By now, pretty much everybody has made calls using Microsoft Teams, including in a business context. Many organisations are even choosing to use Microsoft Teams for business calls to improve the customer experience and simplify their IT infrastructure even further.
Outbound and inbound calls to other users of Microsoft Teams are free and immediately applicable, but if you want your employees to be able to call "normal" phone numbers (on the PSTN network) as well, then there's some extra steps.
Do you want to use Microsoft Teams for business calls? Then you'll need to connect the Microsoft Phone System (a virtual PBX hosted by Microsoft in the cloud) to the public telephony network. You can do that in two different ways: You can use Microsoft's Calling Plans or set up Direct Routing through a service provider.
Let's have a look at the differences between Microsoft's Calling Plans and Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, so you can make an informed choice.
What Are the Microsoft Calling Plans?
The Calling Plans of Microsoft are the business telephony solution that Microsoft offers directly to users. It includes a phone number for incoming calls and a bundle of call minutes for outgoing calls. A company can choose a domestic or international subscription, depending on its needs. With this solution, Microsoft Teams supports the ability to make VoIP calls to other Teams users, from and to landlines and cell phones on the public telephony network.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Microsoft's Calling Plans
With a Microsoft's Calling Plan subscription, you can get started right away without an external intermediary provider. Does your organisation have fairly simple telephony and phone system requirements? If so, this could be a good solution. However, there are limitations; although the subscription bundle is fairly generous, the monthly license fees are quite high.
In addition, Microsoft's Calling Plans are only available in a few countries (16) through specific carriers. This makes an international rollout more difficult. The Calling Plans are a self-service solution. Support is limited, which can be difficult for organisations with more complex telephony requirements. Also, it is difficult to port existing phone numbers.
Microsoft's Calling Plans are a great choice for smaller companies, who have few requirements for a business calling solution or who only operate in one country.
What Is Microsoft Teams Direct Routing?
Microsoft Teams Direct Routing connects the Microsoft telephone system with the public telephone network. This is done in collaboration with a (SIP Trunk) service provider in order to provide a complete and flexible solution. The SIP Trunk platform is connected via a certified Sessions Border Control (SBC) to the Microsoft Phone System telephony platform. The Direct Routing Module gives companies the flexibility to configure their telephone connectivity as they wish.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Microsoft Teams Direct Routing
Microsoft Teams Direct Routing is a customised solution. This makes it often cheaper and more flexible than a Calling Plan. With Direct Routing you don't pay for a bundle of minutes upfront, but you make use of advantageous per-minute rates, which can even be tailored to your needs for high volumes. This way you don't pay for minutes you don't use and the monthly license fee is significantly lower.
Direct Routing is also a fully managed service, in addition to providing the basic PSTN connection. The provider takes care of porting existing numbers and the reachability of the phone numbers inbound and outbound.
Does your company need flexibility, support and global coverage? Then Microsoft Teams Direct Routing is a suitable and even economical choice for you!
Microsoft Teams Direct Routing via CM.com
The CM.com SIP Trunk platform is connected to the Microsoft Phone System telephony platform via a certified SBC. The Direct Routing Module gives companies the flexibility to configure their phone connectivity as they wish.
CM.com offers the following benefits:
- All-in-one platform
- Quick start and an easy integration
- Number porting
- Request and configuration of new phone numbers
- Scalability as desired
- Control over traffic and costs
Would you like to know more about our Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solution? Or maybe you just want to spar about the possibilities for your company? Then don't hesitate to contact us! We'll be happy to help you on your way.