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Direct Routing allows Microsoft Teams users to integrate third-party telephony providers into the Microsoft Phone System. The global coverage, competitive rates, and feature capabilities available through third-party telephony services has made Direct Routing the most popular option among Teams’ users.
If Microsoft’s Calling Plans don’t support all the countries you need to call into, your company requires PBX features unavailable in Phone System, or if you just want a more cost-effective telephony solution, Direct Routing may be the best solution for your organization.
The standard Microsoft Teams license doesn’t come with any telephony service. By default, Teams only offers messaging and video calling options for communication. However, with Microsoft’s add-on license, Phone System, Teams users can place, receive, and transfer phone calls in the Teams application. (NOTE: The Phone System license is also included in some of the 365 Bundles Microsoft offers).
Microsoft Phone System, by itself, only supports calls placed to users within the same organization as the caller. This is because Phone System doesn’t have a default connection to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Calls to users in the same organization don’t need to connect to the PSTN since the call starts and ends within the Microsoft Phone System. However, to place calls to recipients outside of your organization, you’ll need to connect to the PSTN using either Microsoft’s Calling Plan or a carrier like Voxology via Direct Routing.
A Session Border Controller (SBC) serves as a point of connection between Microsoft Teams and telephony providers such as Voxology who connect Teams to the PSTN. It receives calls, or sessions, from Microsoft Teams and works with the telephony provider to help manage the network connection and resources.
The SBC assists with call quality by ensuring proper allocation of resources, prioritization of concurrent calls, and can also help with fraud prevention by blocking unwanted calls. Because all call traffic passes through the SBC, it’s also common for it to store call tracking and billing data.
Traditionally, SBCs have been on-prem hardware that require installation by an IT team or managed service provider. However, Voxology offers a virtual SBC that requires no installation or maintenance by our customers.
In either case, once the SBC is connected to Microsoft Teams, calls placed in Teams will pass through the SBC, to the telephony provider and ultimately to the PSTN and called party.
The connection between Microsoft Teams and the Voxology SBC is made through a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), which is defined during the creation of a Voxology SIP Trunk. SIP is the standard method for connecting calls placed over the Internet to the PSTN. The FQDN assigned to your SIP Trunk on creation tells Teams how to send calls to Voxology’s SBC and tells the SBC how to redirect that traffic to your new SIP Trunk.
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