Because of the pandemic, business users have become increasingly reliant on cloud telephony solutions like Microsoft Teams Direct Routing.
Here, you’ll learn more about this cloud PBX or phone system that allows you to make and receive calls, among many other things.
Microsoft Teams Calling: An Overview
Microsoft Teams integrates several products with Microsoft 365, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. With this program, users can share their work without the need to use another app.
In addition to its impressive internal features, it also enables external communication using the Microsoft 365 Teams phone system.
Benefits of Getting a Microsoft Teams Phone System
Most organizations ask, when do you need a true Microsoft Teams global phone system? Well, the time is now given the product’s many benefits.
First and foremost, it can help any business save money on communication costs. Microsoft Teams users can do away with the PBX system, including the equipment and the high costs that come with it.
As it integrates fully with the Microsoft Teams suite, it allows people to enjoy the same internal and external voice calling capabilities without leaving the platform.
As long as they use an Office 365 Teams-enabled device, active users can receive incoming calls — domestic and international — wherever they may be.
Microsoft Teams’ Calling feature is not limited to these, though. Users can record, forward, and transfer phone calls as well.
It also enables one to make a voicemail, set auto attendants, fix call queues, and do audio conferencing.
From a business standpoint, the system can make internal and external communications easier to manage.
The Microsoft 365 Admin, for one, can manage call options and change the settings as needed. Institutions can also choose to adopt policies that help minimize communications complexity while lowering the costs for telephony.
Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams
Direct routing is a feature that gives users a public-switched telephone network or PSTN connectivity. This eliminates the need for a private branch exchange, a costly installation found inside the business premises.
For organizations to contact any phone number on their Teams device, the following are needed:
Microsoft Phone System
Formerly Cloud PBX, this provides phone capabilities and call control.
Connection between the phone system and the PSTN
This can be achieved in two ways:
Microsoft Teams Calling Plan
Through this, Microsoft acts as a PSTN carrier by providing a calling plan. It allows those using Teams to make internal and external calls.
The price you have to pay will depend on your plan, whether you want to dial domestic or international calls.
While calling plans have their own merits for a small organization, it does have some pitfalls.
For one, the global coverage is quite limited as customer support is only available in the United States and 15 other countries. Moreover, if the company has various locations, it has to get calling plans for each branch.
Some deem the plan quite expensive as well. The Microsoft 365 Business Voice costs $15 per user per month, while the Office 365 E5 plan is at a pricey rate of $57 per user per month.
This links the phone system to the PSTN through a third-party provider. Best for big companies with multiple locations, this option comes with tariffs and structured pricing.
Microsoft 365 Direct routing is often considered more superior to calling plans because of its flexibility. For one, the organization can choose from several international providers.
Direct routing boasts of global coverage as well, many thanks to the encompassing reach of managed service providers.
With the direct routing option, Microsoft Teams users can enjoy more affordable fees. There’s also comprehensive scale support compared to the DIY nature of calling plans.
How to Implement Direct Routing
To get started with direct routing services, you need to:
Set up Microsoft Teams
If your company still doesn’t use Microsoft, it’s time to start now. It can operate with Skype for Business Online, at least while the system is being installed.
Get a Phone System License
To use the system, the organization should ensure that a license is obtained for every new user.
Select a Global Service Provider
Hiring an available service provider can add functionality in terms of system architecture design, integration, migration, training, and support.
Make the Right Configurations
Before you can dial and make a call, you need to take note of several configurations.
One is the session border controller (SBC) or the PSTN gateway. Configuring it will ensure the secure transfer of data between the private network and the public internet.
With the help of the SBC, the program can route calls through the SIP trunk and the PSTN network.
For less data traffic and better call quality, you can configure media bypass as well. This shortens the traffic path by sending data directly to the SBC.
Port Existing Numbers
It’s best to port the user’s select DID/DDI number or private branch exchange extension to minimize disruptions. This essentially saves the existing phone numbers on the Microsoft Teams suite.
If porting is impossible or there is a desire to obtain a new number, the provider can help out with this. Once the users are migrated, the Admin Center can add a user and assign his/her new phone number.