Can I send SMS using Microsoft Teams?
Updated: Jan 19
After the COVID pandemic pushed us from our offices to our homes, we have become closer to Microsoft Teams than ever! And the companies, too, are striving to provide a single seamless communication platform to all their digital users and external stakeholders.
This prerequisite creates a necessity to send and receive text messages using Microsoft Teams! Microsoft Teams Texting is a feature where we can send and receive regular messages or SMS using Microsoft Teams numbers. Let us look more into MS Teams texting in this blog...
What is Microsoft Teams?
Before getting into details of MS Teams texting, let us first know what MS Teams is, though most of us are aware of it already!
Microsoft Teams is a unified communication tool developed especially for a business communication platform. It has been a one-stop solution for all types of communication, such as texting, calling, video conferencing, etc.
Presently, it is replacing other communication platforms such as Skype and Microsoft Classroom. It is interesting to note that the Teams daily active users have increased from 13 million in 2019 to 145 million in 2021. This increase is about 10.15 times or 1015% in two years.
Thus, we can see how Microsoft Teams has been increasingly gaining popularity in recent years as a business communication platform.
How is SMS different from MS Teams chat?
MS Teams chat:
MS Teams chat, like any other instant messaging service, sends text messages over internet protocols. Despite several advantages, Microsoft Teams is more like a walled garden since it requires both the sender and receiver to have the Teams application on their phones or PC!
Additionally, it requires an internet connection to send and receive messages.
SMS or Short Messaging Service works on an entirely different communication channel, i.e., using cellular towers.
SMS is sent and received in control channels through cellular towers. Here, SMSC or SMS Centre is a controlling center used to temporarily store, receive, and send messages.
So, SMS requires only a mobile carrier signal and GSM to communicate without using any applications.
Thus, we could find how the same messaging services work on entirely different communication channels and cannot be directly integrated!
Is it possible to send SMS using MS Teams?
We all know that Microsoft Teams was designed specifically for internal team communication. Therefore, we use MS Teams to chat with teammates, collaborate and share documents, join voice calls, have video meetings, and whatnot.
But as there was a demand for customers to communicate with the businesses through SMS, the organizations thought about using MS Teams for business texting as well. The reason for this is that then anyone on the staff can easily collaborate with customer queries through the Microsoft Teams application itself.
Now comes the big question. Is it really possible to send SMS through MS Teams?
The answer is YES. Even though Microsoft Teams doesn't have a built-in texting solution, third-party tools like Falkon SMS allow your staff to communicate with your customers via SMS, even if the recipients do not have the Teams app installed.
Want to start sending texts from Microsoft Teams? Get started with MS Teams texting by scheduling a demo with the Falkon team.
Why should you text-enable your MS Teams?
Though MS teams are preferred for business communications, it is yet to gain popularity as a personal communication platform. So, you cannot expect everyone to have MS Teams on their phone or PC!
Let us take, for example, the organization ABC in retail trade uses MS teams as a messaging application. It sends groceries to its routine customer Linda and wants to notify Linda of its delivery. Calling the customer would take more time and cost, and thus it decides to send messages to their number.
But it is not compulsory that Linda needs to have a Teams number to receive notifications, or else ABC needs to get a new text-enabled phone. So why can’t ABC use an SMS-Enabled MS Teams number rather than other cumbersome procedures?
Here are some more reasons for getting your MS Teams number text-enabled:
Enhance productivity by allowing users to quickly and easily send and receive messages.
Improve customer service by making it easier and faster to communicate with clients.
Streamline communication among teams and departments.
Increase security by allowing users to securely send and receive messages.
Boost team morale by allowing users to stay connected while away from their desks.
How do you enable SMS in Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft does not provide any additional or built-in features to enable SMS in the MS Teams application. So, SMS cannot be directly integrated with Microsoft Teams.
However, this feature can be added by initially porting the Teams number through a direct routing technique. This process enables the MS Teams number to make and receive external phone calls.
Falkon VoIP provides this service and inherent additional benefits such as cost-effective plans, accessing all countries, and seamless service compared to Microsoft Calling plans with access to only 16 countries.
And then, the number is text-enabled to send and receive SMS. This feature addition has a dual advantage. Customers can now use MS Teams numbers for both Voice-calling the external numbers and SMS texting the numbers using this feature.