Good communication is critical in today's business world. As a business owner, you know how important it is to communicate smoothly within your organisation and with outside partners and clients. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right communication method.

Direct Routing vs Operator Connect are the two options; your choices as a business owner greatly impact how effectively and efficiently your operations run. Understanding the differences between Operator Connect and Direct Routing is crucial for this reason. You may match your communication strategy with your corporate goals by being aware of the subtleties.

This blog delves into two crucial methods that have revolutionised how businesses handle their communication infrastructure: Operator Connect and Direct Routing.

Understanding Operator Connect

The operator connects, in simple words, bridges the communication gap.

Operator Connect, announced in March 2021, came to serve companies looking for a well-rounded choice. Without the complications that would call for the more extensive Direct Routing option, it especially caters to individuals who wish to work with their preferred telecommunications provider.

Microsoft's calling portfolio includes three options, with Operator Connect positioning itself as the third and most crucial. Using a designated telecommunications operator, this innovative product enables companies to start external PSTN calls from their Teams tenant. It is essential that all complex connectivity and infrastructure administration effortlessly transfer to the selected supplier, who offers this as a cloud-based service.

Simplicity and ease are at the heart of Operator Connect. This operator-managed solution enables enterprises to use their own PSTN carrier, carefully chosen from Microsoft's authorised list and brings PSTN calling to Teams. A managed service approach is then used to integrate this carrier effortlessly.

Operator Connect significantly streamlines the procedure for IT managers. An "Operators" option in the Teams admin dashboard allows for integrating the selected telecommunications operator and distributing phone numbers to users.

Unveiling Direct Routing

Through their selected SIP trunk provider, Direct Routing offers organisations the opportunity to integrate PSTN telephony into Microsoft Teams effortlessly. You can make and receive phone calls from outside Teams while still using the recognisable front-end experience and benefiting from the backend strength of their preferred SIP trunk provider.

In the complex world of contemporary corporate communication, Direct Routing stands out as a critical option, providing organisations looking for a more customised approach with higher control and flexibility. Think of it as the "Bring Your Own SBC" idea, similar to how Pure IP provides Direct Routing as a Service, a managed option essential for people lacking internal resources.

A comparative analysis: Operator Connect vs. Direct Routing

AspectOperator ConnectDirect Routing
InitiationSimplified, cloud-based serviceUser-initiated through preferred SIP trunk provider
FunctionalityExternal PSTN calls within TeamsExternal PSTN calls within Teams
ManagementTelecoms operator handles infrastructureOrganisations manage SIP trunk provider backend
IntegrationLimited complexity, suited for straightforward needsComplex configurations, integration with applications
Cost BenefitsSome cost savings, middle groundPotential for cost savings through tailored models
Suitable forBusinesses without complex requirementsLarger enterprises with intricate communication needs
Unified CommunicationsBasic PSTN calling integrationComprehensive, unified communication and collaboration
Integration of FunctionsLimited integration of call centres and servicesIntegration of call centres, on-the-road teams, etc.
Adaptability to ChangeSuited for smaller businesses with minimal complexityFlexibility for evolving hybrid working models

Implementation and integration considerations

Success in cutting-edge communication technologies like Microsoft Operator Connect vs Direct Routing depends on planned deployment and seamless integration. Both approaches have distinct benefits, but you must carefully examine how to match them with the goals and architecture of your company. Here is a thorough examination of the crucial factors for effective deployment and integration:

Operator Connect implementation

  • Provider selection: Choose a telecommunications provider from Microsoft's list of authorised companies (Like Tata Communications) based on your company's preferences and communication requirements.
  • Admin dashboard integration: Become familiar with the "Operators" page of the Teams admin dashboard's integration procedure for the selected provider.
  • User allocation: Simplify the procedure inside the Teams environment by allocating phone numbers to users.
  • Scalability and simplicity: Operator Connect is an excellent option for smaller companies or those with simple communication needs.

Direct Routing integration

  • SIP Trunk provider: Choose a SIP Trunk supplier with the flexibility, functionality, and price structure that work best for your organisation.
  • Backend configuration: Ensure that the service you selected's backend is ideally linked with Microsoft Teams to enable external calling.
  • Customisation and complexity: Direct Routing excels in complicated situations. Think about the degree of setup necessary, such as contact centre integration.

Utilise Direct Routing to build a unified communication and collaboration platform with cutting-edge capabilities like call centres and mobile support teams.

Points of alignment

  • Cost effectiveness: Assess each option's cost-effectiveness based on your usage patterns and requirements.
  • Scalability: Consider potential expansion and shifting communication requirements. Make sure the solution you choose can quickly adapt to these changes.
  • Reliable service: Prioritise the user's experience regardless of the option picked. External calling must be simple and trustworthy.
  • Training and assistance: Invest in training materials and services to guarantee a seamless transition for your personnel.

Scalability and future-readiness: Preparing for growth

Teams Operator Connect vs Direct Routing both allow scalability. However, the degree and simplicity of scaling vary depending on your organisation's size and future goals. Think about the following:

  • Operator Connect: Excellent for little companies with simple requirements. Check to see if your selected telecommunications provider can quickly meet growing communication demands as your business expands.
  • Direct Routing: Gives larger companies with complicated requirements greater freedom. Examine the simplicity with which your SIP trunk provider may expand to accommodate more users, locations, and communication requirements.

By choosing a course of action consistent with your projected development trajectory, you may ensure future preparedness while minimising interruptions as your company develops.

User experience and productivity impact

Productivity and user experience are crucial. Regardless of the solution used, external calling should be simple and dependable. Consider:

  • Operator Connect: User productivity can increase by streamlining user adoption and call flow through simplicity.
  • Direct Routing: Extra training may be needed for more sophisticated configurations, but once learned, these features can significantly improve productivity and teamwork.

Consider the effects on your teams' everyday operations and prioritise a smooth experience that facilitates effective collaboration.

Realising cost savings and ROI

Cost factors are crucial in the decision-making process. It is crucial to comprehend the cost structure, and prospective return on investment (ROI) of Microsoft Teams Direct Routing vs Operator Connect.

Operator Connect is a good choice for companies looking for affordability without sacrificing functionality because it offers some cost savings.

Direct Routing: It's potential for cost reductions is clear through open pricing structures. Weigh the installation, training, and continuing maintenance costs compared to the gains.

For larger companies with more complicated requirements, Direct Routing's long-term ROI may be greater than Operator Connect's early savings.

Therefore, Direct Routing vs Operator Connect are leaders in innovation in contemporary communication, providing special benefits catered to companies of all sizes and demands. To create a successful communication plan that supports your company's growth, increases productivity, and maximises your investment return, it's important to consider scalability, user experience, and cost-effectiveness. Your decision will shape how your organisation communicates and collaborates in a fast-paced business environment.

Making the right choice: A decision-making guide

A smart choice between Operator Connect vs Direct Routing might influence the communication ecology of your company. Consider using the following decision-making approach to guarantee that your decision is well-informed and perfectly aligned with your company's needs:

1. Recognise your company's needs:

  • Size and scope: Evaluate your organisation's size and your communication needs. Operator Connect's simplicity may be appropriate for smaller firms, while Direct Routing's versatility may be advantageous for bigger businesses with complicated demands.
  • Future growth: Take into account your growth forecasts. Will the solution you choose scale easily as your business grows?

2. Assess the complexity of communication:

  • Integration: Do you need more than just standard outside calling? If so, Direct Routing provides sophisticated features such as application integration with call centres and other systems.
  • Customisation: Are you seeking a specially designed communication solution that perfectly matches your business procedures? It would be better to customise Direct Routing.

3. Budget and ROI

Determine your budget for implementation and training upfront. Due to its intricacy, Direct Routing could need a larger initial expenditure.

Savings over the long term: Evaluate possible cost savings and ROI over time. While Operator Connect does provide some cost reductions, Direct Routing's open pricing structures could provide more advantages.

4. User acceptance and experience:

User-friendliness: If some of your team members are less tech-savvy than others, take into account Operator Connect's simplicity for easy user uptake.

Analyse how the long-term potential of Direct Routing's advanced features for improved cooperation and efficiency.

5. Flexibility for hybrid work:

Consider how each choice fits into your company's hybrid work style, which allows for both remote and in-office cooperation.

6. Vendor compatibility

Check that your selected telecom provider is on Microsoft's authorised list if you decide to use Provider Connect.

Choose a SIP trunk provider that fits your communication requirements for Direct Routing.

7. IT support and resources:

Examine the IT capabilities of your company using in-house expertise. Less internal resources could be needed for the administration of Operator Connect.

Vendor Support: Consider the amount of assistance offered by the SIP trunk provider or the telecom operator you have selected as your vendor.


Operator Connect vs Direct Routing provides two separate ways to improve connectivity inside Microsoft Teams in the ever-evolving world of commercial communication.

This decision is well-considered, in line with your financial and expansion ambitions, and regardless of the route taken, both options foster cooperation and advancement. As you begin out on your path to communication excellence, keep in mind to take your organisation's requirements into account, balance the advantages, and make use of these possibilities to turn communication into a strategic asset. Microsoft Teams ushers in a new era of connectivity with Operator Connect and Direct Routing, paving the way for unmatched successes.

Tata Communication provides both solutions for your business. You can start a free trial of both Operator Connect or Direct Routing, or you can consult with experts first, Who can help you to choose the right option for your business.

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