What's the difference between Teams Direct Routing and Cloud Telephony integration?

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We may have heard about Teams Direct Routing and Cloud Telephony integration around the office or online, but what does it all mean and what is the actual difference between the two technologies. They both seem very similar at face value, but they are in fact very different in the back end.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the differences between Teams Direct Routing and Cloud Telephony integration, so that you can make a better-informed decisions on which technology will best suit your business.

Teams Direct Routing

Firstly, it’s important to note that Direct Routing is made up of three components, which are:

Pebble - Call routing

SIP trunk call manager
(call routing platform)

Windsor Telecom Pebble icon set 64 px_Chain

Direct Routing trunk

Pebble - Video calling

Microsoft Teams
phone system portal

What do they do?

SIP trunk call manager allows you to control time scheduling for when your offices are closed, in which calls can be routed to an out-of-hours number or from voicemail to email. You can also set up a disaster recovery route here if your network fails at any point.

Direct Routing trunk controls your fraud management, call barring and number presentation rules.

Microsoft Teams phone system portal will manage the more basic functions of call management, such as IVR management and call queuing.

Cloud Telephony integration

Cloud Telephony integration is made up of two components:

  • A fully-functional cloud phone system.
  • An intuitive integration to Microsoft Teams desktop and mobile apps

Using Microsoft Teams as your business’ front-facing desktop and mobile app to make and receive calls, instead of using physical phones or apps included with your cloud telephony system, means you’ll have one place to communicate and collaborate making for a better experience overall. If your business has already adopted Microsoft Teams into your daily lives, especially through lockdown, integrating it with your cloud telephony system makes sense.

The difference between Teams Direct Routing and Cloud Telephony integration

The main difference between Teams Direct Routing and Cloud Telephony integration is that you’ll need to operate two system portals to fully benefit from all the functions that Direct Routing has to offer.

Cloud Telephony integration runs through a single portal, making it an easier option for user adoption, training and ongoing solution enhancements. Everything can be managed in one place – given the right access, users can assign or reassign phone numbers with just a few clicks.

In contrary, Direct Routing requires an IT professional to run a PowerShell command to make these types of changes which can be costly and a waste of time and resource.

Regarding license cost, Teams Direct Routing is more cost-effective than Cloud Telephony integration, especially if you’ve already adopted Microsoft Teams; and you’ll be using a system that everyone is already familiar with. However, with Teams Direct Routing being a more complex system and quite tricky to make changes, that cost saving may well be used across the additional staff skills and training you’ll need to handle changes such as call routing and new call plans.

Lastly, Cloud Telephony integration provides greater flexibility for outward call display. Cloud Telephony allows each user to present any desired contact number including 0800 numbers, making it easier for your customers to contact the person they’re calling directly . With Teams Direct Routing, you’re limited to include just one presentation number for your entire business.

Making the choice

Choosing between Teams Direct Routing and Cloud Telephony integration will depend on what specific features you’re looking for, your in-house technical expertise and budget. If you’re happy with your existing Microsoft Teams phone system, then you would benefit from the lower costs of Teams Direct Routing and if you’re starting from scratch looking for a new cloud phone solution, Cloud Telephony integration would be a more user friendly choice with less requirement for training and expertise.

At Windsor Telecom, we’ve developed a bespoke Cloud Telephony platform that comes with a wide range of advanced call features so you can ensure that your call routing and management always provide a fantastic customer experience.