Microsoft Teams continues to gain traction as the go-to unified communications platform for forward-looking organizations, largely driven by the demands of the increasingly popular hybrid work model. As a result, more and more Microsoft Teams adopters are looking for quick and efficient ways to connect their deployments to the PSTN to enable external telephony communication, bringing all their communication channels under one umbrella.
Operator Connect is one of three ways that Microsoft offers to connect to the PSTN to enable Microsoft Teams voice calling, enabling organizations to select an operator for their PSTN calling directly from the Microsoft Teams admin center. Advantages include straightforward connectivity, retention of existing carriers in many cases, operator-provided technical support and low costs since the infrastructure is managed by the operators.
Service Provider? Here’s How to Grow Your Business
Operator Connect also represents an incredible opportunity for service providers to develop new revenue streams by tapping into the growing market of offering Operator Connect to their end customers. Nonetheless, service providers wanting to get to this point on their own need to join the Operator Connect Partner Program, where there are a number of hoops to jump through on the path to achieving the vaunted Microsoft-authorized third-party verification and certification.
For this reason, many service providers choose the smart route to offering Operator Connect PSTN connectivity by working with an approved Microsoft Operator Connect Accelerator partner, which simplifies and automates the development and integration process for service providers without the hassle of meeting Operator Connect prerequisites.
Pick Your Operator Connect Accelerator Platform
One of these approved Operator Connect Accelerator platforms is AudioCodes Live Cloud, which is an easy-to-use SaaS solution for service providers to onboard customers and deliver a managed multi-tenant Microsoft Teams voice service.
Let’s take a look at just five of Live Cloud’s key advantages:
Features and Content
The basic features of Operator Connect Accelerator involve many building blocks that the operator needs to put together, including independent API integration, Operator Connect portal development and SBC connectivity. Live Cloud goes beyond that by providing an end-to-end managed solution platform that includes an updated portal, comprehensive reporting and monitoring capabilities, user and calling policy management and full Day 2 support.
Customer Onboarding Process
Live Cloud provides all the necessary components for customer onboarding, completely automating the end-to-end operator onboarding process. It also includes the preparation and deployment of the Azure Communications Gateway.
Connectivity and Integration
Live Cloud support extends beyond MAPS, encompassing ExpressRoute and providing SIP trunk connectivity in both peering and private configurations. When it comes to Teams Phone Mobile integration, Live Cloud offers more than just support for forced trunk and MCP. It enables full traffic control through a REST API for enhanced services, including emergency calling services.
Monitoring and User Management
Live Cloud offers end-to-end management, which covers customer onboarding, SBC traffic, call quality, Teams QoE, topology health and performance via its Quality and Analytics platform framework layer. It also includes user and policy management (including MACD and bulk operations) through an enhanced self-service portal with audit functionality, three-tier tracking (service providers, resellers and end customers) and role-based access control. This eliminates the end customer’s need for PowerShell expertise or outsourcing, resulting in big potential OpEx savings.
Live Cloud is eligible for the Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment (MACC) program and has a user-friendly marketplace transaction program accessible through the Azure Marketplace. It also includes complementary add-ons such as business phones and meeting room devices available as a service, interactions recording and meeting productivity solutions to further enhance the overall offering.
Live Cloud: Much More than Just Onboarding
AudioCodes Live Cloud is a highly comprehensive Operator Connect Accelerator platform for service providers, offering much more than just onboarding. Today’s customers expect service providers to deliver end-to-end management as part of their UCaaS platforms, and Live Cloud certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Additionally, Live Cloud serves as a versatile multi-UCaaS platform, catering not only to Microsoft Teams but also supporting the Zoom Phone Provider Exchange platform, with Cisco Webex soon to come.