Description: Both Ooma Unified Communications platform and Microsoft Teams provide a broad range of communications options. Many Microsoft Teams and Ooma features overlap.
This document provides recommendations as to which platform (Microsoft Teams vs Ooma) is better positioned to deliver core telephony, communications and collaboration features.
- Virtual Receptionist / Auto-Attendant
- Call Queues / Ring Groups
- Caller ID Name and Number
- Core Telephony features
- Devices / IP Phones
- Call Recording
- Specialized extensions and non-Team users
- Microsoft Teams Video Conferences
- Voice Reliability
Virtual Receptionist / Auto-Attendant
Virtual Receptionist or Auto-Attendant greets your callers and offers a menu which, based on the caller input, routes calls to employees, departments, voicemails, or pre-recorded messages. Incoming calls can also be routed differently based on the time of day, preferred language or caller parameters.
In-bound PSTN calls to an Auto-Attendant will first touch Ooma infrastructure as Ooma provides PSTN access. Flows for such calls can be configured in either Ooma or Microsoft infrastructure. Below considerations will help you decide which platform is a better fit.
Both Ooma and Microsoft Teams offer basic options for call flows on a press of a button:
Person in the organization - a person in your organization who is able to receive voice calls.
Voice app - another auto attendant or a call queue.
External phone number - any configured phone number.
Voicemail - the voice mailbox associated with a Microsoft 365 group that you specify.
While Microsoft Teams' Auto-Attendants can handle most basic requirements, Ooma would be a better fit when more complex Auto-Attendant calls flows are. Here are examples where Microsoft Teams' Auto-Attendant falls short and Ooma Virtual Receptionist would be a better fit:
Auto-Attendant needs to support multi-level functionality. Microsoft Team offers a single level Auto-Attendant; while you can combine several Auto-Attendants by having a key forward to a different Auto-Attendant, such "connected" Auto-Attendants don't share the same options, such as operator, language, hours. Ooma's virtual receptionist handles multi-level call flow and maintains information about the call from start to finish.
You may need to configure many Auto-Attendants in Microsoft Teams to handle specific call flows. This, in turn, requires virtual licenses to be assigned to all Auto-Attendants. Depending on the number of required virtual team licenses, you may need to pay to acquire extra.
Call Queues in Microsoft Teams do not support some of the features that may be required for your organization. Examples would be skills-based routing, reporting and total time treatments. If your organization requires these features for call queues, this would be a reason to use Ooma Virtual Receptionist and then forward such calls to call flows configured in Ooma.
Microsoft Teams' Holiday Menu options only support Disconnect or Redirect options. Proper holiday treatment would typically require a redirect to another auto-attendant with options appropriate for such days.
Microsoft Teams Auto-Attendant does not support call handling based on Caller ID (eg if someone calls from 212 area code treat it as X but if they call from somewhere else treat it as Y). Ooma Virtual Receptionist supports call variables and other advanced features, that provide a great degree of flexibility when configuring call treatment based on caller parameters.
For non-PSTN calls to an auto-attendant, Microsoft Teams is usually a better fit. Example would be calls to an internal IT Help Desk. This allows for all internal calls to stay inside Microsoft Teams, without having to use the limited voice channels between Microsoft Teams and Ooma.
When the call is sent to a Microsoft Teams Auto-Attendant, it is treated by Ooma as answered.
Call Queues / Ring Groups
Call queues provide a method of routing callers to a group of people who share receipt of incoming calls to the queue.
Both Ooma and Microsoft Teams provide similar capabilities in terms of routing calls to users as well as call handling in case of overflow. There are several important points to consider.
1) Ooma does not have visibility into the user state (on the phone or available). If distribution of calls require consideration of the user state, call queues in Microsoft Teams would be a better fit.
2) If your organization requires more complex routing or reporting for Call Queues (e.g. skills-based routing, total time treatments), and such Call Queues have PSTN numbers or configured as an option in Ooma Virtual Receptionist, such call flows should be configured in Ooma.
3) If calls to call queues arrive from internal Microsoft Teams users, other call queues or Auto-Attendant configured in Microsoft Teams, configuring such call queues in Microsoft Teams would be a better fit as it will his allows for all internal calls to stay inside Microsoft Teams, without using the limited voice channels between Microsoft Teams and Ooma.
When the call is sent to a Microsoft Teams Call Queue, it is treated by Ooma as answered. regardless whether the agent actually answered the call or not.
Caller ID Name and Number
For inbound calls, Ooma passes CallerID name and number to Microsoft Teams.
If the caller ID number matches a Teams contact, then the contact name is shown. Otherwise only the number is shown. The Caller’s name is currently blocked by the Microsoft Teams.
For outbound calls, callerID Name and Number assigned to the user in Microsoft Teams portal is passed to the remote party.
MS Teams integration only supports 1 DID per user.
Microsoft Teams Internal calls among Microsoft Teams users do not touch Ooma infrastructure. For that reason, it makes sense to enable voicemail in Microsoft Teams so that both external PSTN calls and internal Microsoft Teams calls are captured in voicemail.
Core Telephony features
Because Microsoft Teams provides an all-in-one communication and collaboration user interface, traditional PBX features, such as call forward, call park and pickup, call flip, push to talk (intercom), boss-secretary (delegated admin), voicemail transcriptions, are easier accessed via Microsoft Teams user interface. For this reason, and also because Ooma does not touch any internal Microsoft Teams calls, such features should be configured in Microsoft Teams.
Devices / IP Phones
It is recommended to use Desktop phones with Microsoft Teams as one of the user's Microsoft Teams end points. If devices were registered with Ooma, outbound calls from such devices would not appear in Microsoft Teams call logs, and neither incoming calls from other Microsoft Teams users would appear on the Ooma-registered device if dialed by user name.
Microsoft Teams supports a wide range of end-user applications, as well as IP Phones. The list of currently support devices can be found here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/across-devices/devices/
Microsoft Teams currently supports ad-hoc call recording only.
Specialized extensions and non-Team users
If you need any non-Teams phones or other devices, such as common area phones, door buzzers, analog extensions, or specialized SIP devices, Ooma provides a great solution. These extensions will be configured on the Ooma platform and can be reached using an assigned PSTN phone number.
Microsoft Teams user interface includes a number of collaboration features, such as chat (instant messaging), video conferencing, file share, calendar integration. While Ooma also provides many of the same collaboration capabilities, users benefit from having access to these applications using a single user interface. With Direct Routing, Ooma complements Microsoft Teams by adding PSTN connectivity to its video conferencing solution. <Link to assigning a number of a conference bridge>.
Microsoft Teams Video Conferences
Many users enjoy the simple and intuitive way to schedule and start video conference in Microsoft Teams. Unfortunately, at this point Microsoft does not support assignment of Direct Routing numbers to their video conference bridges (with the exception of specialized Government-only Office 365 licenses).
Microsoft Teams is only promising 99.9% reliability vs. the traditional 99.99% reliability that Ooma provides.
Ooma, with its crystal clear voice quality and connectivity to Tier 1 Global Carrier Services, complements Microsoft Teams by adding PSTN access and advanced call flow features, making it a great communications and collaboration platform for any business.
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