Your Guide to Direct Routing

01 July 2020, 03:54 BST
By EBC Group

As the business landscape continues to evolve, businesses are seeing the value of collaboration tools at the centre of their communications, driven by a demand for remote and mobile working solutions.

To meet this demand, it is now possible for Microsoft’s popular Teams platform to provide a ‘voice solution’ alongside its existing offering. Lets take at how Microsoft Teams can now be used as a fully fledged telephone system- more commonly referred to as ‘Direct Routing’;

What is Direct Routing?

Although Microsoft Teams is primarily used as an internal communication and collaboration tool, Microsoft’s development of ‘Direct Routing’ has allowed Teams to be used a full Business Phone System (PBX), by connecting or ‘routing’ external phone lines to the platform.

Direct Routing allows Microsoft Teams to be used a true unified communications platform, through the management of inbound and outbound calls, whilst leveraging all of the traditional benefits of Teams. Additionally, Direct Routing allows you to remain with your own telephony provider for your lines and minutes, benefitting in cheaper call rates, more flexibility and better support.

EBC Group ‘Direct Calling’

Although Microsoft’s own Direct Routing solution provides the functionality to turn Teams into a Business Phone System (PBX), it has been met some criticism due the expense and limitations of access geographically. Created and maintained by Microsoft in the cloud, simple actions such as porting numbers can be time consuming and confusing, without any dedicated contact to help.

To overcome these issues, EBC Group have created their own Direct Routing telephony solution which provides high quality calling alongside full integration into Microsoft Office 365 and Teams. ‘EBC Group Direct Calling’ provides all of the features of Microsoft’s Direct Routing solution, but allows you to take advantage of cheaper call rates, more flexibility and full support provided by their team of in-house professionals.

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How does Direct Routing work?

Direct Routing works by connecting the Microsoft Teams system to traditional phone networks (PSTN) using two key elements;

Session Border Controller (SBC):

You may hear this described as a ‘firewall’ or ‘VoIP’, which acts as a border between different networks, providing a layer of security and protection when transferring voice data. SBC’s are increasingly being hosted in the cloud to allow greater levels of flexibility, reliability and lower up front costs.

SIP Trunks:

SIP trunking is an essential component of Direct Routing, and is the process of connecting business phone systems (PBX), the internet and traditional phone networks (PSTN).

Who is Direct Routing for?

Existing Users:

Businesses who already use Microsoft Teams within their organisation for internal communication, can now encompass their external communications too. Rolling all your communications into one manageable platform eliminates the need for an external business phone system (PBX) and its associated costs, as well as providing a more solid integration between systems.

Limited Support:

Through reputable and certified Microsoft Partners such as EBC Group, businesses with limited in-house expertise, such as small IT teams (or lack of) can leverage providers to install and support Microsoft Teams and EBC Direct Calling, as well as any other associated equipment.

High call users:

Additionally, businesses who are still using Microsoft Calling can now move away from this expensive alternative, in favour of EBC Direct Calling, which is the obvious choice for businesses that make a reasonable amount of outbound and international calls. EBC Direct Calling will always provide a much cheaper reoccurring price per user, per month than Microsoft ’s own calling plans.

What are the benefits?

True Unified Communications:

Unifies your communications, such as video, meetings and file share with your in-bound and out-bound calls to provide a rounded communications platform.

Choose your own provider:

With the right provider savings can be made on upfront costs and on-going fees, as well as having access to expert support

Port your own numbers:

Direct Routing with Teams allows you to keep your existing numbers alongside any new DDI’s.

Direct Routing Setup:

Getting setup is easier than you think, and with reliable and certified providers such as EBC Group, can be done so by highly a highly trained teams of professionals.

Number porting & new numbers:

Simply request to port existing numbers, or request new ones from your provider. Depending on the numbers this can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Set up of SIP Trunks and SBC’s:

As the foundation of Direct Routing, Session Border Controller (SBC) and the SIP Trunks should take less than a day for the provider to set both of these elements up.

Test & Train:

Once set up, a provider, like EBC Group will work with you to test inbound and outbound calls before going live, as well offering additional training and support to ensure your colleagues are familiar with the new interface ,and that any previous call groups or call behaviour have been set up.

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There are many benefits for organisations using Microsoft Teams direct routing. Find out more about about EBC Direct Calling or for more information Get in Touch

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