The simple way to connect Microsoft Teams users to your SIP trunks quickly

May 13th, 2020

The current period, with so many working from home due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, has seen a considerable increase in cloud communications consumption. Microsoft Teams’ daily active user count alone has more than doubled in approximately a month. As a long-time partner of Microsoft, Ribbon and our partners have been on the front lines helping organizations keep their communications robust and available during this time.

Ribbon’s session border controllers (SBCs) securely connect Teams calling capabilities to the session initiation protocol (SIP) trunks from their telecommunications providers, which enables calls to external parties directly from Teams, creating a more complete solution. Organizations need the ability to pivot to remote communications very quickly and Ribbon’s SBC Software Edition (SWe) Lite has a new Quick Launch offer in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace that enables just that. SBC SWe Lite is certified for connecting to Teams. We’ve been working with Microsoft for years to help develop and enhance the capabilities of Phone System, their cloud-based PBX. Continuous improvements to Phone System are tested on Ribbon SBCs before being committed to Microsoft 365.

Running a virtual SBC from the cloud inherently helps speed the time to value since there is no device to be shipped. Another benefit of cloud computing is resource management: you can scale up or down without changing out hardware. When setting up an application in Azure you need to set aside enough resources for it to run and SBC SWe Lite employs a very efficient use of computing resources -- the engineering team has concentrated on providing full media services on a very small resource footprint.

Quick Launch greatly simplifies the setup process: five simple screens gather information on your intentions to configure the virtual machine and networking resources for your SBC. You type in the number of concurrent sessions that you’ll need. This is not the number of people making phone calls from Teams, but the number of people that will be making external phone calls from Teams at the same time.  A good ratio for most organizations is one concurrent session for every ten Teams users.

Quick Launch suggests the appropriate virtual machine settings for the number of concurrent sessions you require, (you have the flexibility to adjust them if you find the resources to be excessive or deficient).

Network settings for the virtual networks and subnets are created for internal and external communications with the SBC. Here, IP addresses for the management interface and the signaling and media interface are created.  These are saved so that they can be easily accessed when completing the setup of the SBC.

You’ll need a username and password to use the management interface, once those are provided Quick Launch deploys the SBC on Azure. There is a final screen where you can check the configuration settings before submission. Then you’re ready to set up the connection to Teams.

The Easy Configuration Wizard simplifies connecting your SIP trunks to Teams. You’ll use the two outputs from deploying SBC SWe Lite on Azure: the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) and the public IP of the SBC, to power the Easy Configuration Wizard.  Use the FQDN to get to the management interface with a web browser. Once there, you can select SIP<->Microsoft Teams as your application scenario. Choose your SIP trunk provider and copy and paste the public IP address of the SBC to connect the two.

The wizard creates the necessary routing tables, signaling groups and SIP server tables, giving you a working solution in minutes. The Quick Launch offer coupled with the Easy Configuration Wizard is the simple way to connect Microsoft Teams users to your SIP trunks quickly. Use the 30-Day Trial to test it out!