Boost Your Nonprofit with this virtual tool to replace your expensive office phone system.
If you want the basics of how Microsoft 365 Business Voice for nonprofits works, here are a few of the questions answered in the Community IT Microsoft Teams Telephony for Nonprofits Webinar.
Business Voice is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system. There are many worthy options, like Nextiva, Ring Central, Phone.com, but most cost from 20-50 dollars per month, per user. At 14 dollars per month, we usually advise our nonprofit clients to activate Microsoft 365 Business Voice, because they often are already using Microsoft Office 365 and Teams at the organization level.
MS 365 Business Voice allows your organization to add on the number of telephone users you need to the license for Office 365 you already have. And being Microsoft, the 365 Business Voice for nonprofits links easily to all other Microsoft products through the Teams interface your staff are probably already familiar with, making adoption and training easier.
If your organization has sophisticated IVR (Voice Response) systems, or you need to have integration with your CRM, or highly detailed call logging, metrics and analytics, Business Voice might not be the best fit for you.
Are you using Office 365? And are you using Teams? If you’re already on Office 365, it makes the use of Microsoft Business Voice a lot easier.
How does it differ from the normal VoIP experience? How often do you use it to make phone calls, as opposed to just using the Team’s messaging and chat?
- Adding licenses for Microsoft 365 Business Voice means you can make phone calls from the Teams app.
Have calling, chat, meetings, all in a single app that is built on top of the Microsoft Cloud. It’s really convenient to have all meeting and phone information within one platform. For organizations that are already using Teams pretty heavily, the fact that you can go in and see the Teams Dialpad option right within the Teams application means that it’s easy to connect to people and easy to learn.
- You don’t need to switch back and forth between applications. Meetings are integrated. There’s a real expediency in terms of access and management that’s included as part of the Teams platform in general and you’re able to call from anywhere from any device, and have your work calls forwarded to any device.
What about licensing and pricing?
- The nonprofit pricing is $14 per user, per month, up to 300 users, including taxes and fees.
There’s a free 30 day trial.
- If you want to evaluate it, log into your Office 365, search and add the Microsoft Business Voice user trial, and it will work for 30 days, so you can test it out.
Can you still get phone calls and services if the internet goes down?
- Yes. You can have it ring your cell phone or implement other call routing rules.
How secure is it?
- It’s tied into your Office 365 account which you should have set up with a strong password and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA).
Will we need all new phone numbers?
- No. Porting phone numbers is a procedure that is an industry standard. There’s a couple steps that you have to go through – you will need to work with your existing VoIP provider or business phone provider. Plan for about 3-4 weeks to migrate from your carrier.
Is there caller ID?
Can it block spam calls?
Can I still have a desktop phone?
- Yes, but it may get pricey. Here are compatible phones https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/devices/teams-ip-phones
Does Business Voice handle auto-attendant and call tree processing?
- It does. You can learn about programming it here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/business-voice/create-a-phone-system-auto-attendant-smb?tabs=phone-number
You can also install the Teams app on your cell phone. Any calls you make with the app are totally separate from your personal number and information, and will show as your business phone number to recipients of your calls.
One thing we’ve been really impressed with this solution is the way in which you can just roll out phone numbers very quickly. It’s so easy to get new staff set up with a phone number, right away without having to make any changes to your existing phone system.
What we found with telephony is that every organization has a unique set of requirements when it comes to telephony. And we’ve done our best to provide general answers, but we’d be more than happy to spend some time talking with you to discover whether Microsoft Business Voice may be a good solution. It may not, there are cases where more traditional telephony solutions might still be more effective. But we’re entering a new era of the office-less office, and you now have other options. It’s really important to be aware of and evaluate those options relative to your business requirements as you return to an in-person office, continue to work remotely, or support a hybrid workforce.
Need other remote working solutions?
At Community IT, we know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for remote support that works. We accurately assess, implement, and manage tech solutions for nonprofit organizations so that you can spend your time building your remote team, not worrying about the technology to support them.
We created this roundup of remote work tips and resources to assist our community.
And we always consider cybersecurity concerns front and foremost as we help our clients and community work successfully from home.
Ready to support your staff working from home, hybrid, or in-person?
At Community IT Innovators, we’ve found that many nonprofit organizations have already made moves to not just allow remote work but to embrace remote or hybrid office workers and develop a supportive culture.
Our techs are well-versed in supporting organizations that support remote, hybrid, or in-person team work. We constantly research and evaluate new technology solutions to ensure that you get cutting-edge solutions that are tailored to keep your organization thriving. And we ensure you get the highest value possible by bringing 25 years of expertise in exclusively serving nonprofits to bear in your environment.
If you’re ready for nonprofit IT support that supports your remote workers, whether Microsoft 365 Business Voice for nonprofits or other options, let’s talk.