Voice Enabling Microsoft Teams

By Brendan Sheehan  Posted March 23, 2021

With the adoption of O365 and Microsoft Teams, many companies are looking to truly unify their communication stack by replacing legacy PBX and Contact Center solutions with Microsoft Teams.  Microsoft has been dabbling in the on-premise and cloud PBX world since launching Office Communicator in 2007, followed by Lync and Skype for business.   Throughout this progression to present-day MS Teams, it has become clear that enterprise telephony has some complexities that pose a challenge for the software giant.

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that includes an in-app dialer and options for Conferencing and Calling Plans to enable voice services.   Microsoft understands that global enterprise telephony is a unique feature set with many technical and regulatory nuances.  Therefore, Microsoft has enabled a Direct Routing feature to “hand-off” the voice sessions to other communications platforms.  These platforms include customer-owned PBX platforms, legacy global carriers, and modern Unified Communications and Contact Center as a Service providers (UCaas and CCaaS).   Direct Routing allows enterprises to consolidate the user interface to MS Teams, but still, build a robust and customized global communications “underlay” platform for their business.

The team at Macronet Services has implemented thousands of seats of UCaaS and CCaaS seats around the globe with Gartner leading service providers including Ring Central, 8×8, Dialpad, ZOOM, FUZE, NTT, LUMEN, Broadsoft, and more.  We understand the details needed to complete a full assessment of existing infrastructure, call flows, business processes, and carrier services and commitments and will work with your team to ensure that the future state will align with your business objectives.   Further, we have the experienced talent to ‘clean up’ the legacy billing services and accounts to avoid lingering charges and security risks.

While basic MS Teams calling plans will work for some businesses, it is very important to understand the demarcation point for the Teams user interface and how to address telephony nuances on a global scale.  Below is a list of items to watch out for during your assessment:

  1. Global presence and availability
  2. Ability to port DIDs in specific countries and regions  
  3. Enterprise feature set requirements including PBX/ACD/IVR 
  4. Administration Portal features and manageability
  5. Telephony Help Desk procedures and staffing  
  6. Cost comparison – Cloud UC and CC licensing + Microsoft Licensing + additional per minute rate charges (including metered)
  7. Voice/Call Handling Analytics
  8. Integrations to other important business applications (Salesforce, ServiceNow, MS Dynamics) to create a seamless workflow for various employee personas.
  9. Integration to legacy analog systems (alarm, paging, faxing, etc.) 

Macronet represents all of the leading providers of Direct Routing solutions and we have a developed some in-depth knowledge on how each service provider is handling the key criteria associated with Microsoft Direct routing solutions.  We would love to hear about your UCaaS roadmap and we can share our extensive insight to help make your project a success.