Pro’s and Con’s: Microsoft 365 Teams Calling vs. 3CX VoIP

Microsoft Teams Calling vs. 3CX
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The Push to Digital Telecoms

The deadline announced by the UK telecoms industry to retire its analogue telephone networks by the end of 2025 is fast approaching. This switch-off will affect all analogue services such as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PTSN) meaning any business relying on these services will need to evaluate their telephony solution soon. Some small to medium-sized (SME) businesses have already made the shift to a VoIP solution, however, many have yet to make the jump into digital.


What complicates the decision to move to a digital telephony solution is the wide range of options on the market, the need for integration into current on-premises or cloud solutions and the desire to simplify both billing and end-user experiences.


With these motivations in mind, Microsoft 365 Teams Calling and 3CX stand out as robust contenders, each offering unique features and benefits. Choosing which solution is right you’re your business requires a careful consideration of each business’s specific needs and priorities. In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of Microsoft 365 Teams Calling and 3CX, emphasising the importance of aligning the chosen solution with the distinct requirements of your organisation.


Microsoft 365 Teams Calling:



Unified Communication Hub: Teams serve as a central hub for chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and calling, streamlining communication, and enhancing productivity.


Simplified Operations: Reducing the number of platforms, vendors and invoices needed to be processed can streamline your business operations considerably.


Scalability: Suited for businesses of all sizes, Teams Calling provides scalability, accommodating the growth and changing needs of an organisation, however this will require additional licences.


Security Features: Microsoft places a strong emphasis on security, ensuring that Teams Calling adheres to industry standards, with features like end-to-end encryption and multi-factor authentication.


Familiar Platform: For those already used to Microsoft Teams, adding in the calling element will be easy to pick up.




Learning Curve: Transitioning to Teams Calling may require some training for users unfamiliar with the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, potentially leading to a short-term decrease in productivity.


Limited Customisation: While Teams offers a variety of features, some businesses may find the platform’s customization options limited compared to specialized solutions like 3CX VoIP.


Push to Cloud: To leverage the benefits of Teams Calling, businesses must embrace a full cloud environment including utilisation of SharePoint and OneDrive for their file storage.


Single Point of Failure: Putting all your eggs into one basket simplifies processes, but when things don’t go to plan this can then cause it to become a single point of failure and therefore a risk to your business.


Vendor Lock-In: Whilst it is easy to scale Microsoft Teams Calling Licenses up, under the new New Commerce Experience, Microsoft limits the ability to reduce licences outside of the licence anniversary. Monthly terms are available but are priced at a premium.


3CX VoIP Solution:



Rich Feature Set: 3CX VoIP boasts an extensive feature set, including advanced call routing, interactive voice response (IVR), call recording, and CRM integration, making it suitable for businesses with specific telephony requirements.


Cost-Effective: 3CX often proves to be a cost-effective solution, especially for small to medium-sized enterprises, with transparent pricing and flexible licensing options.


Open Standards Compatibility: 3CX supports open standards, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of IP phones, SIP trunks, and other hardware, providing flexibility in choosing devices.


Customisation and Control: Businesses seeking a high level of customisation and control over their telephony infrastructure may find 3CX VoIP more accommodating, allowing tailored solutions to meet unique requirements.




Integration Challenges: While 3CX offers integration options, it may not seamlessly integrate with other business applications, requiring additional effort to establish a cohesive environment.


Learning Curve: Transitioning to 3CX may require some training for users, potentially leading to a short-term decrease in productivity.


Vendor Management: If the motivation is to reduce the number of vendors and invoices, then having a separate VoIP solution like 3CX will not resolve this. However, a solution to this would be Xiria’s Ultimate IT Package which includes all the software licences needed for everyday productivity including 3CX and Microsoft E3.


Duplication in Features: Whilst most use 3CX for its rich calling feature set, it also can do video calling and messaging which is often not utilised in favour of using Microsoft Teams for meetings.


Deployment & Management Complexities: The increased flexibility and feature set comes with a cost. Deployment and management of the platform is more complex for admins who may need to learn a large product in order to adequately manage the platform.


Considerations for Moving to Digital Telecoms:


Regardless of which solution is best for your business needs there are several things to consider as part of your migration project.


Dependency on Internet Stability: The quality of service for all VoIP solutions is impacted by internet stability. Organisations in areas with unreliable internet connectivity may face challenges with call quality and therefore may need to invest in a robust broadband solution alongside their migration to digital telephony.


Physical Phone Infrastructure: All VoIP solutions have a list of physical phones that they are compatible with. Don’t take for granted that any existing phones will be able to be used if moving to a digital solution. However, consider carefully if a physical phone is needed. Most VoIP solutions offer a desktop and mobile application which is becoming the preference for many companies.


End-User Device Compatibility: As new generations of computers are released, older generations become unsupported by the manufacturer and its operating system. This means that they fail to receive essential security updates needed to protect against attacks. VoIP solutions tend to follow these manufacturer support timelines, and therefore may not be compatible with all your business’s end-user kit. For example, Microsoft Office 2010 will become unsupported by Microsoft in March 2025. It is likely that any VoIP solution running on Windows 10 after this date will no longer be supported by the provider.



The impending shutdown of PSTN by the end of 2025 in the UK necessitates a thoughtful evaluation of telephony solutions for SMEs. Both Microsoft 365 Teams Calling and 3CX VoIP present viable options, each with its set of pros and cons. SMEs should assess their specific requirements, existing infrastructure, and budget constraints to make an informed decision that not only addresses the immediate need for PSTN replacement; but also sets the foundation for a modern and efficient communication system. As the industry undergoes this transformative shift, businesses must seize the opportunity to embrace the advantages offered by VoIP solutions, ensuring a seamless and future-ready communication strategy.