Why Microsoft Direct Routing and Operator Connect Are Superior to Local Gateways

Benjamin Receveur, Global Head of Modern Collaboration

In the realm of unified communications, businesses are constantly on the lookout for robust, scalable, and cost-efficient telephony solutions. Microsoft Direct Routing and Operator Connect, both components of Microsoft Teams have emerged as leading options for businesses looking to streamline their communication infrastructure. However, what makes Direct Routing and Operator Connect superior choices compared to traditional local gateways? Let's delve into the key advantages.

1. Scalability and Flexibility

Microsoft Direct Routing and Operator Connect offer unmatched scalability, allowing businesses to expand their communication infrastructure without significant hardware investments. Unlike local gateways that require physical hardware, these cloud-based solutions make it easy to add or remove users and services as needed.

Microsoft Direct Routing: Typically, a setup can be completed in a few hours to a few days, especially with DRaaS solutions.
Traditional SBCs: Deployment can take several weeks to months due to the need for hardware installation and complex configurations.

2. Cost Efficiency

Managing and maintaining local gateways is costly due to the initial capital investment, ongoing maintenance, and associated upgrade costs. Direct Routing and Operator Connect reduce these expenses by utilizing cloud-based solutions, eliminating the need for on-premise hardware, and lowering operational costs.

Deploying Microsoft Direct Routing instead of traditional Session Border Controllers (SBCs) can lead to significant cost savings for businesses. On average, companies using Direct Routing can save up to 40% on their telephony bills compared to using Microsoft Calling Plans or traditional SBC setups.

3. Simplified Management

Direct Routing and Operator Connect simplify telephony service management by centralizing tasks that would typically require complex local gateway configurations and hardware troubleshooting. These cloud-based solutions streamline monitoring and maintenance through Microsoft's intuitive interface, easing the IT department's administrative load.

4. Enhanced Security

Security is a top concern for any organization. Direct Routing and Operator Connect benefit from the robust security infrastructure of Microsoft Azure, providing advanced security features and compliance with industry standards. Unlike local gateways, which may have vulnerabilities due to outdated hardware or software, these solutions ensure continuous updates and patches, enhancing overall security. Additionally, Microsoft's end-to-end encryption safeguards sensitive communication data.

5. Improved Reliability and Redundancy

Reliability is crucial for business communications. Local gateways can be susceptible to hardware failures, resulting in potential downtime. Direct Routing and Operator Connect leverage the redundancy and reliability of the cloud. Microsoft's global data centers ensure high availability and automatic failover, minimizing the risk of service interruptions. This level of reliability is difficult to achieve with traditional local gateways.

6. Seamless Integration with Microsoft Teams

Direct Routing and Operator Connect integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Teams, unifying telephony, video conferencing, and collaboration tools on one platform. This allows users to make and receive calls directly within Teams, enhancing productivity and user experience.


Local gateways have served businesses well, but Microsoft Direct Routing and Operator Connect offer clear advantages like scalability, cost efficiency, simplified management, enhanced security, improved reliability, seamless Teams integration, and future-proofing. Adopting these solutions streamlines telephony infrastructure, reduces costs, and enhances communication, positioning businesses for success in a digital world.

Direct Routing is recommended for flexibility, advanced features, and global reach and Operator Connect is a recommendation for a managed service business with simplicity and ease of deployment.

In the competitive Microsoft Teams voice services landscape, Black Box excels with comprehensive integration, global reach, scalability, superior support, innovative solutions, and cost-effective offerings. These factors make Black Box a preferred choice for businesses seeking to enhance their global communication capabilities. Choosing Black Box ensures seamless, reliable communication, empowering businesses to achieve their goals in an evolving digital age.

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