Enable Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams from the Azure Cloud or Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Organizations around the globe are moving to Teams for video conferencing, file sharing, and chat. Ribbon makes it easy to extend those capabilities by securely connecting Teams to an external telephone network, turning Teams into the office phone system. Organizations can immediately move some or all of their business phone calls to Teams or slowly migrate off of a legacy PBX, depending on their needs. And since Teams clients work on a PC/Mac or smartphone, users can make and receive calls from almost anywhere, on any device, staying connected and productive.

The key is Ribbon’s Session Border Controller, Software Edition Edge (SBC SWe Edge). It lives in the Azure or AWS cloud and provides a secure bridge between your enterprise network and a telecom provider. There is no hardware to deploy or manage, as everything is in the cloud. The solution is operational in minutes and can scale up or down as needed. Ribbon even offers a 30-day trial license so your organization can try it out.

  • Microsoft-certified
  • Available in the Azure Marketplace
  • No hardware to install
  • 30-day trial license
  • Full media services
  • Robust security to keep bad actors out of your network
  • Choose your Communications Service Provider (AKA phone company)

Ribbon’s SBC software is designed for compute efficiency. In fact, a small business can be supported with a single Standard_B1ms virtual machine instance on Azure or a t3.small virtual machine instance on AWS.


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What Do I Need to Get Started with Teams Calling?

Getting started is easier than you think, here are the 4 key requirements:

  1. Microsoft Phone System license in Microsoft 365 (typically included in the E5 package and an add-on for E3 – check your contract for details).
  2. A telecom provider that can provide SIP Trunks for Teams (AKA a dial tone provider). SIP Trunks are the industry term for what Microsoft calls Direct Routing. If you choose a new dial tone provider, you will need to either port your existing phone numbers to the new provider or get new phone numbers (the provider can offer details and timing for each option).
  3. A Microsoft-certified Session Border Controller to terminate the SIP Trunks (All of Ribbon’s session border controllers are fully certified). The SBC acts as a voice firewall and can mitigate interoperability issues.
  4. A trained staff member or an IT professional who can assist with the solution set-up.

Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Dummies Guide

Use Teams as your office phone system | Learn about Microsoft Direct Routing | Pick the right Session Border Controller (SBC)

Ribbon SBC SWe Edge on Microsoft Azure

Download the Zoom Solution Brief

What is the SBC’s Role in Direct Routing?

Microsoft requires a certified SBC to act as bridge between Teams and the telephone network. The session border controller provides multiple functions:

  • Security – it acts as a voice-aware firewall and encrypts traffic to protect the voice traffic itself and to prevent bad actors from entering the data network via the voice network
  • Interoperability – not every SIP Trunking provider is identical, Ribbon’s SBCs can adjust key parameters to make set-up easy and trouble-free
  • Legacy Connectivity – many organizations still have analog phones, elevator phones, door phones and fax machines. Ribbon’s hardware–based SBCs have analog ports (FXS) to keep these assets working for years to come
  • Migration – often organizations want to slowly migrate to Teams, keeping their legacy PBX in place for weeks or even months or years. Ribbon SBCs can provide simultaneous ringing so that both Teams and the old PBX share connectivity.
  • Resiliency or Failover – Ribbon SBCs support Microsoft's Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) to provide basic calling services even if the Microsoft 365 cloud is unreachable. Further, Ribbon supports WAN resiliency and several other options to manage disruptions in service, depending on the deployment model. These tools can keep your organization connected even if the unexpected happens.

Learn More About MS Teams Direct Routing

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Deploying the SBC SWe Edge in Azure is Easy

The Ribbon Difference

Ribbon has a longstanding relationship with Microsoft, so it is no surprise that we have the largest portfolio of Microsoft-certified session border controllers. In fact, many of the world’s largest communication service providers use Ribbon SBCs to protect their networks and deliver the SIP Trunks used for Direct Routing. There’s a good chance your Ribbon SBC will be connecting to its peer in the service provider’s cloud.

Ribbon’s SBC Software Edition Edge (SWe  Edge) delivers better security, more functionality and a smaller cloud footprint than the competition.

  • Costs less to deploy – Ribbon’s software uses fewer resources in the Azure or AWS cloud, reducing monthly spend
  • Better sound quality – Ribbon SBCs support the best mobile media services (codecs) including OPUS and SILK so calls sound better, even on mediocre mobile connections
  • Easier to install – Just 5 steps to get started. Watch the Video
  • Faster integrations and migrations – Ribbon has set-up wizards that reduce the time it takes to connect to Teams as well as popular PBXs from Cisco, Avaya, etc.



Hardware Instead of Software? – Sure

Ribbon’s SBC Software Edition Edge (SWe Edge) is full featured and is enabled in the cloud in minutes. However, there are reasons why an organization might prefer to locate an SBC in their own data center or use a turnkey appliance. Ribbon lets organizations choose the deployment model that’s right for them. The same software is available.

  • In the Azure and AWS cloud
  • As a software image for a virtual machine (SWe Edge)
  • Preloaded on Ribbon’s own hardware (Ribbon’s SBC 1000 or SBC 2000)

The software is the same, it’s simply a matter of deployment preference. If a Teams migration requires migration of a legacy PBX or analog devices (elevator phones, door phones, fax machines, etc.), a Ribbon SBC 1000 or SBC 2000 appliance has the added benefit of providing physical ports.

Spend Less and Get More

For as little as $15 / Month* get a single Standard_B1ms virtual machine instance on Azure. Add Ribbon’s SBC SWe Edge software to securely manage the bits and bytes of IP-based voice communications. Ribbon’s software includes support for:

  • Tones and Announcements
  • Comfort Noise
  • Network Jitter Compensation
  • Music on Hold
  • Silence Suppression
  • Transcoding

These services are critical for a quality customer experience and for interworking with contact centers, fax machines and PBXs. Ribbon solutions deliver more value while consuming fewer Azure resources, saving you money.

*Based on Azure compute resources supporting 10 concurrent SIP sessions, US East Region, Linux OS, Standard Tier, Pay as You Go, no HDD costs – does not include Ribbon SWe Edge licensing costs


Professional Help with a Microsoft Teams Migrations

Migrating to a new communications solution can be serious business, hiring an experienced professional is often the smartest way to assure a positive outcome. Ribbon has relationships with thousands of trained telecom experts around the globe and can connect you with one of our Partners. They can help you deploy a Ribbon SBC for Direct Routing, migrate calling to Teams and integrate Teams into other parts of your organization’s business process.

Stone Brewing Deploys Ribbon SBC