Microsoft Teams Direct Routing

Direct-routed phone systems are now available for Microsoft Teams and have made a lot of noise in the market. CIOs are starting to wonder, “What does this mean for my business?” The goal of our article today is to provide answers and insights to help you determine if Microsoft Teams direct routing in China is the right solution for your digital workspace.

What is Microsoft Phone System for Workgroups?

It is important to first establish the basis for this discussion. Microsoft Teams provides a hub for collaboration in Microsoft 365. A key component of Microsoft Teams is the ability to make/receive phone calls through the Microsoft Phone System. Microsoft Phone System requires Calling Plans to make and receive calls. There are two pricing plan options with Microsoft Phone System in Teams: 

  • Microsoft Pricing Plans 
  • Direct Routing

When you connect Microsoft Calling Plans and/or Direct Routing to Microsoft Phone System, the result is a true enterprise-wide connection in Microsoft 365 globally.

What does the Microsoft Teams Direct Routing announcement mean for your organization?

Each organization is unique, and the announcement of Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams will impact each organization differently. We’ve analyzed our customer conversations over the last 90 days and here are the general characteristics of organizations that are currently showing an increased interest in Teams / Phone System / Direct Routing.

What is Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams? 

Direct Routing allows customers to use their own telecom services in the Microsoft Cloud for Microsoft Phone System. Before  Direct Routing, the only option for telecom services with Microsoft Teams was Microsoft’s calling plans. Direct routing is important because it provides organizations with a solution that allows them to enjoy preferential telecom rates and enjoy many of the benefits of Microsoft Phone System with Teams.

What components are required for Microsoft Teams Direct Routing?

  • For an organization to enable Direct Routing, the following components are required: Microsoft 365 Enterprise Subscription (E1, E3, or E5) 
  • Microsoft Phone System add-on (since E1, E3) 
  • Session Border Controllers (SBCs) from the approved list of Microsoft SBC providers 
  • SIP trunks from your carrier/voice carrier 

SBCs are a key element of the direct routing infrastructure. Depending on your HR experience and/or preferences for internal and external IT departments, SBCs may be deployed.

What are the deployment options for Microsoft Teams Direct Routing?

There are two approved approaches to Microsoft Teams direct routing: partner and customer. 

Partnership approach

For organizations that use cloud services or want to start using them, the hosted scenario on partner servers is the right approach. SBCs are hosted in the communications cloud, which ensures management, uptime, and performance.

Client approach

For organizations that have their own experience and/or prefer to manage their own voice infrastructure, a customer deployment scenario is the best approach. SBCs are deployed in a client environment (in data centers), and an internal IT team is responsible for the management/quality of work.

Is direct routing only available in Microsoft Teams? 

Direct routing is only available in Microsoft Teams. For organizations using Skype for Business on the Web, the Direct Routing equivalent is Cloud Connector Edition (CCE). CCE can be deployed in the customer’s data center or a partner-hosted model, allowing customers to use their own telecom/voice services in Skype for Business Online.

Can organizations deploy Microsoft Calling Plans and Direct Routing? 

Yes. It is possible (and supported) to set up users for both Microsoft Calling Plans and Direct Routing. This approach provides the flexibility to control the call route depending on the dialed telephone number of the recipient. The advantage of this approach is that the SBC can be located locally in the country, so calls will be delivered as local calls.

By admnwg