Microsoft has got a bit of a track record with some dodgy naming conventions in the past, and while overall, they seem to have got things pretty right with Teams there has long been a bit of a grey area around what term you should use when referring to making calls inside Teams…

This is because Teams lets you make/take calls in a number of different ways, that could be Teams to Teams calls, or using voice and video in a Teams meeting or it could be using Teams to make calls out to “the real world” using the PSTN network to any global phone number (carrier / calling plan allowing).

The new terminology seems to be Teams Phone and as you can see from this snippet:

“Behind these calls are two technologies, both of which are available with Teams Phone: public switched telephone network (PSTN) which has enabled voice calling since the late 1800s, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) which routes calls over an Internet connection, enabling rich calling experiences such as video and screen sharing.”

It seems that Microsoft is intending Teams Phone to be the catch all phrase for any type of calling inside Teams and from reading other parts of the article perhaps they are onto something:

Collaboration experiences are the new standard for calling solution

Calls between organizations will increasingly occur over VoIP

An increasingly mobile workforce needs flexible calling solutions

It seems that the intention is that the lines are blurring much more between what is a PSTN call and what is a VoIP call and that why should users care which they make. It’s like getting to the core of the old UC saying of “names not numbers”, users just want to interact with someone they don’t need to know or care about what happens behind the scenes as long as it works.

So after all, it seems perhaps it is time for me to just let it go and embrace a little bit of ambiguity…

One more question though, what does that mean we should call one of these now!?