Operator Connect vs. Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Voice is used by businesses and organizations all over the world. Microsoft Teams’ integration with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which enables users to place and receive phone calls using the platform, is one of its most important features.

The best option for your company will depend on your unique needs and requirements. There are several different ways to connect Microsoft Teams to the PSTN.

In this blog, we'll go over the advantages and disadvantages of the top two options for connecting Microsoft Teams to the PSTN: Operator Connect and Direct Routing.

operator connect vs direct routing post

Connecting the Dots: Operator Connect and Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams are features designed to enhance the communication and collaboration capabilities of the Microsoft Teams platform. By allowing organizations to connect their existing telephony systems with Microsoft Teams, these features streamline work processes, improve call quality, and provide more flexible call management options.

Operator Connect vs. Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams: How do they differ?

Both Operator Connect and Direct Routing allow companies to choose their own PSTN provider and build lasting relationships with their selected operators to enable Microsoft Teams Voice services.

Operator Connect

Microsoft Operator Connect offers:

  • A specific list of reputable and approved Microsoft vendors, such as Fusion Connect, to choose from.
  • A shared SLA and mutual support model between Fusion Connect and Microsoft.
  • Convenient and straightforward admin management from a central portal.
  • No need for any expert Teams calling architecture knowledge.
  • Access to high-quality security features and Session Border Controllers (SBCs).
  • Predictable pricing.
  • The ability to easily choose and deploy Calling Services for Microsoft in minutes.
  • APIs to simplify the communication process.

Direct Routing

Microsoft Direct Routing offers:

  • A flexible environment for communications you can customize with your voice provider.
  • Complete access to a wide range of providers.
  • Support for additional integrations like analytics software, call recording and contact center.
  • Dedicated SBC access, which can be managed and controlled for compatibility issues.
  • Predictable pricing.


Use Cases for Operator Connect and Direct Routing

Operator Connect and Direct Routing are great solutions for businesses who want to use the Microsoft Teams platform for their communication and collaboration needs, but also want to be able to make and receive traditional phone calls. The following use cases may help you to determine which solution is the right one for your business.

Operator Connect

  1. You already have a Microsoft enterprise agreement that includes Teams, but you want to enable Teams to make and receive calls (inside and outside of your organization).
  2. You have Microsoft Teams as your PBX, but you also need business continuity incase Microsoft goes down.
  3. You want the ability to provision your own users and assign DIDs on-demand.
  4. You want the ability to request new numbers or port numbers through a single portal.
  5. You want the ability to have sub-tenants for flexible management.
  6. You require direct peering (interconnection) with Microsoft Cloud.

Direct Routing

  1. You have Microsoft Teams as your PBX, but you also need business continuity, integration with third party applications, or have complex requirements.


Final Verdict on Operator Connect vs. Direct Routing

Operator Connect and Direct Routing are two delivery methods of the same solution – Microsoft Calling Services, that enable Microsoft Teams to make calls. Operator Connect is preconfigured and a portal can be used to make changes in real-time.

With Direct Routing, a provider like Fusion Connect does the heavy lifting, but the process takes longer. At the end of the day, both options lead to the same solution and the right solution depends on your needs. It should be noted that these solutions are not mutually exclusive, you can have both delivery methods if necessary.

Reference sites:

Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams

Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams

How to set up Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams


Microsoft Teams Calling Services

Microsoft Teams allows collaboration access to files and direct communication with your teams

Make calls to mobile devices and landlines through Microsoft Teams with Operator Connect.


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