April 22

SIP Trunking for Microsoft Teams


SIP Trunking for Microsoft Teams

As a true state of the art platform, one can understand why Microsoft chose to only support SIP Trunking for PSTN connectivity to Microsoft Teams. SIP Trunking has been around for a while and adoption is gathering pace. All cloud-based phone systems use SIP Trunking for connectivity. We offer our own cloud-based phone system, called Unity Connect, that leverages our own SIP Trunking service.

Why is SIP Trunking gaining momentum? Well, like most technology, if it costs less than the current paradigm, it will get adopted quickly. And SIP Trunking can be anywhere from 30% to 50% and we have seen upwards of 60% less expensive than traditional PSTN connectivity.

Why is SIP Trunking less expensive?

One reason why, the main reason, is more to do with the way SIP Trunking is deployed versus traditional trunks.

Traditional analogue or digital trunks utilize one connection per call, with those connections being a physical link. If you need to handle more calls,  you need more physical connections. More critical is how easy or fast it is to scale the number of trunks. Telcos often require you to pay for a fixed amount for a minimum of one year. Any changes downward may incur penalties and any increases in quantity may take as much as 6 weeks to implement.

SIP Trunking uses your internet connection and is sold in channels that can be very quickly scaled up or down. SIP Trunking can also allow ‘bursting’ where you can temporarily and dynamically handle a higher capacity of calls. So if you can set your channel capacity to meet your normal call volume and use bursting to handle those peaks.

With Traditional trunks, there is no way to dynamically alter capacity, so organizations have sized their trunk requirements to handle their peaks. As this may only be for one or two hours a week that means those organizations are paying for capacity even when almost no calls come in on evenings, weekends and at least three business days during the week. So moving to SIP Trunking lets you map your costs to usage much better.

Why are Organizations Migrating to SIP Trunking?

There are many benefits to an organization to migrate their traditional Telco services over to SIP Trunking.

  • Cost Savings
  • Capacity on Demand
  • Geo-Redundancy
  • Network Backup
  • Greater Deployment Flexibility (for multi-site organizations)

Cost savings we already discussed and while Capacity-on-Demand is one element of cost savings it is also a benefit in its own right. Some organizations have seasonal peaks and troughs or may run campaigns that will drive short term demand, whatever the reason, it is far easier and faster to manage capacity changes with SIP Trunking. 

SIP Trunking service providers can offer Geo-Redundancy, which provides protection against any location dependent outages. These can be caused by technology issues but also weather related emergencies like the ice-storms in Quebec in 1998, flooding in Calgary in 2013 and forest fires around Fort McMurray in 2016. All of these would have disrupted communications, just when they were needed. But a Geo-Redundant system will not only provide access to voice services out of more than one facility but will ensure no local disaster will impact completely.

Network backup means that organizations can re-route calls to analogue lines or mobile phones in emergiences - again something not easy to set up with traditional trunks.

Finally, if you are a multi-site organization you will have greater flexibility to centralize SIP Trunking through a head office or regional centre bringing even greater cost savings in eliminating the bulk of local trunk connections.

Microsoft Direct Routing

Microsoft does provide PSTN connectivity with Addon licenses and Calling Plans. This brings Microsoft provided SIP Trunking into your Microsoft Team – at a cost. We can provide a cloud-based phone system for less than the cost of adding voice to Microsoft Teams. But that would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There are advantages to having all your communications centred on a single hub, a single client. Letting users choose how they want to communicate, which can be context-driven.

When Microsoft added Direct Routing to Microsoft Teams, it meant that third-party providers, as long as they used a Microsoft Certified SBC, could bring in their SIP Trunking services. By using standard SIP Trunking pricing, per organization not per user, third party SIP Trunking is a cost-effective way to voice-enable Microsoft Teams.

To learn more about voice enabling your Microsoft Teams setup, give us a call.

About the author

With experience leading engineering, product management, services, sales and marketing teams, Paul has a wealth of business knowledge that he applies in showing customer how to get the most out of their unified communications and contact centre solutions.

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