Communication Delivery Platform

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5 Technology Must Haves for ‘work from home’ scenario

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Work from home has become a norm in companies ever since the COVID-19 had been declared as a pandemic. However, in the IT sector, the term “work from home” has been circulating for more than a decade now. People who telecommute often know what gadgets to have their hands on, for a smooth work from home experience. However, this pandemic has forced most of the organizations to implement telecommuting and get their hands on the latest technology to facilitate home working.

What are the major Home Working Technology Must-Haves?

Cloud communication tools have emerged as major essentials to keep teams connected while staying geographically apart. If you think you can manage with a normal chat-based tool or simple email communication, you might be surprised that it isn’t enough to cater for today’s collaboration needs.

  • Video Conferencing Tools

Either it is your regular Agile meeting or a comprehensive Project feasibility report meeting, a video conference is essential for one on one communication with your boss or employees for better Team collaboration. There are many freely available Video conferencing tools, but they are vulnerable to threats. However, Microsoft Teams is a full-fledged solution that provides secured Video conferencing experience.

  • Project Management Tools

While staying at home it requires more effort to notify Teammates of the project progress. Investing in a better project management tool is always a good idea since it reduces the time you need to notify every member of the team on the work progress. Cloud-based Project management or business productivity tool would be an excellent choice to foster the team’s collaborations being geographically apart.

  • Microsoft Teams Collaboration Solution

This is by far the most effective and efficient productivity solution to cater for modern-day project sharing needs amongst project teams. Since its native to Office 365, you get to share any SharePoint content, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel work files for better understanding and collaboration. In addition to this, Teams offers Calling in Teams Solutions for easy calling right from your Office 365.

  • Cloud PBX for Staying Connected

Even if you are not working from home, this tool comes in handy for normal office communications. A cloud PBX lets you stay connected with other Teams members via cloud communication technology. It is also cost-effective for the organization and lets you stay in control of your cloud-based calls and offers all the features of a Cloud Phone system. So, whether you are working from home or office, a Cloud PBX is a must-have technology!

  • Digital Assistants

Digital assistants have emerged as an important tool to cater for fast-paced communication. Most workers are mostly familiar with digital assistants. These tools can carry out calls for you, take notes, and send emails at the scheduled time and much more. Modern telecommuting requires a digital assistant that can adapt to the working schedule and learn about next Gen communication requirements.

Related: WORK FROM HOME SIMPLIFIED WITH UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

MachCloud – The cloud communication platform for modern-day business communication

MachCloud provides a digital communication solution that derives collaborations and makes it effective amongst remote working teams. MachCloud has assisted various teams in connecting them for productive working amidst the employees to work from home scenarios. It offers services Like Microsoft Teams solutions including Calling in Teams, Direct Routing for Teams, Office 365 reselling, SIP trunking, and Cloud PBX. No matter what size your organization, there is something for every type of business.

Get started with MachCloud’s services for a smooth work from home experience.

Get improved Microsoft Teams Calls experience by clearing your cache first

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Microsoft Teams calls are heavily being used to carry out business and academics related communication all over the world. Like other systems, Microsoft Teams application also stored cache for better performance. However, having a sizable cache can greatly hamper performance instead of speeding things up. Thus, Clearing Cache is an important task which, by default, Microsoft Teams hasn’t introduced in its current interface. Today, we’ll walk you through the process of Clearing Cache in Microsoft Teams for better usability and user experience.

How to Clear Cache in Microsoft Teams?

Although, the feature is requested, till the time Teams include that in their application, we present a workaround for that. You can clear the cache and speed up Teams performance by following the below-mentioned steps in Windows 10.

  • Step 1: Quit Microsoft Teams

To clear the cache, you have to Quit Teams. You can’t perform the steps while being in a call while using Teams. To Quit Teams, Right Click on Teams Icon and click Quit.

  • Step 2: Navigate to the Directory

Now open a File Explorer and paste the following:

 %appdata%\Microsoft\Teams

This will take you to the exact Teams Cache location and you don’t have to navigate a lot of folders and places to reach there.

  • Step 3: Remove contents

Make sure you delete all the files residing in the Folder (where you have just navigated to). Make sure all the hidden files are deleted as well. (You can show hidden files under Folder settings)

  • Step 4: Restart Teams

Deleting the contents of the Folder won’t delete Teams from your system. Once you restart, you’ll have to provide Teams settings again but you will greatly experience an improvement in the Teams performance.

MachCloud – The robust platform with answers to all your communication problems

MachCloud is a leading cloud communication service provider in the market. The platform provides Microsoft Teams related solutions like MachTeams which enable organizations to setup calling in Teams Solutions and Teams Direct Routing. A whole range of Teams calling plans are there to facilitate any kind of business. The flexibility and scalability provided by MachCloud make it a favorite cloud-based Teams provider amongst businesses.

DID YOU FIND THIS INTERESTING? WHY NOT READ: “HOW MACHTEAMS FACILITATES BUSINESSES WITH TEAMS DIRECT ROUTING“? 

7 Facts Microsoft doesn’t want you to know about Calling in Teams

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When you want to make calls to phone numbers from Teams, you need a Provider that connects Teams to the Telephony network. In various countries, Microsoft offers Calling Plans as an add-on to your user license. The alternative is using Microsoft Direct Routing to connect Teams to the Telephony network.

These 7 Facts tell you why you shouldn’t use Microsoft Calling Plans for calling in Teams

teams telephony comparison

MachCloud – the all-in-one communication platform for business

MachCloud is a born-in-the-cloud certified European Telephony Operator and Network provider with solutions like Calling in Teams, Cloud PBX, Direct Routing in Teams, and many others. The pricing and plans of MachCloud are easy on the company budget. MachCloud offers crystal clear voice and high availability of services to companies. 

Get on board with MachCloud to make use of top-notch infrastructure and take your company’s business communication to the next level.

Microsoft Teams Calling Plans: Which one is for you?

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Microsoft Teams calling plans come in a wide variety and businesses are opting for a Microsoft Teams phone system because there is something for everyone. The calling feature within Teams has gained popularity with Microsoft users pretty quickly. Companies can unlock more potential out of their digital communications investments via Calling in Teams feature powered by Microsoft Teams phone system.

The benefits of Microsoft Teams Phone System

Following are a few more benefits of using a Microsoft Teams Phone System:

  • Get an upgraded digital communication system

Microsoft Teams phone system is updated according to the latest trends in modern digital business communication. With this, you can get rid of the old and complicated setup equipment which is also expensive to maintain.

  • Scalability with new users

Teams make it easy to onboard new users with minimum efforts. It doesn’t require any additional hardware additions to add new users. The new users can directly start using the Microsoft Teams phone system.

  • Stay in Control of calling policies

Teams phone system provides administrators control over users’ ability to use calling in Teams for private calls. Other features include set up call forwarding and creating and implementing calling policies. Most of the features are adjustable with options like “Always Enabled” or “User Controlled”.

Choose the Right plan amidst all Microsoft Teams Calling Plans

Following are Microsoft Teams Calling Plans for business

Direct Routing: with Direct Routing you have the choice whether or not to continue to use your existing (cloud) PBX.

  1. Using your existing (cloud) PBX, you will continue to use your current infrastructure. No calling plan is needed for calling in Microsoft Teams. Telephony lines remain with your current Provider.
  2. Without using a (cloud) PBX, you have complete freedom to choose voice lines from local PSTN Service and Network Providers. Including all associated calling plan options of these Providers in your area.

Microsoft Calling Plan: This makes Microsoft your PSTN Service Provider with a limited range of PSTN Calling Plans.

Related: How MachTeams Facilitates Businesses with Teams Direct Routing

MachCloud offers MachTeams® as an effective Teams in Calling solution

MachCloud is an all-in-one modern cloud communications network provider that offers Digital Business Communication Solutions to organizations. MachTeams® is one such solution that provides features like Direct Routing in Teams and Calling Plans for Teams. With MachCloud, you get pocket-friendly pricing and plans that are always cost-effective for the company.

MachCloud offers several features such as conference calls in Microsoft Teams, video conferencing, chat, messages and much more. With the MachCloud self-service portal you can manage your communication systems seamlessly.

Get on board with MachCloud and discover how you can use the full potential of your digital communication solution in your business.

How MachTeams facilitates businesses with Teams Direct Routing

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According to statistics, Microsoft Teams, especially Teams Direct Routing, is being deployed in the business domain at a record-breaking pace. The heavy adoption of Teams also owes to the fact that Microsoft has announced End of Life for Skype for Business, which ultimately diverts the consumers to the Microsoft Phone system: Microsoft Teams.

MachCloud offers MachTeams® – a robust Teams powered solution

Various Microsoft telephony services are efficient; provide faster Dialing, maintain call logs, and everything that a modern business needs out of a top-notch Telephony service. MachCloud offers solutions for Microsoft Teams powered communication service to its existing set of services: Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams Calling. This is offered in association with Office 365 Integration with which businesses are empowered since it eliminates the need for extra infrastructure and thus brings more bangs for the bucks for companies in these struggling economies.

Top 5 Benefits of Teams Direct Routing with MachTeams®

Give a new meaning to collaboration

MachTeams® brings cloud communication solutions like Cloud PBX, Microsoft Teams together for your business, and get on board with Teams Direct Routing for a smooth and best price Calling in Teams experience with MachTeams®. MachTeams® gives a new meaning to business collaboration.

  1. Low-Cost Solution

MachTeams® doesn’t require an additional Hosted Setup and can work with a business’s existing PBX. Every direct routing calling plan enables the consumers to fully automate network onboarding & tenant provisioning, thus utilizing Teams Voice Calling Plan that stays light on the company budget.

  1. Secured communication

The end-to-end call encryption feature of Teams assures every Microsoft phone system call via Teams to be secure and protected from eavesdropping and other threats.

  1. Excellent service delivery

MachCloud offers a fully automated provisioning portal and Microsoft phone system for Teams which offers inbound and outbound calls with excellent quality and crystal-clear voice. 

  1. The Hybrid approaches

With MachTeams®, you can either opt for Microsoft Teams with an existing (cloud)PBX or Microsoft Teams with our Direct Routing service. You can choose to depend upon your business nature.

ALSO READ: Unleash the power of Microsoft Teams with an existing PBX Telephone System

MachCloud – the all-in-one unified communications solution for business

MachCloud, with its solution for Teams, MachTeams® offers a fully automated provisioning portal for Teams Direct Routing which offers chat, calls, video conferencing, and File sharing. In addition to this, other collaboration tools with excellent quality and crystal-clear voice eliminating the need for an additional Hosted Setup and can work with a business’s existing PBX are also offered. Equipped with features like geo-redundancy, 24-hour support, call analytics, and unlimited inbound calling, the Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams Calling solution opens doors for resellers and sales partners to offer Teams Voice service and Direct Routing service in a secure, simple and smooth manner.

Go for MachCloud and utilize the benefits of MachTeams® for your progressive business.

Microsoft for healthcare features empowers healthcare providers via Teams

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Microsoft for healthcare has gained popularity ever since the coronavirus pandemic has taken the rise. Microsoft Teams has benefitted business, academic industry, and other domains while organizations had to impose a work from home policy. On top of that, Microsoft Teams health has benefitted the healthcare industry with its novel solutions for collaborating amongst the healthcare providers.

New capabilities in Microsoft 365 empower healthcare professionals

As the number of confirmed cases increase in the coronavirus dashboard, experts from Microsoft sensed a few needs for better healthcare collaboration amongst the providers and thus has rolled in new capabilities to empower healthcare organizations amidst COVID-19 pandemic with Microsoft Teams health care solutions. Features like very urgent messaging, visit scheduling, contacting the on-shift clinician and other new features are part of Microsoft for healthcare and directly address core challenges that the healthcare providers are facing these days with messaging and health systems.

Empowering the frontline workers and the healthcare sector

To stay informed about the availability of beds and supplies that are running out like masks or ventilators, the experts at Microsoft has created a Healthcare Emergency Response Resource Tracking system. The Microsoft Teams health Emergency Resource Tracking Solution can now be used to manage emergency responses and frontline workers can collect the information via their devices especially with coronavirus dashboard. Then the healthcare leads can take quick decisions in real-time on where to divert the upcoming patients due to scare resources.

The messaging features allow care teams to securely coordinate patient care

Microsoft Teams health solutions include new messaging features including the following capabilities:

  • Secure communication: Teams is end-to-end encrypted and deploys the latest methods of security
  • Priority notifications: This alerts the recipient unless a response is received. The messages are sent every two minutes up to 20 minutes.
  • Message delegation: This allows receipt to delegate messages to another contact, while the original recipient is busy in surgery or unavailable.

Also read: Tips to keep communication services up during covid-19

Enhancements added to healthcare data interoperability

With the growing needs of data handling and digitizing patient data, one of the top priories is the interoperability of data. Microsoft this introduced emerging standards like FHIR in Microsoft for healthcare, to cater for this challenge. Microsoft Team’s health solutions include providing a hub to access digital health records of patients.

MachCloud – The all-in-one platform for collaboration according to modem day collab needs

MachCloud is a robust communication services provisioning platform that empowers businesses with all the tools needed for a modern-day collaboration experience. MachCloud offers MachTeams®, the Microsoft Teams oriented Calling solution with additional solutions like MachVoice, Calling in Teams, and Direct Routing via Microsoft Teams. With a variety of pricing and plans, MachCloud has got one for every type of business.

Head to MachCloud to experience modern-day collaboration with the latest tools and security.

Tips to keep communication services up during COVID-19

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During the COVID-19 pandemic crises these days, the communication services are playing an active role in bringing together employees and continuing the flow of business. Workers have now found creative ways to use Microsoft Teams to keep the employee engagement intact, because after all, working from home isn’t easy for those who aren’t used to it. To keep the work spirit alive, IT pros at MachCloud have shown many lucrative benefits that clears customer concerns on why use Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Team’s commitment to customers

MachCloud is committed to serve its customers with best possible options during the high demand of collaboration amidst work from home requirements this lockdown season. The rich communication platform offers various solutions like Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solution for its customers. Teams is available for Individuals as well as for IT professionals. Individuals are befitting from Teams for e-learning and education based online activities these days. IT pros are dependent on Teams for a secured business communication since Microsoft provides its Direct Routing services in their own systems equipped with best in line security standards. Microsoft has shown commitment to its customers by providing Teams collaboration features for IT business and other business domains.

5 creative ways to use Microsoft Teams

Amidst the pandemic situation, IT pros have found creative ways to use Microsoft Teams. Here is a compilation of 5 best ways how MS Teams can be used as an effective tool for communication services:

  1. Keep communication frequent: For the Team leads, Greet everyone every day. Or at least every other day. It makes the employees stay in the loop.
  2. Share Teams Tips: Provide guidance to employees on daily basis to work on communication tools faster like “Get work done fast with slash commands”
  3. Personalize the tools: Get a personalized view to feel comfortable with the interface.
  4. Title each chat: Since there must be many chats going on simultaneously, it is always a good idea to Title each chat.
  5. Structure to your conversations: plus, bookmark the important bits so you don’t have to follow the entire conversation each time.

MachCloud One Stop Solution to cater for modern business collaboration needs

MachCloud offers various solutions for collaboration and a variety of communication services all in one place. With pocket-friendly calling plans, MachCloud caters for digital business communication needs with its solutions like MachTeams® and MachVoice®. With MachCloud, you can stay in control of the communication platform and bring more bangs for your bucks to your business.

Did you find this article interesting? why not read: “Unleash the power of Microsoft Teams with an existing PBX Telephone System“?

Issues relating to a SBC with Direct Routing

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Teams Direct Routing

Redundancy

A SBC forms a Single Point of Failure (SPOF). Unless a redundant SBC is deployed it will lead to reduced availability.

Multi-Tenancy

A SBC is designed to provide functions for a single tenant (company). Even if the SBC is virtualized, every SBC instance has its own customer data that needs to be managed with every modification.

Controlled Media Path

The connection via the SBC increases the transmission path and delay. If a SBC is hosted in a public cloud, there is no quality guarantee of media traffic.

Full Control and Management

A SBC is a separate network element that has its own management environment. Automation of real-time orders can therefore be a real challenge.

Security

There are security threats especially when a SBC is managed by a third party.

Delay in Handling Porting Orders

In the Netherlands, number porting is carried out real-time and on-demand within 15 minutes. If a number porting order is implemented for the retention of a telephone number, 3 domains must be managed separately. The number porting will have to be done manually in different domains, such as the SBC. This leads to increased downtime for a customer.

Coherent Telecom Settings

Country specific telecom settings, such as filtering, CLIP / CLIR, number normalization, over-usage management and forwards are influenced by the SBC, which may result in deviations in the telecom functions between Microsoft platform and legacy telecom domains.

Customer Self Service

Migration to Microsoft Teams requires frequent adjustments to settings, numbers and reports. Because the control of the SBC cannot be fully automated, it will be a real challenge to offer customers self-service.

Third Party Equipment

Because the SBC is a third-party network element, additional tests and maintenance will have to be scheduled for adjustments and upgrades.

Unleash the power of Microsoft Teams with an existing PBX telephone system

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Microsoft Teams is the next generation of collaboration tools for the modern workplace. When migrating to Microsoft Teams you do not want to sacrifice important PBX features. Until MachTeams, integrated support in Microsoft Teams for an existing PBX was not available such as retaining your existing phone number and dial by extension.

Introducing MachTeams, a fully automated service for calling in Microsoft Teams, while maintaining your existing PBX. MachTeams works in minutes without PBX migration or phone number porting.

MachTeams benefits

You should consider all Microsoft Teams limitations before migrating. There is no coexistence between Microsoft Teams and third party PBX. The only option you have is to fully migrate and accepting all limitations, or simply continue to use two separated platforms. The biggest advantage of MachTeams is that you can maintain your existing PBX and don’t have to compromise on functionality. You can continue to use your existing number plan with dial by extension. MachTeams also integrated fixed and mobile devices, allowing the caller to dial out using the company main phone number directly from the Microsoft Teams smartphone app. Another great feature is that when a Microsoft Teams user is unavailable the call can be forwarded to any group, extension or to the receptionist.

How does it work?

Microsoft Teams user is linked to an existing PBX extensions for example 201. The username, password and extension (201) of the user is entered in self-service web portal. MachCloud’s geo redundant platform ensures that the fixed device at the workplace is replaced by the Microsoft Teams user smartphone.

It is not required to migrate all PBX users simultaneously to Microsoft Teams. Users who are not ready simply continue to use the PBX system as before. Important to know is that MachTeams does not make any changes to the PBX configuration, SIP trunk or external telephone numbers.

Call function comparison of Microsoft Teams and MachTeams?

Microsoft Teams built-in PBX functions are limited and by far the most important reason why companies do not consider migrating. A short comparison:

Features and options

Microsoft Teams

MachTeams

Advanced PBX functions such as multi-level hunt groups

Not available

Available

Easy sign-in sign-out for hunt groups  

Not available

Available

Use of a single telephone number block

Not available

Available

Back-up routing, in case Microsoft Teams users are unavailable

Not available

Available

Easy migration without number porting or replacing SIP trunks

Not available

Available

Keep existing call routing plan and extensions in place

Not available

Available

Flexible number presentation when making calls

Not available

Available

What licenses are required?

To start using MachTeams the following Microsoft licenses are required:

Direct Routing connection between Microsoft Office 365 and MachCloud service platform

  • E1 Office 365 license, each company (tenant)

Microsoft Office 365 User

  • E1 + Office 365 Phone system add-on
  • E3 + Office 365 Phone system add-on
  • E5 (Office 365 Phone system add-on already included)
  • Office 365 Business Premium + Phone system add-on (available Q2 2020)

What does it cost?

  • MachTeams licensing cost is calculated per user per month. Contact your service provider for more information and pricing.
  • Direct Routing connection between Office 365 and MachCloud service platform requires one Office 365 E1 license (€6,75 per month) for each company (tenant).
  • Office 365 Phone system add-on (€75 per month) is also required when using E1 or E3 but not for E5 license.
  • MachTeams always requires one Office 365 E1 license to connect between the PBX and Microsoft Teams.
  • MachCloud partner will be responsible for charging the end-user (customer). A detailed report of existing accounts will be available in the self-service web portal.
  • The existing calling plan and PBX remains unchanged. MachCloud calling plan or cloud PBX are optional and not included.
  • Microsoft is expected to introduce a new Office 365 Business license (Q2 2020) in selected EU countries that already includes the phone system add-on. Pricing is not yet available but expected to be lower than current Enterprise licenses.
  • Prices do not include sales tax (vat) where applicable.

What are the prerequisites?

  • Extension numbers can be 2, 3, 4 or 5 digits long, with the exception of 100-199.
  • The Microsoft Teams user can only make and receive calls. All other functions are provided by the existing PBX system.
  • After successfully registering at MachCloud partner website (www.machteams.com) and purchasing MachTeams licenses you will have access to the self-service web portal for configuring Microsoft Teams call settings.

Securing your SBC Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Effectively

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Microsoft Teams Direct Routing is being opted as the most recent business collaboration solution in the realm of digital communication. IT experts who deploy Direct Routing are aware of SBC security issues that arise as soon as they deploy the solution in place. A secure VoIP solution is the ultimate necessity of a company to thwart the increasing VoIP attacks emerging each day. Let’s have a look at how Microsoft deals with SBC security in its Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Solution.

The “friendly” attacks during configuration

An IT communications expert who was hired to deploy Microsoft Teams Direct routing in a cloud business, narrates his experience:

“While I was deploying Microsoft Teams Direct Routing with SIP trunks and a Session Border Controller (SBC), I happened to sense various SBC security vulnerabilities soon after I turned up the public interface. Long before the Teams configuration was complete there appeared a number of OPTIONS requests and huge SIP traffic from unknown sources. This traffic was supported by IP addresses trying to connect to my systems from around the world via malicious SIP scripting and scanning utilities. It was an alarming situation for me. Headers like “SIP Vicious”, “friendly-scanner”, and “PPLSIP”.

This scenario is not a unique one. All over the internet, attackers are in search of vulnerabilities. While SBCs are scanned in order to attempt hijack calling capabilities, admins can take this opportunity while deploying Microsoft Teams Direct Routing to configure and test the security rules provided by Direct Routing. There are two ways to secure your system: by configuring firewall and using Malicious Signatures feature.

ALSO READ: 
Teams Direct Routing solutions to boost your business productivity

A properly configured Firewall, is your best friend forever

There are options to configure a Firewall for better security. All you have to do is configure the rules properly in the following manner:

  1. Exclude the LAN interface from Firewall list
  2. Allow external DNS lookups
  3. Allow Teams traffic
  4. Allow Signaling and RTP traffic
  5. In the final step, configure using: Block All others option.

Once these configurations are in place, you will no longer see or experience any malicious attempts. In fact, you will be able to see the number of attempts being blocked/dropped is increasing.

The Malicious Signatures feature for better security

A Malicious Signatures feature blocks all the attempts coming from malicious signatures and only allows the attempts from legitimate signatures. To make use of this feature, the admin has to configure a message policy. After this he has to malicious signatures database. Using this message policy, you can drop malicious SIP messages and set well defined limits. This policy can be assigned to the concerned SIP trunk.

ALSO READ: 
Insight to employee experience with Microsoft teams and MachCloud

MachCloud Direct Routing powered by Microsoft Teams

MachCloud is a robust digital communication platform offering Teams Direct Routing, Cloud PBX, SIP Trunking and a multitude of business communications solutions like MachVoice and MachTeams. Resellers have a chance to boost up their revenue streams with MachCloud’s Office 365 reselling. With MachCloud’s direct routing, you can experience the true essence of enterprise calling with a variety of features like staying in control of your calls, memos and many other services both for both local and international clients. It is an all-in-one telephony platform for modern day business collaboration needs.

Get your hands-on Microsoft Teams Direct Routing via MachCloud and experience the top-notch business collaboration solution for better business productivity.

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