Microsoft Phone System Direct Routing now Generally Available

July 9th, 2018 Posted by Digital Collaboration, Office 365, Unified Communications

The fast-paced evolution of Microsoft Teams has leaped even further forward with Microsoft Phone System Direct Routing hitting the GA mark.

Referred to as “Bring Your Own Trunk” (“BYOT”) prior to its public preview, “Direct Routing” enables an organisation to use their existing PSTN services to make and receive phone calls in the Teams client.

Direct Routing uses a certified Session Border Controller (SBC) on premises or in an organisation’s Data Centre to act as a point of interconnect to the Cloud-based Microsoft Teams infrastructure. The SBC then performs it usual role routing calls between Teams users and SIP or ISDN-based carriage, tie trunks to existing PABXs or Contact Centre applications, and even to legacy FXS or FXO ports.

The AudioCodes and Ribbon (nee Sonus) families of SBCs are certified already, with other vendors keen to join the program. Existing SBCs should be able to be re-purposed for Direct Routing, requiring only a firmware upgrade, a public PKI certificate, and a public IP address, a model bearing some resemblance to how a Lync or Skype for Business Edge server is deployed, although with significantly reduced complexity.

The arrival of Microsoft Phone System Direct Routing largely changes the focus on Cloud Connector Edition (CCE) for organisations running Teams, although CCE remains the only way to bring on-premises trunks to users of the pure Skype for Business Online in the Australian market. Direct Routing is a significant boost to Teams in the Australian market, adding a new “DIY” alternative to other 3rd party options for getting PSTN access to the Microsoft cloud.

Greig has worked in the telecommunications industry in Sydney, Australia, since finishing school in the 1980s. Originally employed as an apprentice technician with Telecom Australia, he’s today the “Practice Lead – UC” for Generation-e, a leading Microsoft partner with a focus on UC, Collaboration, and Audio-Visual solutions. Greig was recently awarded a Microsoft MVP recognition for the fifth time, and blogs regularly at greiginsydney.com

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