microsoft teams phones

Microsoft Teams Phones are the future of telephones. They offer a convenient way to connect your desk phone to your laptop and operate either as a phone from anywhere.  

Never in history has it been so easy to make a phone call to anyone. Everyone will enjoy this futuristic ability (unless they are so anti-social that they live in a cave on a mountain). 

Before we dive into this innovative technology, let’s look back at the history of the telephone. 

The Origin of the Telephone 

The telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. The telephone system technologies that Bell invented lasted about one hundred years. There were only minor refinements and changes in how it all worked.  

How Phones Evolved 

Telephone communications have changed tremendously with the invention of the computer and digital networks combined with other innovations like the Internet. These changes have been positive for both individuals and businesses.  

In the last several years, voice communication has improved. It changed from a landline, where a wire connects to a mounted telephone set, to wireless telephone handsets, wireless cellular phones, and other wireless devices. 

Suddenly, technology has set you free. You could “cut” the cord to the phone on the wall. Now, everyone is mobile with their own phone number and can communicate anywhere in the world. 

In a comparable manner, laptops and Wi-Fi have replaced static desktops with a wire to the Internet. The freedom to access the Internet wirelessly from anywhere allowed for cell phone-like capabilities called “softphones.” 

Introducing Softphones  

No, a softphone is not like your pillow. They are extremely uncomfortable if you try to sleep on them… trust me! A softphone is a piece of software that allows you to use your microphone, speakers, and camera to create a video phone experience. 

Microsoft has had several products over the years that have enabled the use of a computer to dial a telephone number and talk to someone with just voice via a headset, speaker, and microphone. This technology then improved to include the use of a built-in web camera, speaker, and microphone to do video conferencing. 

Microsoft Teams Phones 

Microsoft’s latest software product with these features is called Microsoft Teams Phones. Teams is a collaborative software that allows people to connect in virtual meetings via chat messages like a cell phone. Teams Phones expands on this functionality to include connecting to the broad, worldwide telephone system. With a Teams Phone, you can call anyone in the world and have a virtual meeting with video and presentations or just a simple voice conversation. Additionally, you can share your computer screen with others during the call.  

Teams Phones will work with existing telephone systems that many businesses have already installed. For example, a PBX (Public Exchange internal business phone system) or VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) telephone system. By combining the existing telephone system at a business with Teams Phones you can extend the telephone on your desk to your laptop and have both ring for you. You choose which to answer. Additionally, Teams Phones use all the features of modern telephones, such as Caller ID.   

Work from Home Compatibility 

Many employers have sent their workers home due to the Coronavirus and need some way to extend their telephone systems to include these home workers. Teams Phones work very well in this situation. The Teams Phone will work the same as a telephone on the employee’s desk without expensive hardware or software changes to the internal business telephone system.  

Technology has allowed for vast improvements in communication and what you can do with virtual meetings. Modern technologies, such as Teams Phones, are a cost-effective and useful addition to a business’ telecommunications. 

From the start, when Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call, to the days when teenagers would stretch out the coiled cord so far it wrapped around itself on the floor like a snake, to cellphones with caller ID… voice communication has had quite a history. If you’re interested in learning more about softphones through Microsoft Teams and how they could benefit your business, our team of experts would be happy to help.