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Microsoft

Last November, Microsoft 365 Business Voice was launched in the UK and Canada. Starting on April 1st, Business Voice will be available in the U.S., giving small and medium businesses there a complete telephony solution built for Microsoft Teams. At that time, it will also be available in over 70 countries for businesses who use a calling plan provided by a third-party.

 

For those who missed the initial announcement, here’s a quick recap of Business Voice. It adds cloud-based telephony to Teams, for an all-in-one communication solution that brings together calling, chat, meetings, and collaboration.  You can use Business Voice to make phone calls from anywhere, on any device—including computers, smart phones, desk phones, and meeting rooms. It uses Microsoft’s trusted cloud to deliver reliable, high-quality audio with intelligent and AI-powered capabilities. You can easily manage the solution in the same admin console as the rest of your Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services.    

 

Microsoft 365 Business Voice combines essential telephony components into a single package for $20 per user, per month. It includes a phone system, audio conferencing, and domestic calling plan. Business Voice can be added onto any Office 365 or Microsoft 365 subscription that includes Teams1. There is also an option for businesses to bring their own third-party calling plan.

 

Business Voice has all the same features of Microsoft’s industry-leading Enterprise Voice solution. We then made Business Voice easy for small and medium businesses to buy, set up, and use. Let’s look at one example – the simplified setup experience for Business Voice:

 

1. Choose your company’s phone number

You can choose a local phone number, toll-free number, or use an existing number to serve as your company’s main line. The phone number you select will then be associated to your emergency address.

 

Get your company number.png

 

2. Get numbers for your employees

Next, you can select the employees you want to assign Business Voice licenses and give phone numbers to. Once your employees’ numbers are ready, they will get an email with instructions on how to start making and receiving calls right away.

 

Assign numbers.png

 

3. Add a greeting for incoming calls

Many businesses want to provide a greeting for all incoming calls to their company phone number. With Business Voice, you can choose to upload a recorded greeting, or you can write out text that will create an audio greeting.

 

Create a greeting.png

 

4. Set rules to answer calls

You can choose how your business answers incoming calls. Calls can be routed to a single person like a receptionist. Or you can create a call menu by associating a dial key with a voice command, and the caller will be forwarded to the correct employee or group of employees.

 

Set rules.png

 

That’s it, four steps, and then you can start making and receiving calls in Teams. Additional configuration can be performed in the Teams Admin center for things like multi-level auto attendants and call queues.  

 

How to get Microsoft 365 Business Voice

 

Business Voice is an add-on to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans that include Microsoft Teams1. It includes a phone system, audio conferencing, and domestic calling plan in one package for $20 per user, per month. Alternatively, you can also choose to get a calling plan from a third-party provider.

 

Both plans have been available in the UK and Canada since November. Starting on April 1st, you can purchase both Business Voice plans in the U.S. directly from Microsoft or through your current Microsoft partner. Business Voice with a third-party calling plan will also be available on April 1st in over 70 countries2 through a Microsoft partner.

 

To learn more about Microsoft 365 Business Voice visit our product page or documentation hub. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can make Business Voice even better for you in UserVoice or Microsoft Tech Community. We read every piece of feedback to make sure Business Voice meets your needs.

 

Microsoft 365 Business Voice can be added to the following plans for up to 300 users: Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium, F1, A1, E1, A3, E3; and Microsoft 365 Business, A3, E3.

2 Microsoft 365 Business Voice without calling plan will be available on April 1st in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

10 Comments
Regular Visitor

This is very exciting as we're currently exploring consolidating our phone systems. We have about 40 employees across three offices - Brighton, UK; Detroit, MI; and Orlando, FL. We are currently using 2 different calling plans, one in each country and are Office 365 Business Premium subscribers with a UK-based tenant (company HQ is in the UK). Would we be able to consolidate our phone system under one umbrella for all users and have our UK, Detroit, and Orlando phone numbers ring into one central system with this?

 

(I searched through the docs and didn't find this scenario explicitly stated for this new plan - sorry if I missed it!)

New Contributor

This is indeed great news.

 

But could you please specify this:

"At that time, it will also be available in over 70 countries for businesses who use a calling plan provided by a third-party."

 

What exactly does that mean?

Will Microsoft partners be able to provide a license combination like this though CSP (in the 70+ countries outside the US):

Microsoft 365 Business + Business Voice + Domestic Calling Plan?

Or does this mean it's basically only possible to use M365 + Business Voice with direct routing from April 1st in those 70+ countries?

 

Hope to get some clarification here!

Occasional Visitor

Is this still on track for April 1st?  I can imagine that this would be very popular with the recent push to work from home.

Microsoft

Hi @Andy Robinson, yes you can bring all of your users across UK and US under a single phone single with Business Voice. You can also have all the phone numbers ring into a single system. You can configure this in two ways depending on if you want the US employees to route within UK or US office hours. For UK office hours, you can have a single auto attendant with US numbers pointing to it. For US office hours, you can create two separate auto attendants one for US hours and one for UK hours.

Microsoft

@mk_ger Microsoft Partners can sell Business Voice (without a calling plan) in over 70 countries utilizing direct routing to attach a calling plan from a third party. In the US, UK, and Canada, Microsoft Partners can sell both Business Voice (without a calling plan) and Business Voice (with calling plan).

Microsoft

@JimProLink as of April 1st, 2020, Microsoft 365 Business Voice is available in the US and in over 70 countries. Business Voice has helped many small and medium businesses keep their businesses running while working from home. 

Microsoft

Do we have any timing for when Business Voice WITH Calling plan will be available outside US/UK/Canada?

I mean in the countries that already have Calling plans like: France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands etc

Microsoft

Hi @Teodora Badiu, thank you for the question. We plan on making Business Voice with calling plan available in all of our calling plan markets like France, Germany, Ireland, Nethelrands, etc. We do not have a timetable for availability however. For now, businesses in those areas can get the same great user experience in Microsoft Teams with Business Voice without calling plan.

Microsoft

thank you for your reply, @Jimmy Ward , looking forward for that new announcement :)

New Contributor

@Teodora Badiu - We can offer bespoke service for cloud calling and calling plans via our  OPTO4Teams solution. Our full UC stack footprint spans 38+ countries with 2-way voice coverage at 70+countries.

 

Drop us an email on info@scb-global.com for more details and check out my recent video interview with UC Today here

 

Regards,

Shams