Microsoft Teams Telephony


Microsoft have recently upgraded Teams to have the capability of being a phone system for internal and external calls.

With all of the changes in the working world over the past couple of years, organisations have needed to move to a cloud-based communications platform to allow staff to work from home when needed. Microsoft Teams was the top choice for many organisations looking to unify their videoconferencing, chat and file sharing, and now there are a number of ways to integrate your telephony system into the platform too.

There are a few different options for using Teams as your cloud telephony system, and it can be quite confusing to know which is the right solution for your business. We’ve created this page to help explain each of the methods, from Microsoft’s own calling solution, to routing your existing telephony infrastructure into Teams.

Microsoft Teams Phone

Microsoft Teams Phone was created by Microsoft to allow you to make and receive voice calls directly in Teams. This feature was added so that organisations that already use Teams for video, chat and collaboration are able to integrate their phone system for a cloud-based unified communications solution that can be accessed by users from anywhere.

To use Teams as your phone system to make and receive calls from regular phone numbers, you need a solution that can enable this feature. What you are currently using for your telephony system will impact which of the options is right for you.

Teams Phone

Calling Plan for Microsoft 365

Calling Plan for Office 365

It is free to make voice and video calls to other Teams users, but if you want to be able to make and receive calls from regular phones, and you don’t already have a ‘carrier’ or phone service provider, you need to buy a Calling Plan from Microsoft.

There are 2 options to choose from with Calling Plan. There is Domestic, which allows licenced users to call out to numbers within the country/region they are based, or Domestic and International, which allows licenced users to call within their own region and international phone numbers.

With Calling Plan, you pay per user, and all users share a pool of monthly minutes (e.g. if you pay for 100 users to have 120 monthly minutes, they share a pool of 12,000 monthly minutes).

Microsoft Teams Operator Connect

Operator Connect is an operator-managed service for connecting Teams to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) using your own carrier (if approved by Microsoft) or one of Microsoft’s approved carriers. Once migrated, your chosen carrier is then responsible for managing your infrastructure and providing ongoing support, saving you money on hardware and management.

The main benefit of using Operator Connect is the cost-saving when compared to Calling Plan. The Operator Connect pricing model is ‘pay for what you use’ rather than ‘pay-per-user’.

For smaller organisations with no additional complex requirements, Operator Connect is the perfect solution for bringing your telephony into Teams.

Teams Operator Connect

Microsoft Teams Direct Routing

Teams Direct Routing

Direct Routing, like Operator Connect, is a solution for routing Microsoft Teams to the PSTN for telephony, but with more advanced features and complex configuration options.

With Direct Routing, you connect your own session border controller (SBC) directly to Microsoft Teams, which allows you to mange your own systems and use virtually any telephony carrier. This is extremely beneficial for organisations tied into lengthy contracts with early exit fees.

Because of the added flexibility with Direct Routing, users are able to configure options that are not available with Operator Connect, such as call centres and call-forking. Direct Routing is the right solution for larger organisations with multiple locations and complex requirements.

We’re Here to Help

Our helpful team are on hand to discuss your requirements and guide you through the process, from start to finish.

Call 0800 368 7358

Or book a free one-to-one demo with our experts and let us show you all the features and benefits of using Teams as your phone system.



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