Direct routing to Microsoft Teams: What is it and what can it do for your business?

The COVID-19 pandemic showed how a crisis can suddenly emerge and prevent your staff from working at the office. Thus, it’s crucial that you adopt solutions that ensure greater workspace flexibility. One of these solutions is Microsoft Teams, which facilitates communication and collaboration through features like chat messaging, video conferencing, project management, and a cloud-based telephony system known as Direct Routing.

What is cloud-based telephony?

Traditional landline telephones are connected to one another by copper wires through the public switched telephone network (PSTN), which refers to all the telephone networks used around the globe. Cloud-based telephones, on the other hand, route voice calls through the internet.

There are several ways to make cloud calls. Besides using physical phones, you can also use software that functions like a telephone, called a virtual phone. With a virtual phone, you can make calls using any device that can run the program. These devices include smartphones, desktop computers, and laptops.

The Teams Phone feature adds Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capabilities to MS Teams, allowing the program to function as a virtual phone. Unfortunately, because Teams Phone doesn’t connect to the PSTN, it can only be used to communicate with other users in your company, or with users of other communication apps, such as Slack. If you want Teams to be able to communicate with landline phones, you need Direct Routing.

What is Direct Routing on Teams?

Direct Routing allows your Teams client to connect to the PSTN using session border controllers (SBCs). SBCs are hardware or software that function as firewalls for VoIP systems, ensuring the proper transmission of data and preventing unauthorized parties from eavesdropping on calls. You can find different SBCs on the market, but you’ll need Microsoft-certified ones if you want to use Direct Routing.

SBCs are a complex technology and leaving their setup to inexperienced technicians can lead to risky misconfigurations and cybersecurity vulnerabilities. For this reason, setting up Direct Routing is best entrusted to the skilled IT professionals at [company_short].

Why should you use Direct Routing?

With Direct Routing, you no longer have to set up a separate phone line for your remote employees as they can make and receive calls using smartphones or laptops. More than this, Direct Routing lets your business enjoy the following benefits:

Greater control

Direct Routing essentially centralizes your telephony system through Teams. By implementing Direct Routing, your IT department will have an easier time implementing crucial security policies, monitoring usage rates, and enforcing usage limits when needed. It’s also easier to identify and resolve issues in a centralized telephony system because your IT personnel no longer have to deal with multiple, disparate devices.

Decreased costs

Microsoft offers other ways besides Direct Routing to connect your Teams client to the PSTN. These alternatives are Microsoft’s calling plans. The main difference between calling plans and Direct Routing is that the latter allows you to work with third-party service providers. This gives you more options and opportunities for your business to save money.

Additionally, you don’t need to use expensive telephony systems for Direct Routing. You can simply use devices that are already available to you and your employees.

More consistency

With traditional landline telephones, you may have to operate using different lines and devices, which can become quite confusing for your employees and customers. Centralizing your telephony system through Direct Routing streamlines your communication channels and promotes a better experience for everyone.

Direct Routing makes it easier and more convenient to communicate for everyone in your business. Let the IT experts at [company_short] set it up for you. Contact us today to get started.

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