Who to Work with in Migrating from Avaya PBX to Teams

Your organization already uses Microsoft Teams. But you also maintain an Avaya enterprise PBX for many of your voice needs. The natural question, the question most enterprises of your size have been asking (or in many cases have already answered and implemented) is, “When can we replace the expensive functionality of our Avaya phone system with Teams Phone?”.

So, your team starts thinking it through. And, right off the bat, you ask yourself some very difficult to answer questions.

Questions to ask before migrating to Microsoft Teams

  • What exactly does our Avaya do for us now?  Our licensing is for several hundred users, but how many of those are in use? Can Teams handle all the complex call routing we have set up over the years?  Can Teams Phone handle our call center? How about the paging system and analog devices in the warehouse, those fax machines we still use, and E911?
  • Are we already paying for a Teams Phone license?
  • Will Microsoft be our ISP/telecom carrier going forward? We already have in place multiple carrier contracts. It would be nice to avoid double paying!
  • Should we do this migration to Teams all at once or in phases?
  • What about Microsoft Direct Routing, the service that allows you to connect your Avaya Phone System and/or your existing carriers to Teams?

Your internal technology team is already overwhelmed with projects and day-to-day responsibilities, so you need to ask for help.

Advantages of Using Teams over Avaya

  1. Integrated Collaboration Tools: A Microsoft Teams Phone solution offers seamless integration with the broader Microsoft Teams platform, combining voice calling with chat, video conferencing, and file sharing. This integration enhances overall collaboration, making it easier for users to communicate and collaborate within a single unified platform.
  2. Cost Savings: Transitioning from an Avaya PBX to Microsoft Teams Phone can result in cost savings. By consolidating communication and collaboration tools into a single platform, organizations may reduce expenses associated with maintaining separate systems. Additionally, Teams Phone can help you lowering traditional telephony costs associated with SIP Trunks and legacy phone company PRIs and POTS lines.
  3. Scalability and Flexibility: Microsoft Teams Phone calling solution is highly scalable, allowing organizations to easily add or remove users as needed. This scalability ensures that the communication infrastructure can adapt to the changing needs of the business. It also provides flexibility in terms of remote work, enabling employees to make and receive calls from virtually anywhere.
  4. Enhanced Productivity: The integrated nature of Microsoft Teams fosters improved productivity. Users can transition seamlessly between different communication modes, such as chat, voice, and video, within the same application. This reduces the need to switch between multiple tools, streamlining workflows and ultimately boosting overall productivity.
  5. Unified Management and Administration: Organizations benefit from a unified management and administration interface through Microsoft Active Directory when using Microsoft Teams Phone. This simplifies the task of IT administrators, who can manage both collaboration and voice communication aspects from a centralized console.

How to Migrate from Avaya to Teams:

Our 5 step process ensures that migrations from Avaya’s on-premise systems to a Teams Phone System in the Microsoft Cloud are frictionless and achieve our customer’s goals. 

  1. Assessment – We analyze your existing Avaya telecom infrastructure to understand how you are, or many cases are not using your Avaya phone system today and we work with a diverse group of end-users from your organization to understand the requirements for a Teams Phone solution that meets your needs from day one.
  2. Technical Design – Our design engineers consider existing Avaya infrastructure and future goals to design a Teams Phone system that empowers communication and collaboration for our customers and is as cost efficient as possible
  3. Implementation Planning – After we work with you to design your Teams Phone system, our project managers and engineers work to craft an implementation and migration plan that is as frictionless as possible for your end-users. Our plans often include integrating your Avaya and Teams Phone systems via a Teams Direct Routing trunk.
  4. Cutover – Our process that beings with a careful assessment phase and thoughtful technical design and planning helps ensure that your migration from Avaya to Teams Phone is successful 
  5. Support and Managed Services – Many of our customers choose to have Morgan Birge take care of the management of their Teams Phone system by implementing a Teams Phone Managed Services solution. In many cases we also provide our customers with Managed Services for their Avaya system too, providing complete support for their entire communications infrastructure

That leads you to the next very difficult to answer question:  Who should we go to for help?

Four types of partners/solution providers to consider when Migrating to Teams:

  • Microsoft Partners.  Knowledgeable about Microsoft offerings and how to navigate the massive ecosystem. But do they bring an understanding of Avaya, will they be patient enough to offer a gradual plan that could last years? Will they give a fair shake to third party solution providers that could enhance your plan?
  • ISPs and Telecom Carriers. Carriers have started providing Teams Phone solutions. And why not? They would be a key element in your plan going forward (unless you go with a 100% Microsoft solution). Big question: Will they have the bandwidth, knowhow and flexibility to help you plan and execute a long-term solution?
  • Session Border Controller (SBC) Manufacturers. SBCs are a key technology in designing solutions using Microsoft Direct Connect and can be located on premise or in Azure/AWS. The manufacturers are happy to design a solution for your migration. One downside: they will naturally eschew evaluation of other SBC providers. And will they take care of your PBX while you migrate? Will they patiently adapt as your difficult migration unfolds?
  • Avaya Telecom Providers. Well versed in caring for and evaluating the functionality of your Avaya, experts in carrier relationships, experienced in providing third party solutions for call centers, E911, etc., Telecom Providers are positioned to plan and execute a well-rounded plan.

Morgan Birge and Associates is an Avaya Telecom Provider bucket that can help with Avaya to Teams Migration

  • We are independent of Avaya, keeping us open to limitless choices in designing your solution.
  • We specialize in flexibility. Migrating enterprise voice is difficult to predict. Don’t worry, we will adjust easily if your plan changes.
  • We believe in assessments. Let us help you understand what your team needs to succeed and plan accordingly – instead of rushing to duplicate your PBX functions in Teams.
About the author
Simon Welling is the Managing Partner of Morgan Birge and Associates. With a dynamic career trajectory that began with overseeing critical operations and service delivery at Morgan Birge. Possessing an innate knack for bridging technical intricacies with business strategy, Simon’s leadership has focused on the customer and delivering excellence in managed service solutions. His journey from managing technical operations to the helm of the company epitomizes his commitment to driving success through a deep-rooted understanding of the industry’s nuances and his desire to solve complex telecommunications problems for his customers.
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