Katy ratican headshot b w april 2021
Written by
Katy Ratican
20 Jul 2022
5 minutes

Teams phone system: What is it and how your business can use it

Thinking about choosing the Microsoft Teams phone system for your business?
Teams phone system

In the post-pandemic world, if you’re thinking of getting a new business phone system, you will come across the Teams phone system from Microsoft. It’s another example of businesses considering cloud-based solutions that are more suited for remote and hybrid work.

What is the Teams phone system?

The Teams phone system from Microsoft gives businesses the features of a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) in the Microsoft 365 cloud. If your business has a PBX system, you can replace it with the Teams phone system.

With Microsoft Phone System, your team members can make internal calls without having to go to the PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network. Why is this internal network important? If your office has several branches, including some outside the country you reside in, you can save a significant amount of money on long-distance calls.

If you want to make external calls, Microsoft Phone System has add-on options that will connect you to the PSTN.

Is Microsoft 365 Phone System the same as the Teams phone?

If you search online for the Teams phone system, you might find several other names. Phone System is what Microsoft calls its Teams PSTN services. Some other names include:

  • Microsoft 365 Phone System

  • Teams Calling

  • Office 365 Phone System

  • Microsoft Teams Phone System direct routing

  • Teams phone

How does the Teams phone system work?

Traditional phone systems were primarily built for connecting callers. The world over, now there’s a move toward unified communication systems like the Teams phone system that are hosted in the cloud. These give businesses all the features of a PBX at lower costs.

The Teams phone system works with Teams clients and certified devices. With a set of features from Microsoft 365 or Office 365, now you can replace your current PBX system.

And like all cloud-based services, there’s little need to buy additional hardware. You can use your smartphones or laptops to make and receive calls. There are also IP (Internet Protocol) phones that are compatible with Teams and Skype for Business Online.

Teams phone system: Key features for business use

Here are the key features to know about if you’re considering getting the Teams phone system:

Device-neutral access. You can use any connected device including a smartphone, tablet or laptop to use the Teams phone system and its tools. Remote teams will benefit immensely from this.

Easy to operate. With a simple touch, you can answer calls. To make calls, users have to either dial the number or click on the contact’s name in the address book.

Centralised monitoring. You can track usage and get detailed reports from a unified platform.

Smart voicemail. Team members can personalise their language, voicemail greetings and call answering rules.

Cloud auto-attendants. You can direct callers to the concerned individual or department. Businesses can also customise auto-attendants for office hours, holidays and after-hours.

Flexible transfer of calls. Users have the flexibility to transfer, park or forward calls.

The Teams phone system also comes with tools that can help medium and large enterprises optimise their communication:

  • Delegation support for users to take calls on behalf of others

  • Ability to reject calls with a busy signal

  • Customised ring tones

  • Caller ID that shows photo ID and job designation

  • Breakthrough to let important calls ring

  • Call escalation to make a one-on-one call go to a group call

  • Device switching during calls


There are several ways to get the Teams phone system for business. You could get any of the Microsoft Office 365 Business plans for the following prices:

  • Basic: £3.80 per user per month

  • Standard: £9.40 per user per month

  • Premium: £15.10 per user per month

  • Voice Licence: £7.50 per user per month

What size business is best suited to the Teams phone system?

Microsoft Phone System is the right option for you if you:

  • Already use other products from the Microsoft 365 Business ecosystem.

  • Are a medium or large enterprise that uses Microsoft Teams.

  • Are a global enterprise or one with multiple locations in the country.

But the high cost of running the system and its complexity forces small businesses to look at alternatives to Teams and others like Mitel.

Chalkboard: A more affordable business phone system than Teams

If you’re a small business or a startup, here’s a business phone tailor-made for you and rated among the best second number apps. Chalkboard gives you all the benefits of a unified communications system and much more at affordable rates.

Easy to use. Download the app and you can get started in minutes.

A second line for work. You get an additional number that you can use for business-related calls and messages.

Standalone product. You don’t have to get any other product from Chalkboard. The app is all you need.

Easy to share. Just like Teams, your employees can share their numbers, which will improve your customer or client engagement.

Enhanced conversations. Chalkboard gives you advanced messaging features that allow you to talk to your customers like friends.

Auto-reply. Too busy to take a call? The app will send a pre-written auto-reply message.

Download Chalkboard and try it now. What you get is a virtual number and a messaging app and a marketing machine at an affordable rate.

Add team numbers to any phone
Keep work separate, personal numbers private, and share calls and texts with your team 🚀
Wedding Shop

Continue reading

Help & advice
5 minutes

Looking for alternatives to the Mitel phone system? We've picked a selection based on the unique needs of small businesses

Help & advice
5 minutes

Here are the best alternatives to the Avaya phone system that small businesses should know about