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Hybrid Office & Microsoft Teams Direct Routing

March 23, 2021 / Evolve IP

The Problem

When the pandemic hit last year, most organizations were forced to quickly spin up a patchwork of solutions to enable remote working. In fact, our survey of 500+ professionals revealed that the typical company now deploys 5 different remote work technologies.

Fast forward to today and the result is that most companies have disparate solutions to communicate and collaborate, often with overlapping meeting and messaging capabilities. This is driving inefficiency, user confusion, as well as increased costs that will ultimately harm the ability to create a productive hybrid workforce.

According to Gartner1, the three steps to eliminate unnecessary communications & collaboration tools are:

  • Remove overlapping tools
  • Reduce spending on physical devices
  • Use alternatives for telephony

Meaning, find a single, integrated voice and collaboration solution that supports remote working, an initiative that 45% of businesses are either currently evaluating or will do so in the next year.

2021 Remote Work Survey Results: A Year of Working From Home

“55% of executives reveal they expect employees to work outside of a corporate office the majority of the time after the pandemic is over.” Learn what 538 business professionals, IT, and executives had to say about the future of remote work.

The Solution

The solution that fits all the above-mentioned criteria is Microsoft Teams Direct Routing.

Most businesses are already using Microsoft Teams for video conferencing, file sharing, and chat for internal communication purposes. Microsoft Teams Direct Routing is the service inside of Microsoft Teams that allows businesses to connect external phone lines and use Microsoft Teams as an office phone system from anywhere.

Doesn’t Microsoft offer calling plans? Yes, it does but please keep in mind that Microsoft calling plans deliver very basic telephony features and do not include the SLA, high availability, business continuity, and advanced PBX features that most businesses need.

Also, it is a self-service solution meaning it doesn’t include call-in support and comes with the additional hassle of porting numbers yourself. Microsoft was aware of this feature gap and has hence developed the Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solution.

With Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, you get all of the basic phone system & productivity-enhancing collaboration features that Microsoft Teams delivers along with the PBX features that the voice provider has to offer, all from a single provider.

According to Gartner 2,

  • By 2022, 90% of large organizations using Microsoft Teams will use a third-party network service provider for PSTN connectivity, up from less than 10% in 2019 and
  • By 2022, all global telecom providers will support Microsoft’s Direct Routing interface to provide direct PSTN connectivity to Microsoft Teams users, up from less than 15% in 2019

Meaning, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing is the way to go.

But is a Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solution unified and truly integrated? Yes, if it is a natively-integrated Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solution such as Evolve IP’s. But what does the word “native-integration” mean and are all Microsoft Teams Direct Routing solutions alike? Stay tuned for our next blog post to learn more.

References:

[1] A Strategic Approach to Reducing Communications and Collaboration Spending in Light of COVID-19. Published by Gartner on 28 May 2020 – ID G00721325

[2] Selecting the Best External Calling Option for Microsoft Teams. Published by Gartner on 6 March 2020 – ID G00348957

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