One of the standout consequences of the turmoil that many of us have been experiencing in recent weeks is the meteoric rise in the use of cloud-based communication and collaboration tools, especially within companies whose workforce has been forced to work from home.
The case of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s platform for cloud collaboration and intelligent communications is particularly remarkable. As reported on the Microsoft Azure blog on March 28, 2020, Microsoft has seen an unprecedented surge in the use of Microsoft Teams in recent weeks:
“We have seen a very significant spike in Teams usage, and now have more than 44 million daily users. Those users generated over 900 million meeting and calling minutes on Teams daily in a single week.”
There are many factors contributing to the success of Microsoft Teams in the current coronavirus environment. One of those is the advanced voice infrastructure capabilities built into the Teams setup which give enterprises the ability to control the quality, reliability and security of their users’ calls whether they are in the office or working from home. Much of this is down to the Direct Routing feature which gives Teams customers the ability to connect to local PSTN or SIP trunk providers via a certified SBC.
Further enhancements in the Teams calling experience are delivered by Microsoft’s Local Media Optimization. This is a set of media processing features that help Teams customers, especially large distributed organizations, to better manage their voice quality and limit security risks. Among the features included in Local Media Path Optimization are:
- Controlling how the media traffic flows between the Teams clients and customer SBCs to save bandwidth and ensure the media doesn’t have to take an unnecessarily long path (via the Teams cloud servers) which could result in packet loss, delays and other impairments.
- Allowing media streams to flow between the Teams clients and SBCs even if SBCs are behind corporate firewalls with private IP addresses (NAT). This ensures that media streams can remain within the corporate network resulting in improved call security, as well as bandwidth savings and voice quality preservation. It also eliminates the need for IT managers to open additional firewall ports.
- Providing Direct Routing SBCs with information about users’ device locations (whether they are at a branch office or are work-at-home employees). Based on that information the SBC can dynamically select an optimized codec with parameters adapted to the user’s location and voice capabilities, while conforming to the company's network policies.
AudioCodes Mediant SBCs are certified by Microsoft for Teams Direct Routing and for Teams Local Media Optimization including dynamic codec adaptation and optimization. We are constantly enhancing our SBC capabilities, so follow our updates for new announcements surrounding Microsoft Teams Direct Routing in the near future.
Direct Routing Local Media Optimization
Live Technical Webinar
Don’t miss our live webinar on Microsoft Teams Local Media Optimization on April 30, 2020.
If you are responsible for installing, operating or managing Direct Routing solutions in Microsoft Teams environments, this session will take a deep dive into Local Media Optimization and lead you step-by-step through the process of configuring LMO in your network.