Plan your Teams voice solution

This article helps you decide which Microsoft voice solution is right for your organization. After you've decided, the article provides a roadmap to content that will enable you to implement your chosen solution.

You might want the simplest solution—Phone System with Calling Plan. This is Microsoft's all-in-the-cloud solution that provides Private Branch Exchange (PBX) functionality and calls to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), as shown in the following diagram. With this solution, Microsoft is your PSTN carrier.

Diagram 1 shows Phone System with Calling Plan.

If you answer yes to the following, then Phone System with Calling Plan is the right solution for you:

  • Calling Plan is available in your region.
  • You do not need to retain your current PSTN carrier.
  • You want to use Microsoft-managed access to the PSTN.

However, your situation might be more complex. For example, you might have offices in locations where Calling Plan isn't available. Or you might need a combination solution that supports a complex, multi-national deployment, with different requirements for different geographic locations. Microsoft supports a combination of solutions:

  • Phone System with Calling Plan
  • Phone System with your own PSTN carrier with Operator Connect (currently available only in public preview)
  • Phone System with your own PSTN carrier with Direct Routing
  • A combination solution that uses Phone System with Calling Plan, Phone System with Operator Connect, and/or Phone System with Direct Routing

What do you need to read?

Required for all. Some of the sections in this article pertain to all organizations. For example, everyone should read about Phone System and understand the options for connecting to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

Required for all Description
Phone System Microsoft's technology for enabling call control and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) capabilities in the Microsoft 365 cloud with Microsoft Teams.
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity options A choice between using Microsoft as your telephony carrier or connecting your own telephony carrier to Microsoft Teams by using Operator Connect or Direct Routing. Combined with Phone System, PSTN connectivity options enable your users to make phone calls all over the world.

Depending on your requirements. Some of the sections in this and related articles are pertinent depending on your existing deployment and requirements. For example, Location-Based Routing is only required for Direct Routing customers in geographic locations that do not allow toll bypass.

Consider which of these additional configurations you might need:

Diagram 2 shows additional voice components, such as Phone numbers from Microsoft, Dial plans and call routing, and so on.

Depending on your requirements Description
Phone number management How to get and manage phone numbers differs depending on your PSTN connectivity option. Read this section if you need to obtain phone numbers, transfer existing numbers, obtain service numbers, and so on.
Call routing and dial plans How to configure and manage dial plans that translate dialed phone numbers into an alternate format (typically E.164 format) for call authorization and call routing. Read this section if you need to understand what dial plans are and whether you need to specify dial plans for your organization.
Emergency calling How to manage and configure emergency calling differs depending on your PSTN connectivity option. Read this section if you need to understand how to manage emergency calling for your organization.
Location-Based Routing for Direct Routing How to use Location-Based Routing (LBR) to restrict toll bypass for Microsoft Teams users based on their geographic location. Read this section if your organization is using Direct Routing at a location that does not allow toll bypass.
Network topology for cloud voice features If your organization is deploying Location-Based Routing (LBR) for Direct Routing or dynamic emergency calling, you must configure network settings for use with these features in Microsoft Teams. Read this section if you are implementing LBR for Direct Routing, or if you are implementing dynamic emergency calling with Calling Plan or Direct Routing.
Migrate your existing voice solution What you need to think about when migrating your voice solution to Teams. Read this section if you are migrating from an existing voice solution to Teams.

Important

This article focuses on voice solutions with Microsoft Teams. While solutions with Skype for Business Online are still available, it's important to understand that Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021. After that date, the Skype for Business Online service will no longer be accessible. In addition, PSTN connectivity between your on-premises environment—whether through Skype for Business Server or Cloud Connector Edition—and Skype for Business Online will no longer be supported. This article introduces Teams voice solutions and how you can connect your on-premises telephony network, if necessary, to Teams by using Direct Routing or Operator Connect.

Phone System

Phone System is Microsoft's technology for enabling call control and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) capabilities in the Microsoft 365 cloud with Microsoft Teams.

Phone System works with Teams or Skype for Business clients and certified devices. Phone System allows you to replace your existing PBX system with a set of features directly delivered from Microsoft 365.

Calls between users in your organization are handled internally within Phone System, and never go to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This applies to calls between users in your organization located in different geographical areas, removing long-distance costs on these internal calls.

This article introduces the following Phone System key features and functionality, and the deployment decisions you'll need to consider:

Diagram 3 shows Phone system contains Auto attendants and call queries, Cloud voicemail, and Calling identity.

For information about all Phone System features, and how to set up Phone System, see the following articles:

For information about managing supported devices, see Manage your devices in Microsoft Teams and Teams Marketplace.

Auto attendants and Call queues

Auto attendants allow you to set up menu options to route calls based on caller input. Call queues are waiting areas for callers. Used together, auto attendants and call queues can easily route callers to the appropriate person or department in your organization.

For information about auto attendants and call queues, see the following articles:

Cloud Voicemail

Cloud Voicemail, powered by Azure Voicemail services, supports voicemail deposits to Exchange mailboxes only. It doesn't support third-party email systems.

Cloud Voicemail includes voicemail transcription, which is enabled for all users in your organization by default. Your business needs might require that you disable voicemail transcription for specific users or everyone throughout the organization.

For online only users, Cloud Voicemail is automatically set up and provisioned for users after they are assigned a Phone System license. For Phone System users with an Exchange mailbox, you will need to perform extra configuration steps.

For more information about Cloud Voicemail and its configuration, see the following articles:

Calling identity

By default, all outbound calls use the assigned phone number as calling identity (caller ID). The recipient of the call can quickly identify the caller and decide whether to accept or reject the call. For information about configuring caller ID or to change or block the caller ID, see Set the caller ID for a user.

Public Switched Telephone Network connectivity options

Phone System provides complete PBX capabilities for your organization. However, to enable users to make calls outside your organization, you need to connect Phone System to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). To connect Phone System to the PSTN, you can choose one of the following options:

You can also choose a combination of options, which enables you to design a solution for a complex environment, or manage a multi-step migration (more about migration later).

Most Phone System features are the same regardless of the PSTN connectivity option you choose. There are some differences in functionality, however, that affect how you configure certain Phone System features, such as call routing and emergency calling. For more information about PSTN connectivity options and these configuration considerations, see PSTN connectivity options.

Migrate your existing voice solution to Teams

Note

For guidance on planning a Teams voice solution as part as your overall plan to upgrade to Teams from Skype for Business Server, see PSTN considerations for upgrading to Teams from Skype for Business on-premises.

For an organization that is upgrading to Teams, the ultimate goal is to move all users to TeamsOnly mode. Using Phone System with Teams is only supported when the user is in TeamsOnly mode. If you need basic information about upgrading to Teams, start here:

When migrating your voice solution, there are four possible calling scenarios when moving to TeamsOnly mode:

For more information about how to implement your voice migration for each of these scenarios—including information about when you need to set up hybrid connectivity and how to migrate users with on-premises voice functionality to Direct Routing—see the following articles: