Everything You Need to Know About Direct Routing with Microsoft Teams

by | Aug 19, 2021

COVID-19 has forced millions to work remotely. And it is critical for employees to stay connected to their company’s knowledge and colleagues in order to keep motivation and productivity high.

Microsoft Teams is one of the world’s most popular collaboration solutions that unites workforces together and global usage of Teams has risen dramatically since the start of the pandemic.

Not too long ago, Microsoft unveiled new phone capabilities for the platform, providing the seamless communication and collaboration tools needed for a strong remote working strategy.

As a result, there has been a lot of talk about Direct Routing.


What is Direct Routing?
The technique of routing Microsoft Teams to the PSTN (traditional phone network) is known as direct routing. There is now an option for Teams to be used beyond internal communications and to function as a company phone system, known as a private branch exchange or PBX.

If you are exploring direct routing for Microsoft Teams there are two options, a Microsoft Calling Plan or Direct Routing.

Microsoft have created Calling Plans which convert Teams into a hosted PBX. This is a high-cost option that is currently only offered in a few locations and porting numbers can be challenging without a direct contact to help with setup.

The alternative is Direct Routing via a certified Microsoft Partner. As many as 90% of large enterprises using Teams for telephony will use Direct Routing for PSTN connectivity by 2022.

There is more flexibility with this option as you can choose your preferred telephone provider whilst retaining your telephony’s integration with Microsoft Teams. As well as flexibility, direct routing with the help of a Microsoft Partner also offers lower call rates and dedicated support services to help you through the initial setup and to maximise your investment.


How does Direct Routing work?
Direct Routing works by using an SBC (Session Border Controller) and SIP
(Session Initiation Protocol) Trunks to combine the PSTN with the Teams system.

  • SBCs are a way to secure VoIP networks, helping to protect data and provide security against attacks on the network.

  • SIP Trunks are an alternative to all-in-one hosted solutions, linking a company’s phone system, the internet, and the PSTN.

The benefits of Direct Routing for businesses

If your business is already using Microsoft Teams internally, it’s easy to expand its use for external contacts with Direct Routing. This eliminates the need for an expensive PBX while also improving integration with other Microsoft technologies, and providing flexibility and lower costs than using Microsoft’s Calling Plans.

With Direct Routing, your Teams platform is transformed into a full-featured company phone system with complete unified communication capabilities.

This means you will have a simple, easy-to-use platform that everything you need to drive business growth and nurture creativity.

Businesses with limited IT expertise, smaller teams or a lack of Microsoft Team expertise should speak to a managed services provider on how to make the most of Direct Routing.

Get in touch to find out how IntraLAN, a Microsoft Gold Partner, can help you setup and deploy direct routing today.