How Telefonie 4.0 changes  SME-Business

How Telefonie 4.0 changes SME-Business

Telephony 4.0 integrates communication, collaboration and classic telephony into one integrated solution.

Our solution not only wins in a cost comparison with classic telephone systems, but also opens the door to the virtual connection of all locations at home and abroad.

See how we used Microsoft Team Integration with Twilio to create a globally scalable communications solution that keeps customers and employees happy.

Introduction

With Microsoft teams, chat, telephony and video calls are now available. However, telephony to landlines or mobile phones requires additional solutions (PSTN calling).

In the USA, Microsoft delivers Teams PSTN-Calling, an integrated telephony and conferencing solution that also allows telephony and conferencing services with fixed and mobile phones.

Unfortunately, in the regulated European market there are only country-specific solutions from local providers. Globally scalable solutions with Microsoft teams require hard work.

We wanted a central solution for our company-wide communication for all countries and locations. We need telephony, conference services, call centers, chat, video telephony and, in the best case, other channels such as WhatsApp, SMS or Kaizala.

Of course the solution must also work with Teams Mobile.

The search for ready solutions

Anyone who transforms modern communication digitally first looks for ready-made solutions with telecommunications providers. We asked the industry leaders in Switzerland, Germany, Poland and Spain for solutions.

Each provider could offer a SIP breakout in their country to connect existing telephone systems or Microsoft teams to the Internet.

The proposed solutions for connecting the countries were also consistent: booking a local SIP breakout per country and integrating the local SIP breakouts via global gateway providers.

While some TelCo providers stuck with the generic recommendation of the solution path, we were offered by Swisscom in Switzerland to take over the coordination and configuration once we had organized the local SIP breakouts in the countries.

When comparing the initial setup costs and the coverage of the desired solution space, we were disappointed. Economic and satisfactory is different.

FeatureTelCo Providers Teams-Twilio Integration
Phone numbers only in your own country x
Phone numbers from all countries x
Physical SIP breakouts per country x
Virtual SIP-Breakouts x
Messaging-Support    
Teams Chat x x
SMS x
Facebook Messenger x
WhatsApp x

Modern communication

In principle, we are planning locations in other countries. All locations will be opened according to a uniform BluePrint. That’s why only a cloud telephone system based entirely on virtual infrastructure came into question.

Furthermore, the configuration had to be possible for all locations in the cloud. This also includes the central booking, allocation and administration of phone numbers in all countries.

At first we did not intend to implement a custom solution. However, the investigation of the possibilities of a Team-Twilio integration convinced us.

Technologies

  • Twilio is the world’s leading cloud communication platform for SMS, voice, video, WhatsApp and more.
  • Microsoft Teams is your digital hub for collaboration, modern communication and teamwork available in Office 365.
  • Microsoft Azure Cloud offers virtualization of infrastructure as well as logic and business services

Solution approach

For our team Integration with Twilio we obtain the phone numbers for all required countries as well as a virtual SIP trunk. So all calls are first forwarded to the SIP trunk.

In the Microsoft Azure Cloud, we operate a virtual machine with a custom solution that handles calls to perform functions such as answering machines, voice-to-text transcription, preparation of voice quality via Voice Codex, etc.

Microsoft Teams is centrally administered in Office 365, uses the virtual SIP trunk and does not notice anything of the processes in the background.

Teams can now use all telephony and conference functions that are also available in the USA with Microsoft Office PSTN calling. Now also in the rest of the world.

Twilio-Teams Integration: Requirements and cost

The installation requires

  • a Twilio account
  • an Azure Cloud Account
  • an Azure virtual machine
  • the acquisition of telephone numbers
  • the purchase of voice codecs to optimise voice quality
  • Teams Calling licenses in Office 365
  • The logic we have developed for Team-Twilio Integration.

In addition to the pure operating costs, there are also costs for ongoing telephone calls.

To turn the project into a product still needs a lot of work. In addition to automating the setup of customer environments, the entire DevOps chain for maintenance and further development of the solution must be automated.

Global PSTN calling with teams

Before solutions are rolled out productively, they must be able to be tested automatically in staging environments.

In order to meet different customer needs, we also had to enable the creation of shared environments. As a cost-effective entry-level solution for companies with few users, this approach can completely redesign modern communication.

In addition, we are developing a sales platform that enables prospects and customers to select, book and manage their self-service environments.

In the final analysis, the rollout of a product also means marketing, sales and customer service. With our solution, we are optimally equipped for the latter.

Practice Check

With our solution, we were not only able to replace and replace a large number of solutions at our company, but we were also able to significantly simplify administration.

The service has proven itself many times over and we are working to further expand the services and simplify self-service for customers.