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Direct Routing enables new enterprise voice options in Microsoft Teams

Please note that we announced on May 15, 2018 that Public Preview is now available - please share any feedback there.

 

Today we are taking the next step for Enterprise Voice and announcing that Direct Routing will be joining Calling Plans as one of the options customers will have for Calling in Microsoft Teams.

 enterprise voice 3 - less white space.png

 

 We are targeting the end of Q2-2018 for general availability of this capability. To access the Direct Routing capability, customers will need to have Microsoft Teams and Phone System as part of Office 365.

 

What is Direct Routing?

 

Direct Routing is a capability of Phone System in Office 365 to help customers connect their SIP trunks to Microsoft Teams. In the simplest deployment model, customers start with SIP trunks from their telecommunications provider. Next, customers will use and configure a supported Session Border Controller (SBC) from one of our certified partners. Finally, they will connect their SBC to Microsoft Teams and Phone System.

 

direct routing 2.png

 

Besides the primary Direct Routing scenario, we anticipate customers will want to use this capability to integrate with other 3rd party voice applications. There are several additional scenarios:


Easy Transition to Calling in Teams. By integrating with an existing PBX, pilot users can be moved to Calling in Teams while users remain on their legacy PBX. Eventually all users can be easily transitioned to Calling in Teams. The call traffic between these users during the transition stay within the organization.


Telephony System Inter/Op. While users are being transitioned to Calling in Teams, Call Center agents can continue to use their application. Direct Routing enables both use cases to coexist. The call traffic between call center agents and Teams users stay within the organization.

 

Support for Analog Devices. If an organization decides to move to Calling in Teams but has analog devices such as elevator phones or overhead pagers, these devices can be connected to Teams and Phone System via Direct Routing. Call traffic between analog devices and Teams users stay within the organization.

 

Microsoft will certify select SBC vendors to insure they are compatible with our Direct Routing guidelines. We will start with AudioCodes, Ribbon Communications, and ThinkTel. Our plan is to continue to evaluate SBC vendors and certify as needed.


It’s important to note that Direct Routing is designed to work with Microsoft Teams. Customers using Skype for Business Online should continue to use Cloud Connector Edition (CCE) or connect via or a on-premises SFB Pool for their SIP trunk connection needs.


Getting started with Calling in Teams

 

If you are new to Teams, please review our quick start guide.  We also invite you to mark your calendars for March 22 for a Teams on Air episode with guest Nikolay Muravlyannikov, Sr. Program Manager where he will discuss Direct Routing in more detail.

 

UPDATE - Our apologies - the timing for the Teams on Air episode is actually scheduled for March 29 @ 9 AM PT.

62 Comments
New Contributor

Is there anything on the roadmap to remove the CCE requirement for SfBO?

Hi @Patrick Yore the CCE is still stays the solution to bring your carrier for SFBO users. Direct Routing works with Teams only. However, there is a clear migration path. If you use a supported SBC (AudioCodes or Ribbon) with the CCE you can pair the same SBC, which is paired to CCE, to the Teams backend and migrate users from SFBO to Teams. It is a matter deploying Teams client and changing the voice routing on SBC and in our Cloud. Once all users migrated you can decommission the CCE.

We will publish detailed migration guidance 

Occasional Visitor

Does Direct Routing still require a static IP address like CCE does? My company has a fast, low latency Internet connection (300 Mbps down / 30 Mbps up) but our ISP does not offer static IP addresses. This has prevented us from implementing SFBO voice via CCE.

Senior Member

As Microsoft announced end of support for SBCs by July 2018, what is the future plan? 

Microsoft

hi @Venkat Kantamneni, We will share more updates the last week of March.

Senior Member

Thank You Paul. Waiting for future direction from MS as we are moving onto O365...

New Contributor

This is great news as CCE is expensive and prohibiting adoption at the lower end of the market i.e sub 100

Hi, what about Cisco UCM and Teams connectivity? Will there be a possibility to port existing trunks from on-prem CUCM into Teams or we will need additional SBC to do that?

This is the best news since sliced bread! Been waiting for a solution in our country where Calling Plans are not available.

@Venkat Kantamneni I think you may be referring to SBC support for Exchange UM? I cant see MS dropping support for SBC's ever.

@Святослав Терлецький you'll need a supported SBC, and my guess is you won't see a Cisco one (you never know though!). This would mean that you would need a supported SBC to allow interworking between CUCM and MS Teams.

Hi @Святослав Терлецький we do certify SBCs which can interconnect Microsoft Phone System and CUCM or other systems

Occasional Visitor

Will we be able to take advantage of o365 voicemail with this change?

 

Alonzo Wilson

Regular Visitor

We don't use SIP, but PRI lines instead. Is SIP a requirement or will be be able to just point our supported SBC to teams instead of our current on premise servers? 

Regular Visitor

Hi will the connectivity between SBC and Teams Phone System be available through a Microsoft Peering on an ExpressRoute (i.e. with QoS) or just available via the internet as shown in the diagram?

@Mark Hood thank you for noticing. We certify the SBC, the trunk to that SBC can be SIP or PRI for Direct Routing it is doesn't matter

@Antony Millington we support both options: Express Route and internet. The IP addresses of the Direct Routing service already advertised in ER

Frequent Visitor

This is great news! What are the requirement from a licensing perspective?

E1/E3/E5 etc.

@Jonas Andersson the same as for SFB, either E3 + Cloud PBX add on or E5. That is it. 

Hi @Alonzo Wilson the voice mail for users on the service provided from the Cloud (a service in Azure) the same way as for Teams with Calling Plans

Frequent Visitor

Hi, this is great news indeed. Is there a plan to introduce LBR in Phone System and/or Direct Calling? 

Hi @Sandeep Kulkarni LBR is on our roadmap with delivery by the end of the year. 

Regular Contributor

Will this support meeting audio conferencing - call in / dial out - as well?

@David Phillips yes we do support dial in dial out to/from conference using Microsoft PSTN Conferencing, which part of E5 or add on on to E3

Regular Contributor

@Nikolay Muravlyannikov sorry, let me clarify.  Will we be able to connect our on prem PBX to Teams and use that infrastructure for dial in / call out for meetings?

@David Phillips got the scenario, no you cannot use your own numbers for dial in and dial out for/from conferences, this requires the Microsoft PSTN Conferencing add on 

Visitor

What would be the specification/process to make a SIP tunk certified for Direct Routing ?

Hi @Oscar Novoa we don't certify the trunks, we certify the Session Border Controllers (ThinkTel also has an SBC which is being tested). You can connect any trunk if it works with the SBC.

Visitor

We have a CORE SBC (carrier class), and would like to know how to get it certified.

 

Today we have certified our trunk for Lync (and SFB). 

Hi @Oscar Novoa Core SBC do you refer to Ribbon/Sonus Core series?

Visitor

I refer to a group of  HUGE SBC’s (we are a carrier). 

 

We use Sansay. We got certified our trunks for Lync (and SFB) using this infrastructure.

Hi @Oscar Novoa Ribbon Core series are also huge and being used by big carriers :)  Back to the question, we don't work with Sansay. We will look to adding additional SBC vendors as needed. 

Visitor

How could we do something from our side ?

I mean, can we submit for testing our SBC and cooperate within the process?

Hi @Oscar Novoa our plan is to continue to evaluate SBC vendors and certify as needed.

New Contributor

FWIW @Venkat Kantamneni I believe the SBC announcement you are referring to is just for using SBC's to connect an existing telephony system to Exchange UM and should have no bearing on the announced Teams functionality.

New Contributor

Will this allow for inserting an SBC in the native path (not talking about going to the PSTN or other external systems, but within the native client to server path) to perform B2BUA functions and break and inspect the mutually auth traffic between a SfB/Teams client and the SfBO/Teams server within O365?

 

Please advise, thank you!

Occasional Visitor

Can a single SBC be used for several Office 365 tenancies? If so how?

Microsoft

@Peter Pendlebury The team is focused on getting the feature launched as noted in the blog. We have nothing to share on multi-tenancy.

Microsoft

Any information on when will be the public preview (a.k.a skypepreview) for this before the launch date? So that partners/customers can test this out before the launch GA date? Thanks

Regular Visitor

Can you please share the invite for the Teams on Air event tomorrow.

@MAX TOBLER here is the link on the Teams on Air  channel  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLHZHqKGkvw&list=PLXPr7gfUMmKxeNajnxxy1QK4J6uXDgJ9Z

 

The episode will be published tomorrow.

@Adrian Rozaq we plan preview before GA. Please stay tuned. We are working hard to make it happen as soon as possible.

Occasional Contributor

It's well past 10am PT with no new Teams on Air episode, and not a peep from the Microsoft Teams twitter account or other product marketing folks on Twitter like Anne Michels.

 

Is this interview being pushed back to join the other "last week in March" items mentioned in other comments?


Microsoft

@Jim Gaynor - UPDATE - Our apologies - the timing for the Teams on Air episode is actually scheduled for March 29 @ 9 AM PT.

Regular Visitor

@Nikolay Muravlyannikov will Teams support G.711 or does Microsoft expect that SBCs manufacturers will implement SILK and add resources to do transcoding?

Hi @MAX TOBLER Teams do support G 711, we will not require transcoding.

Regular Visitor

@Nikolay Muravlyannikov what will be the call flow of emergency calls?

Will the call be passed down to the customers SBC or will it be attended first by the MS emergency desk first?

Occasional Visitor

I am a member of the IT team of a large hospital. We have numerous clinics that we are moving to Teams. A few of them are very attached to their pagers. Will this Direct Routing work with the old school pagers and can it be utilized through teams? I have read the above and I am still a bit unclear on this. Is there any more information available on this that I can take to my supervisors? I have been tasked with finding a solution and I am hoping that this is it.

Occasional Visitor

Are there plans to add Teams Calling functionality not only to E plans? This product is more appealing to SMB segment.

Senior Member

Looking forward to this feature! Is there a signup form for the preview or is it going to be accessible for everyone without signing up for it?

Microsoft

@Remco van Noorloos, the preview will be public. No signed up needed. You will want to start now on the pre-work: (1) plan with your provider of choice for voice trunks and insure you are using a certified SBC (Ribbon or Audiocodes). There are different options here and it would be good to use the time now to plan.