5 Ways Microsoft Direct Routing Can Improve Your Communications

Updated: April 30th, 2024

Discover the Innovative Features of Microsoft Direct Routing

High-speed internet, cloud computing, and in-depth communications systems have changed how businesses interact and share information, both internally and externally. With so many new tools and advancements emerging daily, sometimes it’s hard to choose which shiny new tool will help take your team and your communications to new heights, without being left behind the competition.

But what if you didn’t need a shiny new tool at all? What if all you need to do to revolutionise your business communications is to make adjustments to a tool you may already have? That way, depending on your specific business needs, you could leverage the internal communication technology your team is already familiar with the addition of being able to communicate externally. 

We’re talking about Direct Routing from Microsoft Teams (also known as Teams Talk); a way you can add a whole new dimension to your internal communication and external communication capabilities, using one of the world’s most popular business communications tools, from the world’s most recognisable technology brand. 

But what is Direct Routing? How does it relate to Microsoft Teams, and how can it help you make the most of your communications in the digital age? Keep reading to find out more.  

What is Microsoft Direct Routing?

If your company is already a Microsoft Teams client, and your employees know it like the back of their hands, you’re in a great position to add Direct Routing. 

Direct Routing allows you to add phone call capabilities to your Microsoft Teams account, without opting for a separate Microsoft calling plan – which can be on the pricey side. Instead, Direct Routing lets Microsoft Teams users “route” calls to and from your PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone system through Teams, via a Session Border Controller (SBC), all at the touch of a button.

A Session Border Controller could be thought of as the “middle-man” between your calls and the Microsoft Teams platform. It’s a piece of software that works in the background to ensure you’re still able to make and receive calls through the Teams platform, performing technical functions consistently and helping a call transfer from analogue to digital successfully. This transforms your current outdated phone system into a Microsoft phone system – sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

Think of it as taking a SIM card out of a really old mobile phone, and popping it into a modern smartphone you’re already familiar with; you can make the same calls, at the same price, with the same provider, from a device you already know your way around. 

This way, businesses can make and receive phone calls through Microsoft Teams with ease, and without the need to onboard expensive new digital call technology, along with enjoying a host of other great benefits.

How Microsoft Direct Routing Can Boost Your Communication Efforts

User-friendly Interface

Research has shown that employees work best, and are happiest, when they feel “at home” with the technology they use in the workplace. Having a good working relationship, if you will, with the tools they use is key to their continued productivity and success, and it all starts with a welcoming, easy-to-navigate interface. 

However, onboarding new systems can throw this into disarray, with workers struggling to get to grips with unfamiliar technology and ways of working, resulting in losses in productivity and worker satisfaction. In fact, according to a study by Gartner, 60% of employees suffer from frustration over new software, making it a problem that’s not to be ignored.

If you’re concerned that onboarding a new digital phone system may cause some strife in your workforce, and you’d rather avoid this, Direct Routing is the solution you need. Instead of bringing in an entirely new communications system for your team to adjust to, which will inevitably cost time, you can simply use Direct Routing to channel your inbound and outbound calls through Microsoft Teams, relieving your team of the need to adjust to a new piece of software, and allowing them to easily interact with a familiar and user-friendly interface.


It was once the case that, as new employees joined the team, they would need to be given their own dedicated desk phone that would need to be hard-wired into the office. But this costs time and money, and with the approaching PSTN switch off, these analogue phone solutions are no longer fit for purpose. In the case of mass hiring, installing new phones at many desks became a real headache for businesses, both metaphorically and physically. In fact, businesses that are yet to switch to a digital phone system are still going through this today, though that won’t work for much longer (more on that in a moment).

However, with Direct Routing, this needn’t be the case, especially if the majority of an employee’s tasks will be phone-related. Instead of wiring in a new physical phone, the worker could simply be assigned a dedicated login for the company’s Microsoft Teams account, activate Direct Routing, and make and accept all their calls through the Teams dashboard – no annoying wiring, no unnecessary spending. Through the Microsoft Teams platform, they’ll have convenient access to all the tools they need to remain productive and in contact with their colleagues within one solution, accessible by PCs, laptops, mobile and desk phone.

Better still, this process is easily repeatable as many times as necessary as a company grows and adds new members to its roster. The only limitation is how many devices are available to employees – though these can easily be ordered and handed out accordingly, meaning every worker will always have the opportunity to make and receive calls as part of their role.


Cyber security is a major talking point when it comes to protecting sensitive customer data. With data breaches experiencing a major spike in 2023, according to data from the Harvard Business Review, businesses need to do everything they can to ensure data and private conversations are kept away from the ears of those who may wish to use such information maliciously.

While calls made via traditional PSTN lines are generally considered safe, there’s still the potential of calls being “tapped”, with criminals accessing analogue lines and taking advantage of outdated technology to gather information they could use to commit serious crimes, such as bank fraud, identity theft and more. However, when making calls via Direct Routing on the Microsoft Teams platform, employees can rest easy knowing their calls are protected with the same line of defence used to protect the entire Teams platform. As the solution is cloud-based, Microsoft has employed the use of strict protocols, such as the complete encryption of data in transit. This scrambles any data passed through the platform (including call data) ensuring it cannot be used by someone illegally accessing the system for nefarious means.

With Direct Routing, business owners can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing their calls are actively being protected by the high-end cyber security solutions in the world today, offered by a giant of the industry.

PSTN Switch-Off

In 2025, British Telecom will be switching off the traditional copper wiring that has powered telecommunications in the UK since its inception, meaning businesses and individuals will need to switch to digital modes of communication if they wish to remain connected. Many homes and businesses have already made the switch to ensure they don’t lose the ability to communicate with their customers, colleagues, friends and families. Consumer phone users can simply run their phone connections through their home broadband to avoid this issue, but businesses need to explore other avenues to remain connected.

Direct Routing is a viable option for businesses satisfied with their current communication tools, but seeking uninterrupted digital phone conversations. While some opt for new cloud phone systems and Unified Communications platforms, Direct Routing ensures seamless calls without changing existing setups. Much like cloud phone systems and unified communications platforms, Direct Routing utilises Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology, converting analogue phone signals into digital signals, so they can be transferred across an internet connection. By routing traditional analogue calls through Microsoft Teams via Direct Routing, businesses can avoid the pitfalls of the switch-off and remain fully connected with their customers and each other.

Application Integrations

Microsoft Teams is a very comprehensive communications platform featuring plenty of applications to help you and your team remain connected at all times, and share thoughts and ideas consistently. But sometimes, depending on the nature of your business, you may need to access other applications as part of your day-to-day and to serve your customers promptly. If the majority of work carried out by employees takes place over the phone, and they’ve already installed Direct Routing to make things easier, it could be an awkward experience to keep having to exit the Teams platform to find the tools necessary to complete important tasks. This could be the case when using a different third-party communications platform provider, too.

However, because Microsoft Teams allows for the integration of new applications, and applications created by third-party developers, accessing the tools you need quickly is as easy as finding the apps you need on the Microsoft Store and adding them to your Teams setup – all without having to leave the Teams platform at all. This way, those employees whose work relies heavily on making and receiving calls via Direct Routing will save countless hours by not having to minimise teams and go hunting for the right app for the right job, helping them to stay productive. Instead, all the apps they need – including Teams Talk – will be right there in front of them on the dashboard.

Need a Hand Activating Direct Routing Through Microsoft Teams? Speak to Elite Group

Our decades of combined experience in the business technology and communications space means we’re in the ideal place to help you onboard and manage your Direct Routing capabilities, so you can make the most of digital calling.

As an official Microsoft Partner, we’re trusted by the world’s most iconic computing brand to offer you the tools you need to maximise your communications and continue your success, both now and in the future. 

When working with Elite Group, you’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager who will take the time to get to know your business inside and out, so we can always offer the most appropriate solutions. This person will also be your port of call for any technical issues that arise with your new technology, so you’ll always have someone to speak with when you need a helping hand.

To find out more about Microsoft Teams Direct Routing and other impressive business communications tools you may find useful, speak to an Elite Group expert today.