Teams On Air: Ep. 65 Direct Routing for enterprise voice in Microsoft Teams Summary

Microsoft Teams Direct Routing announcement came out at Enterprise Connect and last Thursday 29th March there’s was a Teams on Air Broadcast with Nikolay Muravlyannikov.

I missed the live broadcast as it was my son’s 2nd birthday and we were out at peak wildlife park chasing rabbits and wallabies. Few pictures below. Shout out to Spencer Happy Birthday !


Back to the broadcast

This is episode 65 and the video is available on YouTube here

Great Post on Direct Routing on Tech Community as well here

We have Delanda Coleman Sr Product Marketing Manager and Nikolay Muravlyannikov Sr Program Manager from Microsoft


Delanda starts out with talking about if your an existing SfB customer you may be already familiar with Cloud Connector Edition (CCE) and now there is a new solution called Direct Routing is the new solution for Microsoft Teams

Nikolay is Senior Product Manager in SfB and Teams back end and role is to create new product and been with Msft since 2009.

Changes in telephony in the industry

2 tends in last 10 years

  • Telephony transform from old ISDN trunk to SIP based
  • Telephony becomes part of software clients and Microsoft pioneered this with Office Communications Server merging telephony and software for conferencing and merging into unified communications. Microsoft pioneered unified communications and bring internet based comms into experience meetings, IM and presence into a unified client.

What are Things to expect with telephony and Microsoft Teams?

Telephony falls into trends as other technologies, implement AI into telephony and that’s why we started to call our next gen telephony “Intelligent Communications” want to become more smart using AI.

Traditional calls with PSTN calls and now have more contextual experience on top.

Microsoft Phone System and Direct Routing – What is it ?


Microsoft provides

  • Client for group collaboration and teamwork called Microsoft Teams but no teamwork is possible without access to telephony networks
  • Microsoft provides within Office 365 is Phone System and lets customers make and receive calls, Call Queues, Organisation Auto Attendant, Boss Admin scenarios,

Customers love this for two reasons

1. Unified communications and eliminates the needs for separate client such as one for Instant Messaging, conferencing and phone separate on desk for making and receiving telephony calls.

2.  Helps customers to reduce on premises hardware such as PBXs and third party legacy devices.

Phone System can be interconnected to telephony network in two ways

  1. Calling Plans – means Microsoft will take care of all telephony needs including telephone numbers new or porting existing, microsoft provide all communications from the Cloud.
  2. Bring our own telco provider to Teams which is Direct Routing

If customers have existing investments in PSTN providers or legacy in but wanted to incorporate into Office 365


Two reasons why customer’s demand direct routing

1- Bring your own PSTN provider

Cases for Bring your own PSTN

  • Microsoft calling plans not available in country but its not worldwide.
  • Customers wanted to bring existing PSTN contract as they are locked into the contract and can’t move to Calling Plans or perhaps they have better calling rate or prefer to stay with local PSTN providers and not use Microsoft Calling Plans therefore they wanted to bring their own Telco to Microsoft Teams as they migrate
  • Mix and match different system for large enterprises where they may have contact centre with skills based routing and Microsoft doesn’t provide this functionality, the contact centre users can stay as they are but the rest of the users can move to Microsoft Teams and still save costs on decommission old equipment and PBX. Interoperability between on premises and Cloud users is provided.

One more important case is interconnect Analogue devices such as door phone, lift phones and fax machines.

Summarise direct Routing allows customers to

  • Bring your own Telco (PSTN provider)
  • Mix and Match different systems, analog, third party PBX , Contact Centres



Requirements for Direct Routing


Two Elements

Microsoft Provides

  • Microsoft Phone System
  • Microsoft Teams Client

Customer provides

  • Supported Session Border Controller (Currently Ribbon, AudioCodes) SBC provides interconnect other PBX, SIP trunks and ATAs
  • Access to the SBC from Office 365
  • Telephony Trunks (PSTN) SIP or can be ISDN

Once all in place, configuration is all in PowerShell and takes less than an Hour.

With SBC and backend PowerShell you can have full connected Phone System to your SIP Trunk provider. Old telephony system can be minimised to just an SBC


Requirements for new customer’s who is new to Microsoft and never used Skype for Business ?

  • SBC is required
  • Access to SBC from Office 365
  • PSTN
  • Configure Pairing
  • Configuring Voice Routing for users

Up and running within an hour

Starting up new office they can setup users easily and configure

Once all prereqs in place


More complicated for Skype for Business on premises customers who are using Cloud Connector Edition or thinking of connecting to Phone System


Two cases

1. Customer is existing SfB Online with SBC we had Cloud Connector or customer leverage SfB Server Pool

Phone System is Shared within Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams

First step If SBC is supported for Direct Routing pair same SBC in parallel to Microsoft Teams backend, one trunk to Skype for Business backend via CCE or On premises Skype for Business Server pool and the other to Microsoft Teams backend


Next step is to configure Voice Routing on the SBC and Teams backend

Then start migrating SfB Users to Teams


Once all users migrated the old infrastructure, CCE or On premises SfB Server pool can be decommissioned


Customers preserve existing investment in SBC and save on transition


Pure On Premises Skype for Business / Lync Server Customers

Customers who have all users homed on premises and have no users on SfB Online


Migration is almost the same

SBC interconnected to Teams backend


Migrate users and Microsoft provides a tool (I’m sure on this tool as of yet but ill see what i can find)


Once all users migrate the SfB or Lync Server pool can be decommissioned.


In all case environments can be setup in parallel and slowly migrate users / try and POC / Pilots with some users and go to Microsoft Teams later.

  • Leverage existing investments and try to save costs
  • Move at your pace


Mentioned supported SBC who are they ?


AudioCodes and Ribbon (Previously Sonus previously NET) (ThinkTel are not mentioned here at the mo)

  • Interop test
  • Joint development
  • seamless support process – Microsoft will work with AudioCodes and Ribbon on the back end
  • Working with all models of Audio Codes and Ribbon which are currently on the market

If customer using CCE with SBC from AudioCodes or Ribbon or an appliance from AudioCodes and Ribbon that includes CCE in the appliance, these appliance will contunue to workwith Teams !

We cut to a break in the Direct Routing Session to Teams Tip which ive put at the bottom of the summary so we keep the Direct Routing information together but check it out at the end of the post.

When will this be available ?

How can customer try Direct Routing ?

We have tech option preview and public roadmap is delivery for June

Preview will let almost everyone try

End of June to try and leverage Direct Routing

Sign up and check out Microsoft Tech Communities for more details and information


Questions and Answers

Do you plan to expand partners for SBC’s ?

Yes working with several venders and looking to have 4 more vendors by end of calender year

Is there any additional cost for implementing Direct Routing?

No, same model when you transition from SfB to Teams, E5 or E3 with existing Phone System licence there is no charge.

Cloud PBX licence is the same licence as Phone System.

Certified SIP Trunks providers ?

Certify SBC which can interconnect with any SIP trunks in the World. As long as you have a certified SBC your good.

See you in two weeks for the next episode.



Teams TIPs

We cut to a quick break to look at what’s new in Microsoft Teams

We cut to Anne Michels who Group Product Manager for Teams Tips


Add a user to an existing Chat Conversation


Need to add another user to an existing chat and you dont want to copy all existing chat / conversations to the new person


Click Add icon to the left of call


three options

Start from strach and odnt include previous chat

Share all

Chose how many days


Type name of the person you wish to add


For more Teams Tips follow on Twitter



One thought on “Teams On Air: Ep. 65 Direct Routing for enterprise voice in Microsoft Teams Summary

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for this article.

    How it works to port existing Phone numberds with Teams DR ? Can it be ported to Office 365 or Telco or both ?

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