powerful add-ons make it possible.

And how do you replace the old PBX? Philipp Beck, CEO from Luware, gives valuable insights and recommendations from his experiences with customer projects.

1. Change your mindset

“The technical replacement of the PBX with Teams is relatively easy. The real challenge is the organizational change,” says Philipp Beck. “It is a completely different approach to internal and external communication that is a lot more than just the function set of a telephony system.”

Therefore, you need to get all your stakeholders to the table from the beginning, including users, process owners, management and the staff association.

It is important to establish a common understanding of why this change is necessary, how it will be carried out, and of course how it will change the way that the stakeholders do their work – because ultimately, the user satisfaction strongly impacts customer satisfaction.

2. Establish an overall communication strategy

“Break up your silos and see telephony as one part of your overall communication strategy rather than scattering different functionalities over multiple tools,” encourages Philipp. “With the transition to Teams you have the opportunity to build your business on a powerful platform that interconnects and empowers departments, employees and customers alike.”

“Many of our customers want Microsoft Teams as their comprehensive calling solution: To distribute, take, forward calls – and to get a detailed reporting of it all,” summarizes Philipp. With Microsoft Teams as part of your overall communication strategy you can fully benefit from your central communication platform and the entire Microsoft ecosystem, e.g. out-of-the-box integration to other Microsoft applications, Azure Communication Service, future automation and integrations as well as bringing chat, voice, video and even screensharing to the interactions with your customers.

"Break up your silos and see telephony as one part of your overall communication strategy." Philipp Beck, CEO of Luware

3. Fill in the gaps of Microsoft Teams with add-ons

With its Response Groups and Auto Attendant Call Queues, Teams offers some built-in routing functionality. However, they fall short when it comes to customer service.

Service providers like Luware offer the necessary add-ons to fill in the missing functionality, e.g. automatic call distribution to teams and service lines, easily manageable, custom call flows, extensive reporting for call volumes and first contact resolution, call transfers for receptionists and attendants, and even skill-based routing for contact centers.

“It is important that these third-party applications can cover the customer service requirements without building new silos next to Microsoft Teams. They must be built directly on Microsoft Teams for you to fully leverage the Microsoft platform and maximize your investment in it,” emphasizes Philipp.

Philipp Beck Luware CEO
"Add-ons must be built directly on Microsoft Teams to fully leverage the Microsoft platform and maximize your investment." Phillip Beck, CEO of Luware

An inevitable change with lots of benefits

Yes, transitioning from your old PBX to Teams is a change – and it’s an inevitable one; doing nothing is not an option. Philipp Beck: “Sounds grim at first but it’s actually fun with lots of benefits down the road for all the stakeholders: a modern tool for employees that allows them to work from anywhere, powerful add-ons for various use cases, simplified IT infrastructure and an extremely powerful communication platform for your customer interactions.”

The contact center needs a flexible telephony solution that allows employees to work from anywhere.