A Champion’s Guide To Direct Routing For Microsoft Teams
Updated: Sep 10, 2022
Due to the unanticipated shift to remote working, many organizations have been working on upgrading their workspaces, to streamline business communication. In our blog, Direct routing for Microsoft Teams: A guide for beginners, we covered the basics of Direct routing in Microsoft phone system.
With the evolution that Microsoft Teams has brought in the recent years to help companies modernize their workspace communication, it’s about time we make an updated guide on using direct routing in Microsoft Teams. In this blog, we will cover the following:
Working in the virtual world
Problems with existing communication platforms
Unified communications and its benefits
What is Microsoft Teams direct routing?
How to configure direct routing in Teams?
Teams direct routing features and benefits - A deep dive
Microsoft Teams direct routing from a business perspective
Teams direct routing in the remote world
Working in the Virtual World
An Agile approach to working has proven more valuable than ever during the pandemic, throwing it into the spotlight for global businesses. Reports say that 50% of the employees have worked from home in 2020. This number is expected to rise drastically in 2021.
Further, studies suggest that 66% of remote employees claimed to be more productive and cost-effective than their counterparts.
Communication today is more manageable with advanced calling features and bundled services. Yet, there are fair deal of issues that we will discuss now.
Problems with Existing Communication Platforms
Let’s dive into some of the real-world communication challenges that people face in the virtual world:
Switching between multiple applications
Increased calling costs
Poor customer service
Difficulties in connecting globally
Unified communications tools such as Microsoft Teams can overcome these challenges easily, which helps companies, employees, as well as customers communicate better at any time, from any place, and with more efficiency.
Unified Communications and its Benefits
Unified communications refer to integrating multiple communication methods such as email, phone, video, and messaging within a business. Some of the benefits of unified communications are:
Increased flexibility and productivity
With the global unified communications market expected to reach $143 billion by 2024, there is a lot of pressure on businesses to put the right UC technology to connect and collaborate more efficiently. Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, GoToConnect, etc., are examples of platforms that strive to provide a comprehensive unified communications solution with Microsoft Teams topping the list.
If you feel like you hear about Microsoft Teams more and more lately, you are not alone. Teams has seen rapid growth regarding businesses embracing the app, with 145 million daily active users in April 2021. Let us talk more about Microsoft Teams as a unified communications platform.
Using Microsoft Teams for Unified Communications
Microsoft Teams is a unified communications platform where we can perform voice calling, messaging, meetings, and document sharing. Microsoft Teams also provides a phone option where one can make and receive calls using the application itself. There are two ways to activate this feature:
Microsoft Phone System with calling plans
Microsoft Phone System with direct routing
In our blog, Direct routing for Microsoft Teams: A guide for beginners, we have looked at the pros and cons of Microsoft calling plans in detail. Now, let us go into the technicalities of Microsoft Teams Direct Routing.
What is Microsoft Teams Direct Routing?
Direct routing in Microsoft Teams phone system allows your organization to connect to external phone lines to make and receive phone calls within Microsoft Teams using SIP trunks to route the calls. You connect your existing PSTN to teams via SBC and SIP Trunks in direct routing.
The companies must meet a few requirements to implement the cloud telephony features provided by Microsoft Teams, which will be discussed in the below section. While this may be a bit technical, it will help get a complete understanding of Microsoft Teams direct routing.
How to Configure Direct Routing in Teams?
Planning your deployment of direct routing is key to a successful implementation. Let’s take a closer look at how implementation works.
To implement direct routing, the organization’s infrastructure must meet several criteria, including:
Microsoft Teams license
Microsoft certified SBC with a public trusted certificate
A public IP address.
Configure Media Bypass for Microsoft Teams
Public DNS entry mapping for SBC
Connection points for direct routing
Port existing numbers for direct routing
Your organization must have the correct Microsoft 365 licensing. Most standard licenses include Teams, but Microsoft 365 E5 includes all licenses necessary to enable Audio Calling. It is also available from Microsoft as a separate license called Microsoft 365 Business Voice, which is for organizations with under 300 users.
The calling plans can be purchased directly from Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Business Voice license or add-on to the E5 license. Additionally, a calling plan can be purchased through a third party for a discount.
Too technical? (Hope it was worth the read!). Let’s get into the business aspects and check out the benefits and features of direct routing in Teams.
Teams Direct Routing Features and Benefits - A Deep Dive
Microsoft Teams is renowned for its differentiated offerings and the fact that it brings so many different functions under one roof. Direct routing allows your organization to take full advantage of Microsoft Teams while allowing you to make high-quality calls over the cloud and cut your phone bills significantly.
Let us now look at some of the benefits of direct routing in Microsoft Teams:
It helps in easier communication between computerized systems by using the current phone system.
Teams direct routing allows you to utilize your existing infrastructure and telephony contracts with service providers.
It allows for flexible and remote working.
It provides easy deployment options to companies as compared to Microsoft calling plans.
It helps in number porting by keeping the same geographical number wherever you are.
Microsoft Teams direct routing provides cheaper monthly payments, better customer support, and coverage in all countries.
Now that we have seen some of the potential benefits of Microsoft Teams direct routing, it is now worth discussing how it is being used professionally.
Microsoft Teams Direct Routing from Business Perspective
Businesses across the world can benefit from Microsoft Teams direct routing, and indeed a growing number are doing so. Direct routing can help businesses get coverage in all geographical locations, provide cost savings, allow flexible working, provide access to advanced call statistics, and help in number porting.
But it is not just the businesses; even the public sector organizations can primarily benefit from it. Microsoft 365 is already widely being used in the public sector, making Microsoft Teams Direct Routing demand soar. Service downtime and communication outage can bring down the government’s reputation in times of crisis. Moreover, these organizations have budget constraints as well. All in all, Microsoft Teams direct routing can be the next go-to solution for all public sector organizations, especially the ones looking for cost-effective voice solutions.
It can be inferred that remote working is the future of most organizations. Let us finally look at the effect of direct routing on the work from home scenario.
Teams Direct Routing in the Remote World
There are many advantages of working remotely, by allowing organizations to save on rents and achieve greater operational efficiency. Microsoft Teams is proving vital to maintaining productivity through remote working by providing a unified platform for streamlining and simplifying communications.
Direct routing helps Microsoft Teams users to make and receive reliable, high-quality calls from any internet-enabled device they’re using at home while being available on their regular work phone number. This helps employees working from home to respond to calls quickly and efficiently.
Wrapping it up!
Enterprises require safe, stable, and consistent communication arrangements in an economy that is becoming increasingly global. It is fair to say that remote working is the new normal, and the shift is accelerating. Employees today must be able to connect from a variety of devices, regardless of where they are. Direct routing with Microsoft Teams enables them to do so, and as a result, it is assisting us all in our transition to remote working.
As companies and public sector bodies adapt to this new standard, it appears that more organizations will find Direct routing to be the best option for their needs and budget. This way, the organizations can remain competitive during the ongoing pandemic and long after it passes.
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