- For Microsoft Teams users, RingCentral Cloud PBX adds a multiple-award-winning telephony solution natively via direct routing into your existing Teams environment.
- RingCentral for Microsoft Teams also serves as a valuable business continuity solution, providing immediate communications backup if Microsoft Teams suffers an outage.
- As the lockdowns took effect, banking software maker Abrigo added RingCentral Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams—and enjoyed an entirely seamless transition to remote work.
How to build a unified communications environment while keeping Microsoft Teams at the center of the experience
In our recent webinar—Navigating Direct Routing Options for Microsoft Teams—RingCentral Vice President of Solutions Engineering Amir Hameed summed up a key reality of the new hybrid work environment: “Work is not where I am. It’s what I do.”
As Amir pointed out, for millions of organizations around the world, Microsoft Teams became the go-to digital platform for internal chats, file sharing, and meetings as their employees suddenly became remote workers. For many of these businesses, this was a default decision not based on the superiority of Teams itself but because Microsoft included the collaboration platform for free with its Microsoft 365 licenses. It was a quick, easy choice in a time of need.
But as Amir also noted, although businesses selected Teams for easy collaboration, the app’s telephony capabilities are limited to the basics. That’s why so many Teams customers are now turning to direct routing solutions like RingCentral Cloud PBX for Teams for enterprise-grade business phone capabilities.
With the future of work likely becoming hybrid, businesses need to find a cloud telephony platform that can keep their staff connected and productive no matter where they work, and no matter what type of device they have.
For Microsoft Teams customers that don’t want to add another app to their employees’ workflows, that solution is RingCentral Cloud PBX for Teams—which enables full-featured business phone service within Teams.
As Amir discussed during the webinar, the most popular option with Microsoft Teams customers who require telephony by far—more than 85%, in fact—is the direct routing solution.
In explaining their preference for direct routing over Microsoft’s own calling plans, customers cited several factors—including reliability, global availability, cost, integrations, and feature capabilities.
Embedding RingCentral with Teams improves productivity: a real-world example
To demonstrate what these benefits look like in practice, Amir spoke with Jeff Penn, IT Services Team Lead for Abrigo, a digital banking company that added RingCentral Cloud PBX to its Microsoft Teams environment when the 2020 lockdowns went into effect.
The company: Abrigo
Abrigo enables U.S. financial institutions to support their communities through technology that fights financial crime, grows loans and deposits, and optimizes risk. Abrigo’s platform centralizes the institution’s data, creates a digital user experience, ensures compliance, and delivers efficiency for scale and profitable growth.
The challenge: Multiple phone systems made it difficult to stay connected during COVID
As Jeff pointed out, Abrigo has grown tremendously in recent years, both organically and through several mergers—which led to several disjointed phone systems and no unified, companywide telephony environment.
“We were already using Microsoft Teams for internal chats and meetings,” Jeff said. From that perspective, he noted, the company was able to transition relatively smoothly to remote work as the lockdowns began in March 2020.
But as Jeff pointed out, they didn’t have nearly as smooth a transition from a telephony standpoint, because many employees had no way of making or receiving business calls without their office desk phones. “We needed to find a single, cloud-based platform, and RingCentral really stood out for us.”
The solution: RingCentral Cloud PBX for Teams
“The integration went really well,” Jeff said. “RingCentral provided us a [Professional Services] team that helped us through the whole process of getting everything switched over.”
“Having that telephony integration into Teams made it very easy for our user base. They’re so familiar with the Teams environment, and then RingCentral gets added to that environment and our change in workflow is close to zero. No need to learn a new app, no need to jump out of Teams to make or take a call.”
The results: Smoother remote operations, enhanced business continuity, and an easier path to growth
As Jeff explained, having the full-featured RingCentral phone solution embedded into their Teams platform is enabling Abrigo’s 500 remote employees to function just as productively and remain just as accessible to customers as if they were still in the office.
Also, he notes, RingCentral’s extraordinary levels of 99.999% guaranteed uptime is helping the company from both an operational and regulatory standpoint. “For us, being in the financial sector, uptime is huge. We can’t have any kind of delays.”
“When Teams goes down, we’re able to switch really quickly to pull up RingCentral. You can open it up in a web browser, on your laptop, or even on the [mobile] app. It’s so easy to switch over, so there’s little to no downtime. That solved a big challenge for us: What would we do if something happened, and our communications went down?”
Finally, Jeff pointed out, Abrigo is still growing rapidly, and having RingCentral as its cloud phone solution embedded into Teams is going to make that growth easier from an operational standpoint. “It’s going to be easy to add new users, with very little training, because we have RingCentral.”