Cloud PBX vs Teams Direct Routing

Which is right for my business?

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Cloud PBX vs Teams Direct Routing – which is right for my business?


In our previous article, we discussed the difference between Teams Direct Routing and cloud telephony integration, and today we’ll look into cloud PBX and Teams Direct Routing.

The move from on-prem PBX to cloud PBX has been gathering pace for some years now. The cloud PBX started off, like many new technology advancements do, with limited features making people question what all the hype was about and why they needed to move. However, today it’s significantly different. Now there are loads of vendors offering a wide range of solutions packed full of features, plus they’re simpler to manage and way more robust.

Then, just as it seemed like cloud PBX was the only way forward for business voice services – along came Teams Direct Routing and Microsoft Calling plans. At first, Microsoft launched a simple calling system that offered little threat to the feature-rich PBX. However, over time we’ve seen this grow and now Teams Direct Routing includes functionality such as call queues, time of day routing and IVRs.

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Cloud PBX vs Teams Direct Routing

This now begs the question, which is the right option for a business to choose going forward, cloud PBX or Microsoft Direct Routing services? We wish we could give you the answer! But as every business is different with a different setup and requirements, here’s some advice as to which might be right for you.

How much do you love Microsoft Teams?

It might seem like a silly question, but Direct Routing was created for businesses that are fully invested in using Microsoft Teams for collaboration and calling. If you’re running Microsoft Teams across all your devices, like your laptops and phones, and you’re 100% a Teams fan then you should definitely investigate Direct Routing.

But wait there’s more to think about.

What’s the complexity of your voice requirements?

Microsoft has done a great job in a short space of time to close the gap on the cloud PBX market, with probably 80% of features being in Microsoft Calling capability compared to the cloud PBX.

However, it’s worth noting that more complex PBX requirements can still be quite tricky to carry out in the Microsoft architecture. It’s important that whichever path you choose, the solution is designed specifically for you and your requirements. Steer clear from any advice that tells you that every PBX setup is the same, it’s not, and you’ll likely end up paying for too many things that you don’t need or missing features that are vital for you to operate effectively and productively.

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The devil is in the detail

As we mentioned at the start, the cloud PBX is not limited as it used to be and has grown to offer so many great features which quite often automatically come included in the solution. A key one of these features is Call Recording, which is often included on cloud PBX, but doesn’t come as standard with Direct Routing. Call recording is then offered as an expensive additional bolt-on to the service which, if you’re looking to store call recordings for 12 months or longer, could be more cost-effective to look at a cloud PBX solution. So when weighing up your options, it’s important to focus on your business priorities, your requirements and ensure you look through the detail of each solution before signing on the dotted line.

Choosing the right partner


Like with all IT solution projects, it’s important to make the right solution for your business and to check that the service delivers on that both now and as your business adapts and changes over the years. These decisions are not made easily as there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. So, it’s important to choose the right supplier and partner that will work with you to understand your needs, offers open and honest advice, and assists you in designing and deploying your solution.

At Windsor Telecom we understand that choosing between Cloud PBX and Teams Direct Routing can sometimes be a challenge, especially when your business has specific needs and requirements and you’re not sure which route to choose. If you’re not sure which solution is suitable, or looking to speak to an expert then get in touch.