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A new phone system that Microsoft claim is “perfect for businesses” is being launched in the UK

A new phone system for businesses that brings together calling, chat, meetings, calendars and email has been launched in the UK by Microsoft.

Microsoft 365 Business Voice is designed as a complete communication and collaboration package for companies with up to 300 users. It’s cloud-based, integrates with Office 365 and uses Microsoft Teams, so Business Voice works across computers, smartphones and desk phones, allowing you to make calls from anywhere.

The service also uses Microsoft artificial intelligence technology to automatically transcribe voicemails, translate chat messages and add captions to meetings in real-time.

“Today’s businesses need communication and collaboration tools that are easy to use and designed to work together,” Microsoft revealed in a blog post. “That’s why we built Microsoft 365 Business Voice, a cloud-based phone system for businesses with up to 300 users that enables you to call any phone number. It integrates with Office 365, and together they deliver an all-in-one communication and collaboration solution. Starting today, Business Voice is available as an add-on to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans in Canada and the UK, and will be available globally in 2020.”

Other features include the ability to add a dial-in number to meetings, collaborate in Office programs such as Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint within calls and meetings, turn chats into meetings with one click, and start, schedule and join meetings straight from Outlook.

A “getting started wizard” will walk users through setting up new phone numbers, while those already using Office 365 can manage Business Voice from the same administrative console as the rest of their O365 services.

Business Voice is centred around Microsoft Teams, which is used by more than 13 million people on a daily basis. Business Voice is available in 53 languages across 181 markets, and is being used by companies such as Emirates, FedEx, Lexmark, The Adecco Group, KONE, and McCann Worldgroup.

Business Voice can be purchased directly from Microsoft, through a current IT partner or Cobweb in the UK. Additionally, these indirect providers are enabling Business Voice today for their resellers: Giacom, Ingram Micro, Tech Data Canada & UK, and Vuzion.

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2018