Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular collaboration tools available today. Originally launched as a collaboration tool in 2017, it now provides calling, video, and file sharing all in one platform. MS Teams Direct Routing effectively combines traditional business voice services with cloud collaboration tools to meet the changing needs of hybrid workers.
What is Microsoft Teams Direct Routing?
Direct Routing allows you to replace or integrate with a traditional private branch exchange (PBX) system. This allows your business to make and receive calls within Microsoft Team’s client and enables your staff to communicate internally and externally through a single pane of glass.
Direct Routing call utilises a Session Border Controller (SBC) and a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunk to connect Teams to a telecom provider. A SIP Trunk connects the Microsoft phone system to a public switched telephone network (PSTN) through the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
The benefits of Direct Routing
With Direct Routing, there’s no complicated setup. Configuring the service requires only a few clicks, and users can get up and running in no time. MS Teams Direct Routing can be implemented as a cloud-based solution, minimising the need for on-premises infrastructure.
Direct Routing offers your staff the flexibility to work from any device and location. It supports effective collaboration, which allows for improved productivity and a smoother workflow.
Generally, an Direct Routing solution is also much cheaper than other solutions. This is because it allows you to bring your existing PBX phone system to the cloud rather than investing in a new system. While PBX systems may involve hardware and maintenance expenses, MS Teams Direct Routing is more likely to require subscription and licensing costs.
As your business grows and its communication needs increase, MS Direct Routing can keep up, thanks to its scalability feature set. This means you can add additional lines or features with less downtime or disruptions.
Microsoft Teams Direct Routing utilises end-to-end encryption technology and robust authentication protocols. These give you the peace of mind that your communications are secure and can only be accessed by authenticated users.
The disadvantages of Direct Routing
Before committing to Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, weighing its pros and cons for your business is important. Keep on reading to explore the potential drawbacks and make an informed decision.
Requires a phone system licence
Businesses with Microsoft 365 Enterprise Licensing on level E1 or E3 will need to purchase a Microsoft Teams Phone licence. Direct Routing will already be included if you are on an E5 (Premium) plan.
PBX functionality and reporting are basic
The PBX functionality and reporting offered by Direct Routing are also very basic compared to alternative telephony solutions. If your business requires more advanced capabilities, you might find MS Teams Direct Routing lacking.
Lower uptime SLA
MS Teams is only backed by a 99.99% uptime service level agreement (SLA), while other vendors are backed by 99.999%. This means there is a higher chance of service interruptions or downtime, which can lead to disrupted business operations.
Requires a third-party SIP provider
MS Teams requires a third-party SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) provider. This means a lack of redundancy compared to other vendors. You may not have access to as many backup or alternative options as other providers in case something goes wrong with the SIP provider. If the SIP provider goes down, you may face issues with making or receiving phone calls in Microsoft Teams.
Is Teams Direct Routing right for your business?
Since every business has different requirements, the right telephony option for one company might not be suitable for another. If your business is already using Microsoft Teams and it’s working out well, MS Teams Direct Routing may be a good fit. Businesses that require seamlessly integrated collaboration tools may also benefit from MS Teams Direct Routing.
If you require more complex PBX functionality or reporting, you might want to consider an alternative telephony option. It’s also worthwhile considering your existing infrastructure. If you already have a PBX system that suits your business needs, you may stick with that.
Overall, Direct Routing is a fantastic solution for existing Microsoft Teams users and for those who live within the MS365 ecosystem. However, it lacks some more advanced PBX and reporting functionalities and requires a third-party routing SIP provider.
At Ignite Telecom, we provide a wide range of business voice solutions tailored to your company’s needs. Spark up a conversation with our experts now to see if Teams Direct Routing is right for your business.