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Operator Connect vs Direct Routing: Which is better?

Operator Connect and Direct Routing both have their benefits – find out which solution may be best for your business.

Microsoft Teams is the number one solution for companies transitioning to hybrid work, with about 270 million active monthly users. It has become the go-to tool for collaboration, chat, video calls, and voice calling. However, to unlock all the advantages Teams has to offer, the right telephone solution is needed. Fortunately, there are several ways to connect Teams to a telephone solution. Two such solutions are Direct Routing and Operator Connect. They both help transform Teams into a business phone system. 

What is Direct Routing?

Direct routing is a solution that allows users to make and receive calls on Microsoft Teams by linking Teams to a telephone network (PSTN). Doing so allows you to call anyone, regardless of whether they are on a Teams enabled device. Direct Routing provides businesses with the flexibility to integrate existing telephone systems using SBCs (Session Border Controllers) and even include additional functions such as call centre technology.

What are the benefits of Direct Routing?

Here are a few benefits of choosing Direct Routing as your solution to add telephone services to Microsoft Teams.

  • Preferred providers: You can customize your Teams experience by choosing from a wide range of Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) to meet your operational needs.
  • Improve user experience: Direct Routing through Teams allows your team to call, message, collaborate, and share files all in one place. Your selected CSP will also help you ensure that the user experience meets your business’s communication needs.
  • System flexibility: Gives you the ability to route calls to various systems and platforms.
  • Greater phone number control: Direct routing allows you to maintain control over your phone numbers and dial plan, rather than porting them directly to Microsoft. This supports faster migration to Microsoft Teams’ phone system.
  • Reduce Costs: Optimize your IT spend and pay less in carrier fees. Sticking with existing calling providers can be a great way to take advantage of existing deals and maintain benefits as a loyal customer. 

What is Operator Connect?

Operator Connect is a more recent addition to Microsoft’s list of solutions for calling. It is an operator managed service, that also brings PSTN calling functionality to Teams. It makes it even easier to control aspects of Teams calling, as you can manage your services through the Teams admin center. It is also more cost effective because instead of paying per user, you only pay for what you use.

What are the benefits of Operator Connect?

Here are a few benefits of choosing Operator Connect as your solution to add telephone services to Microsoft Teams.

  • Leverage carrier relationships: Maintain relationships with your current carrier, if they are an approved Microsoft Operator Connect partner, while providing users a modern and streamlined calling experience in Teams.
  • Simplify setup and management: Reduce provisioning time and management resource needs through a simplified experience in the Teams Admin Center.
  • Reduce costs: Save on infrastructure and management costs by reducing the need to purchase, maintain, and manage equipment.
  • Enhanced support and reliability: Get access to technical support and shared SLAs across Microsoft and Rogers Business, while enjoying enhanced reliability through a 1:1 network connection powered by Azure.

How are they different?

At first glance, both Direct Routing and Operator Connect seem like similar solutions. They both allow you to add telephone functionality to Teams and offer the flexibility of being able to choose your own PSTN provider. However, there are a few subtle differences:

Operator Connect goes beyond basic connectivity – allowing you to choose an operator, manage services through the Teams admin portal, and administer phone numbers quickly and easily. It is a simple to use solution. Alternatively, Direct Routing offers you more flexibility – allowing you to implement additional features and integrate other platforms/solutions based on your needs.

Operator Connect vs Direct Routing – which is better?

Compared to Operator Connect, Direct Routing offers a little more flexibility, making it a good choice for companies with complex communication needs. Direct routing is often regarded as the ideal solution if you’re looking for flexibility, advanced features, global coverage, and more integrations outside Microsoft.

Operator Connect, on the other hand, brings the advantages of Direct Routing while reducing complexity around setup and cost. It is a great option for companies looking to reduce the burden of bringing their own PSTN solution to Microsoft Teams. It is also perfect if you want to manage your entire communications stack all within a single portal. Ultimately, Operator Connect is the ideal solution for companies who want to choose a Microsoft approved trusted provider, customize voice services, save on hardware costs, and reduce the headache of technical support.

No matter which option you choose, Rogers Business is here to help you get started. Contact us today to learn more.