Calling in Microsoft Teams
Is your organization considering moving to Microsoft Teams? Have you thought about what it means to go direct with Microsoft versus going with a Direct Routing Partner? Microsoft often advises clients to go with a Direct Routing partner for a variety of reasons, but how does it work and what does it mean in the backend? One of ChoiceTel’s engineers breaks down the basics below.
Microsoft Teams supports the ability to make VoIP calls to other Teams users. Adding a Teams Phone System license for each user, allows calls to and from external telephone numbers and mobile devices on the Public Switched Telephone Network.
To enable users to make and receive inbound and outbound phone calls, you have two options. The first is Microsoft Calling Plans where Microsoft provides and manages your telephone numbers and PSTN service. The second is Direct Routing where you can move your existing telephone numbers to a Direct Routing provider. The Direct Routing provider will manage your telephone numbers and supply PSTN connectivity.
Microsoft Calling Plans are offered by Microsoft on a per-user license. Calling Plans include phone numbers, a bundle of minutes and a connection to the PSTN. These plans are maintained by Microsoft via Office 365 portal but no additional access to PSTN carrier services. Unlike Microsoft Calling Plans, Direct Routing providers allow organizations to choose bundles or request tailored solutions that meet their carrier and coverage needs. That often means they’re typically cheaper and more flexible than Microsoft’s limited options.
The process of moving your telephone numbers to a different provider is called Number Porting. Number porting with Teams Calling Plans is done by you, the customer. It can be difficult, confusing, and time-consuming. On the other hand, Direct Routing providers are more experienced with number porting and provisioning. It’s a simple process for them to do it for you. This makes the transition to calling in Teams quicker and easier.