Businesses around the world have been migrating to Microsoft Teams in record numbers recently, and we’ve seen a distinct increase in demand for Direct Routing solutions for Teams Voice alongside that. Adaptable and scalable, Direct Routing gives companies the opportunity to use their preferred SIP providers (also referred to as carrier) for voice communications in Microsoft Teams.
Why are businesses turning to Direct Routing?
They are opting for Direct Routing because it provides them with a wide variety of benefits including:
- Expanded global coverage: Direct Routing allows businesses to opt for a carrier who can reach the international destinations they need.
- Cost savings: Using an external carrier for your minutes and lines can represent significant cost savings over time, especially if they can offer ‘pay for what you use’ pricing models rather than call plan bundles.
- Flexibility: Direct Routing provides businesses with the freedom to build their communications stack to their own specifications, particularly where hybrid environments are necessary.
- Smarter monitoring: Your carrier may be able to provide more insight into your usage of voice services, as well as proactively monitor for security, network and capacity issues.
Key steps to a successful Direct Routing Migration
After defining basic business requirements and making the decision to move the enterprise telephony to Microsoft Teams, organizations should carefully consider their migration plan. Although every project will have differences, building strategies around the following key steps from the beginning will help to make your migration easier.
Profile the users – A smooth transition from one service to another requires understanding of the existing services so that they can be mapped to the new Teams solution and meet the requirements of those using the new Teams Direct Routing service. Map existing user profiles and features to allow for feature parity to be assessed and designed into new Teams personas.
Run your pre-deployment checks – There are many variants in deploying Teams Direct Routing, which can influence a significant change to the path that Teams traffic will take. Make sure that you plan for those paths, and fully verify that you meet the Teams requirements in pre-deployment.
Migration planning – Ensure that you put together a tried and tested migration plan, which factors in any lead times for the required licenses and configurations to be applied in Office 365, and check any integrations to on-premises platforms, and other communication applications. Also consider how you will practically migrate services from your legacy solution with minimal disruption to services, particularly if number porting is involved.
Focus on Design – Microsoft Teams takes away some steps relating to DNS and certificate planning, which were necessary when deploying Skype for Business. However, Teams Direct Routing deployments have their own requirements for Fully Qualified Domain Names, public trusted certificates, network and security in order to integrate.
Geography – Consider the regional specifics such as local PSTN replacement services and regulatory measures that need to be complied with. Regional differences are inevitable, and it is best to understand them in advance, as they will affect the design.
Test thoroughly - Office 365 and Microsoft Teams is a constantly evolving service, and so deployments need to have thorough test plan stages to ensure that the live service is deployed to end users correctly and efficiently. This is particularly important for multi-region Direct Routing deployments, which need to cover all the dial plan and voice routing requirements of a Unified Communications (UC) solution.
Complete your Readiness Assessments – Ensure you have completed your Teams Network Readiness Assessments in line with Microsoft pre-requisites.
User engagement and training – It is important to engage and train users of the service to ensure they can meet their own goals via the simple features and mechanisms in Teams. Teams will probably present a different user experience to what they have been used to and will require at least basic instruction and guidance to ensure utilization.
Connecting to the outside world: Depending on the different geographies, there may be different deployment models employed, some of which may require additional hardware. Consider the hardware requirements, supply and configuration, as well as dial plans and routing optimization, licenses, and generally how to connect.
In-life support: Consider how to maintain your environment and the impact on the Service Desk, or whether you will outsource key elements to a specialist provider. This could entail certificate management, routing changes, monitoring traffic, usage and other trends, troubleshooting, and business continuity planning.
Teams Voice is a real time, latency sensitive application that needs to be designed and implemented properly in order to get a quality experience for users. Some of this is addressed with thorough preparation and assessment of existing environments, and some through proper training and policy changes. Consider engaging a partner with the necessary voice knowledge and skills to help make the migration as smooth as possible.
Pure IP have the expertise and experience supporting customers with their migrations to Teams telephony, and are certified Microsoft Gold Partners. We combine our secure global voice network and extensive global coverage with a suite of cloud enablement services to get customers to Teams, fast! Find out more about how we can help