Comprehensive Analysis Of Microsoft Teams Operator Connect Vs Direct Routing

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Microsoft Teams Operator Connect Vs Direct Routing

Microsoft Teams has become an essential tool in the arsenal of businesses striving for seamless communication and collaboration, particularly when it comes to integrating telephony solutions into their digital workspace. Organisations looking to enable voice services within Microsoft Teams are presented with two distinct pathways: Operator Connect and Direct Routing. 

Each route provides its own set of benefits and considerations, depending on specific business requirements, existing infrastructure, and future growth ambitions, thereby making the choice between them pivotal.

This article will cover an overview of these telephony solutions, explore the dynamics and advantages of Direct Routing, compare the two options across various dimensions such as performance, cost, and integration capabilities, and provide guidance on choosing the right solution.

Exploring the Depths of Direct Routing

Direct Routing allows organisations to connect their Microsoft Teams to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) using their existing telephony infrastructure, such as SIP trunks.

This option offers advantages like:

  • Flexibility in Choosing Telephony Providers: Organisations have the liberty to choose their SIP trunk provider based on various criteria, including cost efficiency, reliability, and the strength of existing relationships, ensuring the best fit for their specific needs.
  • Customisation and Control: Phone system Direct Routing affords businesses greater control over their telephony environment, including advanced call routing and management capabilities. This level of control enables the creation of a highly customised telephony solution tailored to meet unique operational requirements.
  • Global Reach with Local Presence: An essential feature of Direct Routing SIP trunks is its ability to support global operations while maintaining a local presence. Organisations can establish local phone numbers in various regions, facilitating local customer interactions and enhancing the overall customer experience.
  • Enhanced Compliance and Security: Direct Routing allows organisations to leverage their existing security measures and compliance protocols, integrating them into their Teams telephony setup. This is particularly beneficial for industries subject to stringent regulatory requirements.
  • Cost-Effective Scaling: As businesses grow, Direct Routing offers a scalable telephony solution that can expand in line with organisational needs without necessitating significant additional investment.

Comparative Analysis: Operator Connect vs. Direct Routing

1) Performance Metrics: Reliability, Call Quality, and Scalability

  • Reliability and Call Quality: Both options leverage Microsoft’s robust infrastructure, ensuring high reliability and call quality. Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams might offer an edge in simplicity and integration ease, potentially impacting overall performance positively.
  • Scalability: Direct Routing provides scalability tailored to an organisation’s existing network capacity, while Operator Connect allows for easier scaling through the Microsoft Teams admin centre.

2) Cost Analysis: Comparing Expenses and Long-Term Investment

  • Initial and Recurring Costs: Direct Routing may involve higher initial setup costs if new SIP trunks are required, but it can be more cost-effective in the long term due to the flexibility in carrier choice. MS Teams Operator Connect offers a more straightforward pricing model, with costs primarily dependent on the operator’s pricing structure.
  • Long-Term Investment: The decision making between Direct Routing and Operator Connect should also consider the long-term strategic fit, including potential savings on international calls and the need for additional features.

3) Integration Capabilities: Assessing Compatibility with Existing Systems

  • Existing Telephony Infrastructure: Direct Routing is ideal for businesses with an existing SIP trunk or on-premise PBX, as it allows for seamless integration. MS Teams Operator Connect suits organisations looking to simplify their telephony systems with a cloud-based solution without extensive on-premise hardware.
  • Compatibility and Flexibility: Both solutions integrate well with Microsoft Teams, but Direct Routing offers more flexibility in integrating with third-party systems and complex telephony scenarios.

Choosing the Right Path: Factors to Consider

  • Organisation Size and Structure: Larger organisations or those with complex telephony needs might lean towards Direct Routing for its flexibility, while smaller to medium-sized businesses may prefer the simplicity of Operator Connect.
  • Regulatory Compliance and Security: Both solutions offer secure communications, but Direct Routing allows for more control over data routing, which might be a consideration for compliance-heavy industries.
  • Future Scalability and Growth: Consider the ease of scaling your telephony solution as your organisation grows. Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams provides a straightforward path through the its admin centre, while Direct Routing offers scalability based on existing infrastructure.

Deployment Strategies and Implementation Tips

Deploying a telephony solution within Microsoft Teams, whether it’s Operator Connect or Direct Routing, demands a strategic approach to ensure seamless integration and optimal performance. A successful deployment hinges on several critical steps, each designed to address potential challenges and prepare the organisation for a smooth transition.

Here are some extended strategies and tips for effective implementation:

  • Comprehensive Network Assessment: Begin with a thorough evaluation of your existing network infrastructure. This assessment should identify current capabilities, bandwidth availability, and any potential bottlenecks that could affect call quality or service reliability. Understanding your network’s strengths and limitations is crucial for tailoring the telephony solution to fit your specific needs.
  • Bandwidth Calculation: Accurately calculating the bandwidth required for your telephony needs is essential. This calculation should account for peak usage times and the anticipated volume of calls to ensure that your network can handle the load without compromising performance. Consider future growth projections to ensure that the solution remains viable as your organisation expands.
  • IT Staff Training: Equipping your IT team with the knowledge and skills to manage the new telephony system is foremost. This involves training on the setup, maintenance, troubleshooting, and security aspects of the chosen solution. Comprehensive training ensures that your team can address issues promptly and maintain system integrity.
  • Pilot Program: Before rolling out the solution across the entire organisation, conducting a pilot program with a select group of users can provide valuable insights. This trial run allows you to test the system under real-world conditions, identify any technical issues, user experience challenges, and gauge overall performance. Feedback from the pilot can guide necessary adjustments before widespread deployment.
  • User Training and Support: Beyond IT staff, end-users also need training on how to effectively use the new telephony features within Microsoft Teams. Providing resources, training sessions, and ongoing support can facilitate a smoother transition and enhance user adoption rates.
  • Security Measures: Ensuring the security of your telephony system is paramount. Implement strong security protocols, regular updates, and monitor for potential threats. Establish clear policies for data protection and user access to safeguard sensitive information.
  • Regular System Reviews: After deployment, regularly review the system’s performance, user feedback, and evolving business needs. Continuous evaluation helps in identifying areas for improvement, optimising the system for better efficiency, and planning for future upgrades or expansions.
  • Vendor Support and Collaboration: Work closely with your service provider or vendor to ensure you have access to expert support when needed. A good relationship with your provider can offer additional resources, updates, and guidance to enhance your telephony solution.


Choosing between Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Teams Direct Routing depends on an organisation’s specific needs, existing infrastructure, and future growth plans. Both offer compelling benefits for integrating telephony services with Microsoft Teams, enhancing communication and collaboration within organisations. 

Assessing your organisation’s requirements against each option’s advantages will guide you towards the optimal choice for your telephony integration with Microsoft Teams.

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