With the increasing popularity of the hybrid workplace and the growth of Microsoft Teams, many organizations are looking for quick and efficient ways to connect their Microsoft Teams deployment to the PSTN to enable external telephony communication. For example, they may want their employees to be able to add a participant to a Microsoft Teams meeting from a mobile phone or regular landline number.
For organizations interested in doing this, Microsoft currently offers three different PSTN connectivity options. These are Microsoft Calling Plans, Microsoft Direct Routing and Microsoft Operator Connect. In this post, we’re going to talk about the last of these options.
So what, exactly, is Operator Connect?
Quick and Easy PSTN Connectivity
Operator Connect gives customers the flexibility to choose which operator they would like to select for their PSTN calling directly from the Microsoft Teams admin center. All they have to do is click the Operators tab, where a list of qualified operators is displayed, and select their preferred operator. After doing this, the selected operator contacts the customer and connects them to the service. At this point, the customer receives all the phone numbers they need for their users, or they can keep their existing ones.
Microsoft Teams PSTN connectivity via Operator Connect has several advantages for customers. These include:
- Straightforward connectivity, with no telecommunications expertise required to get started with Microsoft Teams calling.
- Customers can stay with their existing carriers if they appear on the list, which creates an important sense of continuity.
- Operators provide technical support and shared SLAs to the customers, resulting in a shorter response time and higher solution reliability.
- The PSTN calling services and SBC infrastructure are managed by the operators themselves, which cuts costs substantially.
PSTN Connectivity for Microsoft Teams
Operator Connect, Direct Routing, Microsoft Calling Plans - which option will best meet your organization’s unique needs?
In a nutshell, Operator Connect is a very easy way to select an operator to work with. However, because the terms and conditions and prices offered by different carriers may vary significantly, it is definitely worth taking some time to fully weigh up the pros and cons of each of them before you commit to a particular carrier. In addition, integration with existing unified communications or contact center IP-PBX systems is not included, so the cost of that should therefore be taken into consideration.
For those of you who want to make life even easier, we at AudioCodes have come up with a great way to simplify the whole process of connecting to your chosen SIP trunk provider for fast Microsoft Teams adoption, voice communication and connectivity.
It’s called AudioCodes Live for Microsoft Teams – a flexible portfolio of managed services that can also be delivered in conjunction with your existing Office 365 partner. These are just some of the benefits:
- Smooth and seamless migration to Microsoft Teams, with AudioCodes handling the connectivity to your IP-PBX, UC or contact center systems and optimizing your SIP trunk and PSTN configurations.
- Eliminates all the complexity of planning and deploying Microsoft Teams, completely doing away with the need to hire highly specialized (and expensive) IT professionals.
- Full and ongoing lifecycle management and maintenance, including the user management aspects.
- A transparent and easy to understand purchasing model based on a per-user per-month subscription plan makes it clear exactly what you’re getting and how much it will cost.
With AudioCodes Live, it’s fair to say that the fast lane to Microsoft Teams has never been more accessible. So why don’t you put the pedal to the metal and hit the road today?
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