What is Microsoft Teams Direct Routing?

Mike Butts profile image March 29, 2024 | 4 min read

With 300 million daily active users, Microsoft Teams has become a pillar in modern business, offering a comprehensive platform that integrates chat, videoconferencing, file sharing and other collaboration tools all in one place. Regardless of their physical location, employees can connect and work together seamlessly via Teams, improving overall productivity and efficiency.

However, as remote work gained popularity and companies leaned more heavily on Teams, it became apparent that the platform was lacking in facilitating external business calls. This is where Microsoft Teams Direct Routing comes into play.

Microsoft Teams Direct Routing makes it possible for organizations to connect Teams to their business phone system, allowing users to make and receive external calls directly within the Teams interface. This integration streamlines communication, enhances accessibility and allows for a much more cohesive user experience.

Whether you’re familiar with Teams or just getting started with managing a Teams deployment, this guide will break down what you need to know about optimizing your business communication with Microsoft Teams Direct Routing.

Teams Direct Routing explained

Direct Routing is a way for organizations to link MS Teams with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) via a third-party telephony provider. In other words, rather than relying on a Microsoft Calling Plan, you can stick with your chosen PSTN provider and integrate your organization’s phone system with Teams. The result? Your employees can make and receive external calls directly through Teams without the need to juggle another application.

This integration offers numerous advantages for businesses. Here are some key benefits provided by Direct Routing:

  • Increased flexibility. With MS Teams Direct Routing, you have the freedom to select your preferred telephony provider that best fits your specific needs and budget.
  • Cost-effectiveness. In being able to keep your existing telephony infrastructure, you can avoid purchasing new hardware or phone systems. This not only saves you money but is also more sustainable and resource efficient.
  • Enhanced productivity. Direct Routing enables unified communications by seamlessly bringing together different communication tools and workflows into one place—Microsoft Teams.
  • Advanced calling features. Connecting your telephony system allows you to leverage its advanced calling features, such as customized call routing, multi-level virtual receptionists and call recording.

In a nutshell, Teams Direct Routing seamlessly links Microsoft Teams with external calling capabilities, providing you with flexibility, cost savings and enhanced productivity.

How does Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams work?

MS Teams Direct Routing is a game-changer, but how does it actually work? And what should you do to prepare for Direct Routing? Here’s a quick breakdown:

1. Planning and deployment. Before rolling out Teams Direct Routing, it’s crucial to plan carefully. This involves taking an inventory of your business’s telephony infrastructure, including any Session Border Controllers, and checking the compatibility of your Microsoft Teams licenses.

2. User configuration. When a Teams user is set up, administrators configure Teams routing settings to establish a connection between Teams and your organization’s phone system.

3. Session Border Controller (SBC). Direct Routing relies on a crucial component called a Session Border Controller, which acts as a bridge between Microsoft Teams and the external phone network. The SBC can connect to almost any telephony trunk or interconnect with third-party PSTN equipment.

4. Routing calls. When a Teams user initiates a call, the SBC helps direct the call outside of the Teams ecosystem to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or another phone system.

5. Translation and routing. The SBC translates the communication protocols between Teams and the phone system, ensuring compatibility. It also routes calls efficiently, directing them to the appropriate destination.

6. External connectivity. Through Direct Routing, Microsoft Teams gains the ability to make and receive calls to and from external phone numbers, expanding its communication capabilities beyond the Teams platform.

This integration comes in handy for all kinds of situations. For instance, let’s say a sales team member needs to call a client urgently while working on a project in Teams. With Direct Routing, they can easily make the call from Teams using their usual business phone number, without switching apps or devices. Incoming calls to their regular number can also reach them in Teams, making sure they don’t miss important client calls even during busy collaborative sessions.

All in all, Direct Routing makes Teams even better by adding external calling while still giving organizations the freedom to pick their own providers. This boosts efficiency and productivity as the familiar Teams interface becomes a one-stop shop for communication and collaboration.

Ooma Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams

Looking for an easier way to manage Direct Routing? Consider having one of Microsoft Teams Direct Routing partners manage the ins and outs to make the integration seamless.

At Ooma, we’ve got you covered. We offer Direct Routing as part of our array of features for enterprise communications. Unlock advanced telephony, easy administration through our secure cloud portal, expert project management and more—all in one seamless package.

Ready to see the difference? Explore what Ooma Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams can do for you today.

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