Cloud Voice & Direct Routing

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Responsible for helping to transform Microsoft Teams from a collaborative tool to a full UCaaS solution, cloud voice and direct routing are crucial to many Teams investments.

Microsoft has always taken a flexible approach to its voice strategy with the Teams collaboration tool package.

Teams users can access everything from built-in business phone services offered by Microsoft to a Microsoft Teams voice SKU, available in 33 markets. The most popular solution for voice in Microsoft Teams, of course, continues to be direct routing. Direct routing technology ensures companies can build the ultimate Microsoft Teams investment, using the business calling capabilities of their existing phone system vendor.

The Trends Driving Cloud Voice and Direct Routing in 2022

Direct Routing and Operator Connect provide companies with a multitude of ways to get involved with the Microsoft Teams ecosystem as a partner provider. As Microsoft Teams emerges as one of the most popular UCaaS tools for the age of hybrid work and post-pandemic communications, many communication leaders are taking advantage of these functionalities.

Microsoft is constantly updating its vast list of partners, with new capabilities which allow vendors to assist their customers in a more seamless transition to the cloud. Some of the trends impacting the Microsoft Teams approach to cloud voice include:

  • Increased SBC opportunities: As companies continue to worry about the security of their communications in a hybrid environment, Microsoft’s number of SBC vendors for direct routing is growing. SBC solution providers are beginning to partner with Microsoft to provide their security solutions as a “SaaS” offering, streamlining migration pathways between Team’s calling and collaboration components.
  • Operator Connect: Operator Connect was officially introduced in 2021 as an alternative to the direct routing option for business leaders. This solution enables customers to directly configure services from various providers like T-Mobile, BT, and Verizon. The platform allows companies to use a PTSN via a managed service model, rather than handling things manually with direct routing. Demand for this service is likely to increase in the years ahead.
  • Full Communication systems via Teams: With a wide range of solutions for business voice via direct routing and operator connect, companies can also begin to offer more comprehensive cloud environments for end-to-end communications. This could mean we see a rise in vendors offering both UCaaS and CCaaS services combined within the Microsoft Teams ecosystem.

Cloud Voice and Direct Routing Tomorrow: Looking Ahead

Microsoft’s decision to keep its environment as flexible and open as possible for other partners and vendors means today’s communication providers have a wide range of ways to join forces with a market-leading technology provider. As companies continue to make the transition into the cloud, maintaining the use of an easy-to-use ecosystem like the Microsoft tech stack will help to keep migration issues to a minimum.

We’re sure to see more brands taking advantage of the flexibility of the direct routing and cloud voice features available from Microsoft.

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