In this post I highlight a study publication by Forrester regarding Microsoft 365 Cloud Voice. Forrester is a market research and analysis company focused on the information technology sector. Microsoft mandated Forrester to carry out the study on Microsoft 365 Cloud Voice.
What’s the study for?
The so called TEI (short for “Total Econonomic Impact”) study examines Microsoft 365 Cloud Voice in regards of
- costs and
What does the study say?
To sum it up a little bit the study provides the following key aspects:
- employees save time due to telephony integration in Microsoft Teams
- integration enhances business outcomes
- Microsoft 365 Cloud Voice enables companies to replace legacy telephony systems (PBX/s)
- costs for telephony are reduced
- better security and compliance because of its integration in the Microsoft security and compliance capability stack
- higher availability as (legacy) PBX
- better performance as (legacy) PBX
- better scalability as (legacy) PBX
- higher employee/user satisfaction especially for younger employees
- reduced total cost of ownership (TCO)
Well, for details, I’d recommend to read the study by yourself [see links at the bottom].
Conclusion, summary and opinion
In my view the study can be seen as supporting document for you in case your are about to decide on what’s next for your company’s telephony due to ending support or just because you want to embrace modern workplace at your company. The study gives you some numbers, facts and figures for further consideration, evaluation and decision making.
In this post I give you an architectural overview on how you can connect analog devices, e.g. fax machines, analog phones, door bells, intercoms etc. to Microsoft Teams.
First of all, I’d recommend to please get rid of your analog devices. Let me guess you are probably reading this because you have some of these poor and legacy analogs which you cannot get rid of for some reasons?
- If this is the case:
Well, ok, let’s go ahead to keep your existing investments in analog devices and get it to work.
- If not, i.e. you can get rid of them:
Skip this post and read something more interesting. 😉
The goal is to add analog devices to a Microsoft Teams voice/telephony deployment.
Use Cases – Analog Telephony with Teams user and PSTN
The uses cases are defined as follows:
- call from an analog device to a Teams user
- call from a Teams user to an analog device
- call from an analog device to a PSTN (external) phone (number) [e.g. mobile phone]
- call from a PSTN (external) phone to an analog device
In this architectural sketch you can see a high level Microsoft Teams Direct Routing deployment including an analog device which is connected via an anlog [device] gateway.
- [left] PSTN sip trunk [from your PSTN provider of choice],
- [center] a (certified) session border controller (SBC),
- [center] a analog [device] gateway
- sip trunk between analog gateway and SBC
- analog link (FXS, RJ11) between analog gateway and analog device
- [center-right] analog device [connect to analog gateway]
- [right] a Microsoft Phone System sip trunk
- [right] a Microsoft Teams User
What are the requirements for this? To keep it short, you need:
- Teams Direct Routing (TDR) [for details, please see Plan Direct Routing]
- Analog [Device] Gateway
Note: In case you have Microsoft Teams and utilize calling plans for telephony already but need these analog devices added you can add Teams Direct Routing to what you’ve got already.
Conclusion, opinion and summary
To sum this up, to connect analog devices to your Microsoft Teams deployment you need Teams Direct Routing (TDR). Then you can attach an analog device to an analog (device) gateway which is linked to a certified SBC for Direct Routing which handles the voice routing (from/to PSTN/Microsoft Phone System/analog gateway).
In this post I like to highlight six Microsoft Teams (Voice) sessions from Microsoft Ignite 2019 which provide you with knowledge on what you should know about calling capabilities on Microsoft Teams. These sessions are very valuable and you should watch them if you plan, deploy or operate Microsoft Teams including voice workloads (telephony, contact center, …) in your enterprise. If you don’t have much time you might want to download the sessions’ slide decks, if available.
Microsoft Teams Voice Sessions Highlights
At Ignite 2019 there were so many sessions regarding Microsoft Teams with all kind of aspects and focus areas, e.g. adopting, planning, implementing, servicing, troubleshooting, developing etc. Hereinafter, I point you to six excellent sessions held by Microsoft employees from Ignite 2019.
- VCE10 Calling in Microsoft Teams
- VCE20 Updates for Direct Routing
- VCE30 Managing your Microsoft Voice Environment
- VCE40 Compliance Recording and Microsoft Teams
- VCE50 Contact centers and Microsoft Teams
- BRK3204 Troubleshooting Microsoft Teams [not only voice]
This post is about a newly released white paper by Audiocodes on software-defined voice networks to optimize network performance and reduce operational costs for communication, especially voice, solutions.
The white paper points out the challenge on managing complex (voice) networks and versatile workloads in times in which businesses have to master their digital transformation. Audiocodes emphasizes that many carriers abandon their legacy PSTN technology backbone to transition from ISDN to All-IP. This also causes a change at the enterprises. Therefore, software-defined voice networks is described as an approach to cope with the technology change by to keep voice networks manageable and cut operational costs.
The advantages of software-defined (voice) networks [SDvN] as mentioned in the white paper are:
- decoupled voice network infrastructure and voice control layer
- overlay network
- agil and dynamic
- vendor agnostic
- centralized network and call routing management
- optimized call routing
Conclusion, opinion and summary
As I wrote in the past network reliability and performance for your communication and collaboration services (incl. voice) are essentials.
SDN can provide options to reduce operational costs and make your network more reliable and perform better. Audiocodes’ white paper outlines what SD(v)N in complex voice networking environments could offer to fulfill today’s and tomorrow’s business requirements in the digital era. SD(v)N, definitely something you should consider in case you have large and multi-national/-site (voice) network.