To build or not to build; that is the question.

Microsoft Teams adoption is skyrocketing. Enterprises worldwide are embracing the powerful collaboration platform for group video meetings, team chats, filesharing, seamless integration with third-party productivity applications and more.

Included in Microsoft 365 Enterprise subscriptions, Teams is purpose-built to support agile workforces. However, to extract full value from the platform, organizations must add full calling capabilities to Microsoft Teams, extending functionality to serve as a single hub for all business communications, collaboration and productivity.

From cost and complexity standpoint, integration of calling into the same interface employees use for meetings means enterprises can reduce or altogether eliminate spending on telephony infrastructure and PSTN connectivity.

Integrating new features into any enterprise software requires a thorough examination of available options, and their respective impact on cost, employee productivity, security, risk mitigation, complexity and value. While conducting discovery and initial assessment, enterprise decision-makers have to choose between various deployment options: Microsoft Calling Plans; Direct Routing built in-house; or subscribing (i.e. “buy) to cloud-based direct routing as-a-service (DRaaS).

As the only true Azure-native calling service for Microsoft Teams, SIPPIO offers a unique perspective on this subject. Here’s what you need to know:

Microsoft Calling Plans are Functional but Limited. As such, many enterprises are choosing Direct Routing, which allows businesses to bring your own carrier (BYOC). Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams allows organizations to use their preferred SIP trunking provider to enable voice calling.

Build your own Direct Routing. Building Direct Routing Services in-house can be complex and time-consuming for a number of reasons, especially for enterprises that lack the internal expertise to manage enterprise telephony and Microsoft cloud service migrations. Complex configuration and inherent interworking issues, for example, can cause implementation challenges and security risks when connecting Microsoft Teams with a service provider’s PSTN network.

What the Experts Say. Nemertes analyst, Irwin Lazar, identifies a number of benefits of going with DRaaS in his blog, Optimizing Native Voice for Microsoft Teams Direct Routing.

“Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams Phone System enables organizations to use their own session border controller (SBC) and SIP trunks to connect Teams to the PSTN,” says Lazar. “This approach has several advantages including:

  • Cost savings compared to Microsoft’s Calling Plan
  • Flexibility to support call routing to other cloud-based or on-premises platforms (e.g. for contact center)
  • Maintaining ownership of phone numbers
  • Easier migration by eliminating the need to port phone numbers to Microsoft”

Other analysts like Jon Arnold echo Lazar’s comments and believe that buying DRaaS is most appealing. In a recent UC Today article, Arnold highlights the unique differentiators of SIPPIO calling service, which utilizes AudioCodes’ managed session border controllers (SBCs), and compares DRaaS to Call Plans for Teams.

“With direct routing, the business has more control, and that starts with BYOC – bring your own carrier,” said Arnold. “Instead of having Microsoft manage telephony end-to-end for Teams, the business can use their carrier of choice. Similarly, for businesses that want to continue using their SBCs – Session Border Controllers – they can easily integrate telephony into Teams without having to build direct routing in-house.

“In short, Calling Plans for Teams will appeal to businesses that want Microsoft to fully manage the telephony piece, including billing and technical support. This brings convenience, but other elements must be considered when comparing against DRaaS, such as:

  • SIPPIO DRaaS is Cloud-native. This reflects the XaaS theme where telephony is totally cloud-based, and demand is growing for using this model with telephony. Aside from being easy to scale and optimized for both single tenant/hosted and multitenant cloud offerings, SIPPIO is also Azure-native, which eliminates problems with redundancy and compliance for global customers.

Combining this with AudioCodes Live Cloud, SIPPIO provides a fully managed SBC capability that seamlessly and securely integrates telephony with Teams across all end user scenarios – desktop, tablet, mobile, etc. As an established SBC partner with Microsoft, adding SIPPIO can quickly elevate Teams to a complete UCaaS platform, making this partnership bigger than just telephony.

  • Drives Teams Adoption. While it’s easy to view telephony as a low-margin commodity, it has high-value for making Teams stickier. This combined offering from SIPPIO and AudioCodes provides a turnkey solution to compete head-on with competitors who have made inroads selling dial tone and have built on that to sell UCaaS.
  • Simplified Expense Management. direct routing provides global coverage that goes well beyond what Calling Plans includes, and with work from home becoming the norm, this will be appealing for enterprises with a widely dispersed workforce. The DRaaS pricing model is also more flexible, supporting both flat rate and metered plans, so it’s easier to optimise your telephony spend.” – UC Today

The Case For SIPPIO

SIPPIO has all the benefits of using a calling plan or your own direct routing system but is simpler and has global availability. It was built to be a true SaaS product that is 100% turnkey. As a no-code cloud service, there is no setup, hidden costs, operational overhead or maintenance because all the engineering, architecture, programming, and security is included.

Worldwide Coverage. With SIPPIO’s global reach, you can bring your own carrier, or use SIPPIO carrier services, knowing you are safe, certified and secure.

Automated Provisioning, User Activation & Call Control. For system administrators, SIPPIO, offers a Voice Panel that automates tenant preparation and provisioning, and user activation. SIPPIO’s extends the value and reach of Microsoft Teams for enterprises, eliminating any need for third-party integrations, as well as the expense, friction and complication of managing separate platforms for communications and collaboration.

SIPPIO provides full call controls such as phone number management and call routing through an elastic, globally redundant voice network in Azure.

Go Live in Minutes. In addition to eliminating the need for costly professional services, SIPPIO also removes complexity, time and potential downtime from adding voice calling services in Microsoft Teams, allowing customers to go live in minutes.

 

Dawn-Marie Elder is Chief Operating Officer for SIPPIO and can be reached at dawn-marie@SIPPIO.io

SIPPIO provides full calling capabilities in Microsoft Teams with a ready-to-use cloud application. By utilizing Microsoft Direct Routing as a Service, you receive full voice capabilities with international availability in 80+ countries and toll-free & emergency services. There’s no deployment, no code, no migrations, and activation only takes minutes.