What is Direct Routing?

In short, Direct Routing is the most popular method of enabling external calling in Microsoft Teams. In the wider industry outside of Teams, Direct Routing is known as SIP Trunking.

You should know that there are currently two other options for enabling voice in Teams besides Direct Routing – Microsoft calling plans and Operator Connect. Learning about these other methods is also advised, but depending on your business size and needs Direct Routing may be the best option for you to activate voice.

So how does Direct Routing work? What are the features of Direct Routing and how can you enable it yourself?

How does Direct Routing work?

To be more specific, Direct Routing is the name for the toolkit which enables a connection between Microsoft Teams and an existing phone system. Without a method like Direct Routing, calling externally with Microsoft Teams using an existing phone system would be impossible.

Think of Direct Routing as a line that is connected to a business phone system at one end, and the Microsoft UI at the other.

But Direct Routing laid out like this is not secure. As part of the Direct Routing package a Session Border Controller (SBC) is deployed to fully secure a line. An important distinction to make is that a Session Border Controller (SBC) is not a firewall. An SBC is far more specialized and tailored to handle the intricate call traffic that is routed through everyday communications. With an SBC the Direct Routing framework is complete!

Even though Direct Routing can allow you to deploy voice with flexibility and ease, building it yourself by adding any kind of technical stack to your offering is both time-consuming and costly. There are options available however that let you deploy Direct Routing at a fraction of the cost.

Call2Teams is an example of Direct Routing as a Service (DRaaS) which allows you to instantly deploy a native Direct Routing solution without investing in any new software or hardware.

Direct Routing FAQs

What is Direct Routing?

Direct Routing is the method that allows you to integrate your existing phone system with Microsoft Teams to make and receive phone calls via the Teams dialpad.

How does Direct Routing work?

Direct Routing works by setting up a Session Border Controller (SBC) that connects your phone system to Teams and helps translate the different communication protocols used by the two systems.

What are the benefits of Direct Routing?

Some of the benefits of using Direct Routing in Teams include increased flexibility, cost savings, and the ability to take advantage of Teams as your calling interface, completing the picture by bringing voice calls to the other collaboration tools available within Teams Unified Communications.

What is the difference between Direct Routing and a Calling Plan?

The main difference between Microsoft Calling Plans and Direct Routing is that with DRaaS you can keep your existing telephony provider and numbers. You can learn more about the options for calling in Microsoft Teams here.

Do I need to have a specific phone system to use Direct Routing?

Direct Routing is compatible with a wide range of phone systems, including both on-premise and cloud-based systems. It is not specific to a certain phone type.

How do I set up Direct Routing in Teams?

You can set up Direct Routing in teams manually or by using a Direct Routing service, such as Call2Teams.

Can I make emergency calls with Direct Routing?

Yes, emergency calls can be made through Direct Routing, as long as the necessary routing and location information has been set up.  We offer full E911 support for our partners who need to comply with Ray Baum’s Act.

What are the costs associated with Direct Routing?

Conventional Direct Routing has a few costs that come with it. Some of the costly aspects of self-build include deployment, integration, hardware and licensing. On top of this there is also the cost of maintenance. Direct Routing as a Service offers a more cost-effective, managed solution.

Can I use Direct Routing to integrate multiple phone systems with Teams?

Yes, you can use Direct Routing to integrate multiple phone systems with Teams. By using Direct Routing SBCs, you can connect multiple phone systems to Microsoft Teams and route calls between them. This can be useful for organizations that have multiple locations or have acquired companies with their own phone systems.

The Call2Teams DRaaS solution is PBX agnostic and for business users is delivered via a global network of partners, see our Find a partner page for more info. We are a cost-effective solution, that compliments an existing phone system and delivers native Teams calling. As an add-on to Office 365, Call2Teams can be set up and configured in minutes by any Office 365 admin. It allows organizations to retain their existing PBX phone system and fully integrate it quickly and easily into Teams.