MS Teams Phone System Scalability

Occasional Contributor

I have additional questions to help evaluate Teams' ability to replace handsets in our organization. While Teams use offers some capabilities on-premise telephone systems struggle to or cannot replicate, the lack of feature parity could complicate it's widespread use throughout an organization with complex call handling needs without some other means (an on-premise system) making up for its shortcomings. Teams is definitely here to stay as an excellent collaboration tool and it's ability to make and receive voice and video calls is quite useful. Whether or not to recommend replacing all PBX/communications servers or at least replacing the handsets on desks is taking it to a level I'm trying to evaluate.


My questions to the community, do you feel Teams can meet any organization's needs as a PBX replacement or do you have a limit in terms of size or complexity that would make you hesitate?


What do you consider the show-stoppers that MS Teams just cannot overcome as a phone system?


What size organizations (in terms of user count) have you successfully deployed or currently support MS Teams as a primary phone system?


Thank you in advance,

1 Reply
best response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)
Hi @Mark_TV

Personally I 100% believe it can be a PBX replacement and know many organisations who have deployed it and now use it as their primary phone system

Phone system has come a long way in the last few years to make up shortfalls of functionality and is in a better state than at any point. This includes the introduction of auto-attendants, call queues, simultaneous ring, secondary ringer, busy on busy. It has the ability to call hold, call park, transfer, set up call groups, it supports caller ID policies and voicemail. It supports service numbers, toll and toll free numbers. Recently it introduced safe transfer to fall back to the transferrer, the ability to forward a call from a queue to the PSTN and the ability to record 1:1 calls

These aren't showstoppers but two areas where you will need to look for third party solutions currently are compliant call recording (as in record all calls without user action) and contact centres if you decide to use them

But to remember you can either move and all in with phone system and calling plans, or you can set it up for Direct Routing where you can make it work with your existing phone system and use session border controllers. More information on that is here

You can also do a hybrid where you have some users on phone system and calling plans and some configured for direct routing. You can have the best of both worlds if you want it

I have seen many size organisations use Teams with voice, from 10 - 15 user organisations to organisations with many thousands. The best recommendation I can give is to test drive and proof of concept it with some users in your organisation who have straightforward requirements and get feedback compared to the old system

Hope that answers your question

Best. Chris