Direct Routing allows customers to connect their SIP trunk to Microsoft Teams (Office 365). In this scenario customer can use any of the supported Session Border Controllers (SBC) from one of the certified partners.
Any UCaaS solution remains a challenge for enterprises having global presence. Only after you start whiteboarding or drawing your solution in Visio that you realise the type of sites you need to accommodate; regulated, non-regulated, sites with calling plans, sites without calling plans… are to name a few. Realising the dream of UCaaS implementation for such companies remain unrealistic until a viable hybrid solution is presented by OEM to the customer. Direct Routing is a welcome step by Microsoft in this direction.
It makes design, implementation & operation of a hybrid solution much easier. You no more must train your staff on a very specific version of gateway (CCE). Rather, existing skillset to design, implement and operate a SBC can be used to setup Direct Routing in Microsoft Teams.
These SBCs are either already certified or in process of getting certified by Microsoft;
1) AudioCodes Session Border Controllers (SBC)
2) Ribbon (Sonus) Core (SWe/5k/7k) SBC
3) Ribbon (Sonus) SBC Edge 1000-2000
Per Microsoft, it would continue to evaluate and certify more SBC vendors.
A) Interoperability with on-prem PBXs\IP-PBXs
A customer can virtually connect any PSTN trunk with Microsoft Teams Direct Routing. This would allow a customer to continue leveraging benefits of existing design. Many customers use their on-prem PBX\IP-PBX as a backbone of the contact center infrastructure. Direct Routing allows such customers to continue using existing PBX setup as a backbone of their contact center infrastructure.
B) Interoperability with analogue devices
It helps enabling interoperability between customer-owned telephony equipment (such as 3rd party PBXs and analogue devices) and the end points registered on Microsoft Teams.
C) Seamless migration plan to the cloud
Easier to plan migration of non-Microsoft end points to Microsoft Teams. Interoperability between on-prem and Ms Teams infra gives IT admins sufficient time to plan the batches of migration. One doesn’t have to rush up migration of on-prem end points to Office 365 because of design constraint. Instead, an IT admin can plan the migration batches and run adoption program at ease while their on-prem and Ms Teams users are still able to communicate with each other without pain.
D) Leverage existing contracts with service providers
Allows a customer to use existing telephony arrangements with the service provider(s). Existing DIDs and investment could still be used under this arrangement.
E) Easier Deployment of Calling Plan
Much easier to deploy. If planned properly, it can be deployed in an hr.
F) Where Calling Plans not available
Organizations might use Direct Routing if Calling Plan isn't available in their country locations.
G) No CCE anymore!
This, itself, is a huge relief. Being able to use a standard SBC gives lot of benefits to an organization.
H) Leverage on-prem devices until end of life
Many organizations may decide to keep the end points using on-prem infra until their devices get end of life. Such migration strategy is aimed at ensuring less wastage of invested amount. This type of migration strategy could be feasible only if hybrid infra is deployed using Direct Routing.
References:Planning Direct Routing
Direct Routing NOW in Public Preview