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Could Microsoft Teams bring us the ultimate in Unified Communications?

Check out this article from UC Today:

The more we learn about Microsoft Teams as the company’s flagship collaboration and communication product, the more compelling the offering becomes. For those in search of a hybrid approach to communications, the option available to bring a PSTN carrier to the Teams network will allow users to connect their own SBC to the Microsoft Teams setup. The Office 365 model will make the most of the “Bring Your Own Trunk” solution otherwise known as Direct Routing.

What Will Enterprises Need to Access Direct Routing?

According to information officially revealed by Microsoft, users who want to access the Direct Routing service will need their own SBC or “Session Border Controller” from an approved source. Currently, the approved providers are AudioCodes, or Ribbon (previously Sonus). However, Microsoft may add more vendors into the mix in the future.

You’ll also need an approved Direct Routing carrier however there’s only a couple right, with more coming soon according to Microsoft.

Customers will also need a Microsoft Teams and Phone System license for Direct Routing. Importantly, this option for communication will only be supported by the Microsoft Teams client, and not Skype for Business online.

 

Microsoft expert Nikolay Muravlyannikov wrote that users will be able to use a supported SBC to pair to the Teams backend and migrate users from Skype for Business, into Teams. All customers need to do is deploy the Teams client and change the voice routing in the cloud.

Microsoft Teams

What Does Direct Routing Mean to Microsoft CustomerIn the past, Microsoft have always talked about Direct Routing in a scenario where the customer would be responsible for supplying the SBC. However, the addition of ThinkTel as the first direct carrier to be announced may indicate that Teams is more versatile than we thought. As more carriers continue to support direct routing, this might emerge as a more common scenario for consumer deployment.

As for who will benefit from Microsoft’s Direct Routing, the company offers the following scenarios as use cases:

  • Streamlining the transition to Teams calling: Integration with an existing PBX means that users can transfer into the Teams environment without having to give up their often-expensive legacy systems
  • Analogue device support: Companies who want to tap into the benefits of calling in the Teams environment but have conventional analogue devices to support like DECT phones and intercom systems and can connect to the Teams system through Direct Routing and manage call traffic via analogue devices
  • Telephony interoperability: Users transitioning to Teams will be able to continue using their preferred devices or application. The Direct Routing service ensures that both use cases can coexist seamlessly, keeping call traffic between agents within the organisation

As more approved carriers hit the list I suspect we’ll see more bundled services for organisations wanting to break out of the Microsoft calling plans. What do you think?

Is there an official list of approved direct routing carriers available online from Microsoft? A quick Google search revealed zero….

Video explaining Microsoft Teams and PSTN connection

Thanks to UC Today for this interesting article.

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