Interest in unified communications technologies spiked 86% during the pandemic as companies moved fast to rearrange their business model, introducing new ways for workforces to be productive regardless of location. So began the race toward all-in-one remote collaboration platforms that could centralize communications with capabilities like virtual presence, chat, and conferencing – one of the most popular being Microsoft Teams, which experienced 450% growth in active users from March 2020 to April 2021.
However, there’s one caveat that has prevented companies from maximizing the platform’s power: PSTN Calling.
Connecting your PSTN service at a price that won’t break the bank
Companies must purchase a calling plan in order to leverage Microsoft Teams as their corporate phone system. This service offers customers a way to enable their PSTN calling needs with Teams, and while Microsoft natively offers Teams Calling Plan Options, prices can be stiff particularly for large organizations (more on this below). Also, Microsoft Teams native Calling Plans may not have as much global reach as some multinational companies need.
The cost issue comes as a result of per-seat pricing, which means licenses must be purchased for each individual user. When you purchase the Teams Calling Plan directly from Microsoft, you are buying blocks of local and long-distance calling minutes at a fixed price. PSTN access is considered an add-on to each user with a per-person, per-month pricing structure.
Metrigy Analyst Irwin Lazar recently reported that the average cost of a Microsoft Teams deployment with the Microsoft Cloud PBX voice plan is around $25 per seat. While this is fine for a small business with a handful of employees, the average large organization (say, 3,000 employees), would be looking at an investment of around $75,000 per month. Larger organizations are easily looking at millions of dollars annually.
You’ve got options: Direct routing as a cost-effective alternative
The benefits of Microsoft Teams native calling plans are undeniable, but the cost and lack of local dialing in the countries you require can be problematic. For companies most affected, there is an alternative: direct routing.