Microsoft Operator Connect
Microsoft Operator Connect
Joel Rollins

Microsoft Operator Connect

Microsoft announced Operator Connect earlier this year at Ignite 2021, a new feature allowing business to directly enable PSTN calling from their existing phone carries in Teams

Microsoft said the service is “a new way for customers to simply and quickly enable PSTN calling for Teams, using services from non-Microsoft telephony operators”.
Microsoft Operator Connect will bring customers the following benefits:
  • Leverage existing operator contracts: Keep your preferred operator and contracts, while enabling a modern calling experience in Teams
  • Simple and quick to deploy: It can take just minutes to connect to your operator and assign phone numbers to users – all from the Teams Admin Center. You do not need to be an expert in voice to deploy calling to Teams
  • Operator-managed infrastructure: PSTN calling services and Session Border Controllers (SBCs) are managed by operators, saving on hardware purchase and management
  • Enhanced support and reliability: Operators provide tech support and shared service level agreements to improve support service, while direct peering powered by Azure creates a 1:1 network connection for enhanced reliability
 
Microsoft said that the service is simple to use, with admins able to open the “Operators” tab in Teams Admin Center, which will present a list of the carriers available for selection.
Administrators will be able to select their preferred provider and acquire phone numbers from the carrier.

The following carriers have been confirmed as to be compatible with this new feature: BT, Deutsche Telekom, Intrado, NTT, Nuwave, Orange Business Services, Pure IP, Rogers, Swisscom, TATA, Telenor, and Verizon.

Teams administrator can prepare their environment for testing Operator Connect with the following steps:
  • Assign the Phone System license to the users that you want to assign Operator Connect numbers to
  • Set Teams upgrade mode to Teams Only for the users that you want to assign Operator Connect numbers to
  • For existing users that you want to assign Operator Connect numbers to, remove any existing voice routing policy
Look for this new feature beginning in early October.
 
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