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Direct Routing For Microsoft Teams: A Guide For Beginners

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

MS Teams Direct Routing Guide for Beginners

Direct routing for Microsoft Teams has gained massive popularity over the past few years. Though Teams has achieved less than 50% penetration into Microsoft 365’s numbers, there is a lot of scope for further user growth of Teams in the coming years. Our blog about Direct vs. Indirect Routing introduces direct routing for Microsoft Teams solution briefly. It is time to delve deeper into the technology proving to be a trendsetter in the virtual communication world. In this blog, we will discuss the following:

Unified Communication in Microsoft Teams

Unified communication in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication 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

Firstly, let us look at the Microsoft Calling Plans.

Microsoft Calling Plans

Microsoft calling plans

This is Microsoft’s own cloud-based calling plan. The plans are provided monthly to organizations. The users can make and receive external calls. Depending on the needs, organizations can choose Domestic or International calling plans. In this case, Microsoft acts as the PSTN carrier for all the internal and external calls.


  • Calling plans help in the easy implementation of cloud calling in organizations.

  • This eliminates the need to rely on third-party carriers.


  • Fixed costs are incurred every month.

  • The plans are available in only 16 countries.

  • There is limited scope to customize the plans.

  • There is a long waiting time for customer support.

Bigger Organizations can’t use Calling plans as it is unavailable in all countries. So, they cannot connect with all their employees. That is why companies go for Direct Routing in Teams phone system.

What is Microsoft Teams Direct Routing

What is Microsoft Teams direct routing

Direct routing in Teams phone system allows your organization to connect to external phone lines to make and receive phone calls within MS Teams using SIP trunks to route the calls. You connect your existing PSTN to teams via a Session Border Controller (SBC) and SIP Trunks in direct routing.

For in-depth comparison of how direct routing compares to calling plans, we have created a separate blog.

Is Direct Routing the best option for you?

A girl happy with direct routing

Using direct routing with Microsoft Teams is an effective way to achieve unified communication. Some of the key pros and cons for this solution are:

  1. Interoperability: It helps in easier communication between computerized systems by eliminating the need to replace existing phone system and uses the current phone system.

  2. Easy migration: It allows batch migrations. Hence organizations are not forced to plan company-wide migrations in one go.

  3. Utilizing existing contracts: Teams direct routing allows you to utilize your existing infrastructure and telephony contracts with service providers.

  4. Simple Deployment: It provides more flexibility and easy deployment options than Microsoft calling plans by eliminating the need for call carrying equipment.

  5. Availability and Cost efficiency: Teams direct routing provides cheaper monthly payments, better customer support, and coverage in all countries.

The only drawback with the direct routing option is that there are many providers available. Hence, the organizations should review potential suppliers to choose the right one for their business requirements.

Now that we have a basic understanding of both the plans, it is clear that direct routing for Microsoft Teams provides additional advantages to organizations as compared to Microsoft Calling Plans. Let us now look at which organizations should use direct routing for Teams.

Who should use Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams?

Businessman using direct routing for MS Teams

Direct routing is excellent for organizations that need flexibility, support, and global coverage. According to Reports, Microsoft Teams has 145 million daily users in as of April 2021. Large enterprises can choose a provider that fits their specific needs to ensure their workforce has support in every region they operate in and often at a much lower cost than Microsoft’s plans.

Research suggests that between 80% and 90% of enterprise companies who have a Teams strategy will use Direct Routing for voice.

The usage of Microsoft Teams with direct routing has grown by leaps and bounds amidst the pandemic. Let us now look at some statistics about that.

Post-Covid Impact and Usefulness of Direct Routing

Importance of Direct Routing

During the lockdown that started in March 2020, the use of Microsoft Teams grew by 894% compared to February 2020. The pandemic-enforced work from home approach prompted a massive upsurge in Microsoft Teams and other unified communication tools. People needed to call customers, and therefore employers gave them ways to do so that is not restricted to the office. Direct routing can give more calling and communication solutions than one can think of. There are cost benefits, improved flexibility and coverage, and 24*7 customer support.

Research showed a massive rise in the number of daily active users from 44M in March 2020 to 75M in April 2020. This shows an excellent scope of growth in the direct routing market, especially in the world affected by the pandemic, where it can prove to be the next go-to technology. The companies who have already adopted this solution can have a significant competitive advantage over the others.


The pandemic has restricted us to our homes and shifted workspaces to a complete virtual model. In such a scenario, unified communication applications like Microsoft Teams have gained massive popularity.

Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams provides tremendous benefits to organizations ranging from affordable calling plans, flexibility, improved customer support, increased coverage, and easy usage. Hence, companies have started adopting this solution in the hope of improving their communication capabilities.

Moving forward, direct routing for Microsoft Teams can become the new normal in virtual workspaces, with more companies wanting to adopt this pathbreaking solution.

To find out more about Falkon VoIP Direct Routing solution, click here.

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