Microsoft Calling Plan vs Direct Routing

With businesses across the globe already investing in Microsoft Teams for collaboration, it’s no surprise that so many want to use the same software for their voice calling needs. That’s exactly why Microsoft introduced its Teams Calling Plans, which allow you to assign phone numbers or port existing numbers with a range of other features.

Over time, however, alternatives have emerged. One of the most popular options is direct routing. Rather than solely relying on Microsoft, this option allows you to connect your existing PSTN services to Teams, using a Session Border Controller (SBC).

The question is – which is better for your organization? And is there an offer that can combine the advantages of both?

Availability

The first acid test for voice calling is whether it meets your requirements in terms of geographical reach. While Microsoft’s Calling Plan is continually expanding, at present, it has limited coverage. If your business has offices in regions that aren’t supported, you will need to set up contracts with separate partners, which will add to the cost, take more time, and make things more complicated going forward.

Wherever you’re based, and however many different countries you need help with, direct routing is available globally to deliver on all of your geographical requirements.

Flexibility

No two organizations are the same – and it’s very rare that enterprise customers are starting with a blank canvas when it comes to their calling requirements. With mergers, acquisition and expansion over time, most multi-national companies have a range of existing systems and investments that they can’t realistically just drop.

With Microsoft Calling Plan, you are essentially setting up a new system for calling, which can either replace or run alongside existing SBCs and SIP services. That leaves you with an inconsistent setup or paying out for more than one service until existing contracts expire. On the other hand, direct routing allows you to leverage existing technology, so you can transform at your own pace and get the most for your money at every step.

Cost

Finally, there’s the cost – a critical factor for any organization. Microsoft’s standard rate Calling Plan includes a set number of minutes per user, per month. This cost increases significantly beyond the allocated minutes or if you require international calling, making it hard to budget. And any unused minutes at the end of the month are lost.

On average, PTSN connectivity by direct routing is considerably cheaper. You’re not charged for minutes you aren’t using and there is flexibility to build a bespoke plan so you’re only every paying for what you need.

Direct Routing with Aura Connect

From flexibility and availability to the overall cost, direct routing with Aura Connect is a great alternative to Microsoft’s Calling Plan for most organizations. If you would like to talk more about your company’s unique circumstances and how we can help, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

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