Intelligent Solutions

Free Teams Comes to Hosted

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

7th June 2024

By Simon Woodhead

Following the launch of Operator Connect on Carrier Services, we’re excited to announce it is coming to Hosted/Sipcentric in early Q3. As a number of you are asking us for details and going through tendering processes, we wanted to share with you how it would look and where we’d be pitching pricing.

Firstly, Teams will be available on every business seat on the platform. It’ll be an ‘add-on’, a new capability for additional licensed features attached to a customer or a seat. Any existing UCaaS seat will have Teams as an add-able option which means something really exciting and very Simwood – you can run SIP and Teams in parallel. Any seat on the platform can simultaneously deliver SIP service and have its number attached to Teams, which means your users can use their personal preferred flavour of hard and soft phones, their colleagues can reach them in the car on Teams using their internal extension etc. etc. This also means that as you [some of us would say] inevitably migrate your estate away from SIP to Teams, that is something you can do user by user and simply by disconnecting any SIP phones. Other features of the platform such as call recording, analytics and call bundles also work as now for calls to and from users on Teams (except those which never leave Teams of course). We’re pretty confident that this is the best end-user experience and easiest journey for Partners and end-users in the market.

Other operators who have had Teams a lot longer than us, have settled on a model that looks a lot like the seat-based one – a monthly subscription with a bundle of minutes. However, it is a separate subscription and a separate bundle to the seat you’re probably already paying for on UCaaS, just lacking all of the other platform features and using different numbering. Assuming they’re similarly priced, that doubles the cost and eventual migration (and cutting your cost back in half) also becomes a bit of a nightmare all round. We don’t like that approach, because we start in a very different place and the world is heading to a very different place. So what are we doing differently?

Teams is just an add-on to a seat you’re already paying for. It consumes the bundles attached to that, and gets full use of relevant platform features. That add-on is chargeable but in most instances will be priced at zero. Yes, so you can offer Teams to your base at no cost from Simwood! Our decision to fund this migration is quite deliberate: we want your volume over the next few years as Teams really starts to dominate, rather than locking in a short-term doubling of revenue, and a windfall when you have a fork-lift upgrade; we don’t do short-term, that’s for dinosaurs who have to give shareholders their 8% growth!

“Ah, ‘most instances’, where’s the catch?” I hear Ben cry. That’s pretty simple to answer. Some of you, especially those on Hybrid, have a different pricing model where your Hosted seats are a lot cheaper than normal or on a sliding volume scale. Teams has a cost of delivery which in some of those cases is going to be above your seat price. We reckon on Hosted that level comes at about £3.50. So for those customers who have a seat price below this, we’d simply charge the delta for the Teams add-on. So put another way, whatever you pay for your seats with Teams added they’ll cost at least £3.50. And for those of you thinking “I want to pay below £3.50 for UC seats too”, we pride ourselves on our fairness; lower pricing comes with massive seat volume commitments or, on Hybrid for example, customers are paying us through Carrier Services for the calls rather than consuming bundles. That spectrum of options, and resulting pricing is available to all, just ask.

So, Teams as a feature add-on to any UCaaS seat, enabling parallel usage, extended features on calls to/from Teams and easy migration when you eventually go all-Teams. A massive premium to any other offer in the market-place, in most cases at no extra cost. Pay double for less, and pay again to migrate, or hop on over to Simwood. Give us a call.

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