Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams - make and receive business phone calls

Organizations are already using Teams for video conferencing, file sharing, and chat. Microsoft Phone System Direct Routing is the service inside of Teams that allows organizations to connect external phone lines and use Teams as an office phone system.

Ribbon provides the Microsoft certified Session Border Controller (SBC) required to connect Teams to a telecom provider (aka phone lines). Teams uses IP-based voice connections, commonly referred to as SIP Trunks to connect to the rest of the world. Ribbon’s SBCs secure these connections and assure interoperability so organizations can select from hundreds of service providers across the globe.


Organizations can use Teams for all their business calls or slowly migrate from 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.

Microsoft Solutions


Azure & AWS-Hosted SBC

Ribbon's Azure & AWS-Hosted SBC software securely connects Teams to an external telephone network, turning Teams into the office phone system.


Ribbon Connect

Ribbon Connect for Microsoft Teams direct routing makes it cost-effective to start a pilot or migrate key sales staff, or an office to Microsoft Teams.


Teams Service Assurance

Ribbons cloud-based EdgeView works with on-site EdgeMarc devices to monitor and manage network traffic, ensuring a consistent quality of service.



Analytics to proactively detect UC/CC network and service anomalies or threats, so you can avoid disruptions and the time and money it costs to fix them


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Visibility, Assurance and Analytics for Microsoft Teams

  • Transforming Raw KPIs into Actionable Insights

  • Visualizing RTC Service Quality Characteristics

  • Detecting Potential Issues Before They Impact End-Users

MS teams Visibiliity

Gain end-to-end visibility and Intelligence into your communications networks, devices, and users

Proactively Manage Your Team's Experience

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)

Microsoft Survivable Branch Appliance Support

Enable Teams users to make and receive calls to/from the public telephone network if Microsoft 365 becomes unreachable. Microsoft’s Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) capabilities are available for the SBC 1000 and SBC 2000 (Server Module required) as well as offered as fully virtualized software in concert with the SBC SWe Edge. Ribbon enterprise SBCs already provide support for resilient WAN connections, adding Microsoft’s SBA services provides the next level of resiliency by assuring that users can still make and receive calls, in the event of a WAN or cloud outage. Microsoft SBA services are tightly integrated into the SBC’s Easy Configuration Wizard, making set-up and administration as simple as point and click. Ribbon eliminates any SBA-related command-line administration or stand-alone security certificate management.

The SBC 1000 and 2000 also support traditional analog and digital circuits (POTS, BRI, T1/E1 circuits) for an additional level of redundancy, beyond SIP trunk connectivity. Learn more by downloading the SBA Datasheet

SBA Datasheet

Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) for Microsoft Teams

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.

Eastman Case Study Testimonial

Use the Azure Cloud

Easily deploy Ribbon SBC software in the Cloud

Ribbon’s SBC Cloud Native Edge (SBC CNE Edge), and SBC Software Edition Edge (SBC SWe Edge) can operate natively in the Cloud. In minutes, an organization can deploy a Ribbon SBC via the Azure Marketplace to connect Teams Direct Routing to a telecom provider. There is no hardware to deploy or manage and the solution can scale up or down as needed. Ribbon even offers a 30-day trial license so your organization can try it out.



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Small & Medium Business and Branch Offices

From the Cloud, Our Hardware or Your Hardware
The same capabilities, choose the deployment model that fits your needs

Ribbon’s Session Border Controller software is designed to operate from the cloud, as a virtual instance in a data center or on Ribbon own appliance hardware. Unlike our competitors that try to force a deployment model or ask organizations to sacrifice functionality, with Ribbon the choice is yours.

Service Type SBC SWe Edge software on Azure Cloud Software Image
SBC SWe Edge
Turnkey Ribbon Appliance - SBC 1000 Turnkey Ribbon Appliance - SBC 2000
Microsoft Certified
Award Winning Security
Tones & Annoucement Support
Comfort Noise & Silence Supression
Network Jitter Compensation
Music on Hold
Purchase Model Monthly as a Service One-time Purchase One-time Purchase One-time Purchase
Support Contract Included Annual Purchase Annual Purchase Annual Purchase
Maximum Users 5000 5000 600 1000
Maximum Concurrent Calls 1000 1000 192 600
T1/E1/ or BRI Ports (connects legacy PBXs) Local gateway required Local gateway required Up to 4 T1/E1 or 12 BRI ports Up to 16 T1/E1 – 2 x 8 T1/E1 spans
FXS Ports (analog phones, fax, etc.) Local gateway required Local gateway required Up to 24 FXS ports Up to 48 FXS ports – 2 x 24 ports
FXO Ports (analog lines for emergency calling, etc.) Local gateway required Local gateway required Up to 12 FXO ports Local gateway required
  More on SBC SWe Edge Azure More on SBC SWe Edge More on SBC 1000 More on SBC 2000

Learn More About Microsoft Teams Direct Routing

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Read our Transition to Teams Whitepaper

Unparalleled Scale and Performance for Large Enterprise

Tens of thousands of sessions built on a high availability architecture

Almost every element in Ribbon’s Session Border Controller portfolio is Microsoft Teams certified. That means that even the largest enterprises or any organization that requires 99.999% up time for their Teams calling environment has a solution from Ribbon. And Ribbon SBCs don’t sacrifice security or media services to create scale “on paper”. Ribbon SBCs can also transcode tens of thousands of media sessions and process tens of thousands of SIP registrations, all at the same time.

Ribbon has decades of experience building session border controllers for the world’s largest service providers. Our hardware and software is designed to be operational 24/7, even during upgrades. Ribbon SBCs have undergone rigorous 3rd party testing to prove they can withstand withering attacks and continue to protect the network. Multiple models are FIPS 140-2 certified and have also been JITC certified by the US Department of Defense. Organizations can choose software only deployments or the industry’s most robust hardware & software solutions.

Service Type Software Image SBC SWe SBC 5400 SBC 7000
Microsoft Certified
Session Capacity - Simultaneous Resource Dependent Up to 75,000 Sessions Up to 150,000 Sessions
Transcoded Sessions (codec dependent) Resource Dependent Up to 40,000 Sessions Up to 130,000 Sessions
JITC and FIPS-140-2 certified
Embedded Policy/Routing Engine
Centralized Policy/Routing Option via Ribbon PSX
Real-time streaming of RTCP for Ribbon Analytics
Modular Hardware Design for Resource Scaling N/A
Robust Multi-codec Video Support
Network-wide Licensing Model
Cloud Deployments Vmware, KVM, OpenStack, Amazon Web Services & Google Cloud N/A N/A
  More on SBC SWe Software More on SBC 5400 More on SBC 7000

Stone Brewing Deploys Ribbon SBC