Microsoft Teams Direct Routing (Part 1)

Microsoft Teams Direct Routing (Part 1)

Microsoft Teams has quickly become a widely used tool for businesses, providing internal communications and video meetings, file sharing and app integrations.

With Microsoft’s announcement of the ability to add telephony services to MS Teams, a growing buzz about a key technology helps businesses adopt this: Direct Routing.

This blog post will explore in detail what you need to know about Direct Routing.

What is it?

Direct Routing lets you connect MS Teams with telephony service providers (like Novum Networks) to enable MS Teams to function as a softphone. This means internal teams can make and receive PSTN calls, chat, meet, and share with people inside and outside the business using a single, unified system.

How does it work?

You can perform the process to onboard users to MS Teams Direct Routing without any knowledge of MS PowerShell scripting. The Global Admin (customer administrator) does not need to create complex dial plans and calling routes. It is a simple process as follows:

Step 1: The Reseller creates a new enterprise account for the Global Admin (GA) for the enterprise.

Step 2: Enterprise GA accepts the email request and consent to Direct Routing creation. In the background, the PowerShell commands validate the license and create SBC voice routes.

Step 3: The Reseller or Enterprise (GA) can then link the SIP trunk extensions or individual SIP user accounts. GA will be notified via email of successful direct routing provisioning. In the background, we automate PowerShell commands to fetch user information as well as perform the SIP side user registration. The GA can view the user registration on the SIP service provider and MS Teams.

Step 4: End users can now re-login into their MS Teams. A dial pad will appear to make outgoing calls to PSTN.

Now, any call made from the Teams App will hand over calls to our Direct Routing connector via newly added SBC voice routes. We further route calls to fixed line or mobile users in the PSTN ecosystem. On the other hand, when a user receives a call from PSTN, we hand over the call via our Direct Routing Connector to Microsoft to ring the user on MS Teams.

Note: This Direct Routing connector scheme enables the existing PSTN infrastructure to co-exist and also any non-compliant MS Teams devices such as third-party IP phones to ring simultaneously on an incoming call.

Who is it for?

Direct Routing is for businesses who want to use MS Teams as a PBX but looking to go beyond the current limitations that it presents. You’re a strong candidate for Direct Routing if you match any of the following criteria:

a. Heavy user of MS Teams

  • Any business heavily reliant on the tool for internal communications can easily use the platform for external communication.
  • There is a reduced need for a separate PBX (and all the costs entailed) with better integration between systems.

b. Limited in-house expertise

  • Any business with a small IT team (or none) may want to outsource support to maintain MS Teams as a PBX.
  • Experienced providers (like Novum Networks) can offer you simplified provisioning and ongoing maintenance support.

c. Want more flexibility in MS Teams

  • Microsoft’s pre-set features don’t give you the ability to manage inbound and outbound calls.
  • Direct Routing helps to integrate advanced voice capabilities into MS Teams and experience unified communications.

d. Phased migration to cloud-based PBX

  • Businesses wanting to move away from their traditional PBX gradually and want to go beyond the office without high upfront costs.

e. MSPs who are resellers of Microsoft products

  • Managed service providers who are Microsoft partners need to provide Direct Routing services for end-users.

f. Skype for Business replacement

  • Switch to MS Teams, a replacement product, before the service approaches end-of-life, and avoid any service disruptions.
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