DRaaS providers

Direct Routing As A Service Providers: 4 Red Flags

When selecting a partner to provide you with Direct Routing as a service (DRaaS), it’s easy to get sucked into the world of marketing. 

Of course, everyone thinks their version of DRaaS is the best. It has the shiniest wrapping paper and the most bells and whistles. 

But then disaster strikes. You discover that one little niggling thing that means you can’t move your project forward. Six months of planning and you’ve hit a blocker on day one. 

In this blog post, we’re going to highlight some red flags you should be aware of as early in your evaluation process as possible. 

Note: Our goal isn’t to bash any other vendor’s solutions. There are a lot of great players in the market. That’s why the market is so vast, after all. Our goal is to raise awareness of what good vendors look like and to help you save time in your DRaaS journey. 

What is Direct Routing as a service? 

Direct Routing as a service is the combination of providing a phone and calling service to Teams in a consumption model that allows you to pay a set price per month. 

Like the way you subscribe to Netflix or Spotify, you can pay for Direct Routing at a set monthly rate and know exactly what you’re getting. 

Microsoft Teams Direct Routing as a service

The provider you choose for your DRaaS is responsible for: 

  1. The hardware to support your Teams calling infrastructure 
  2. The software and cloud network to support your Teams calling infrastructure 
  3. All support and maintenance of the hardware and software 

What are the two Direct Routing deployment options? 

  1. Direct Routing as a Service 
  2. Installing and managing your own session border controllers (SBCs) 

As with any technology deployment, there are pros and cons to each. 

Direct Routing as a service Self-managed SBCs 
Purchased direct from a carrier Purchase yourself 
Installed and managed by a carrier Self-install and self-managed 
No training needed Keep and utilize existing phone features 
Lacks intricate management access Lower costs if low call volumes 
No upfront costs Requires significant upfront investment 

How to choose your Direct Routing as a Service partner 

First of all, it’s important to identify that the company you’re talking to is fully invested in Microsoft Teams. 

Are they a Teams-first company or is this is bit-part service they think they can make a little extra cash out of? 

Why is this important? 

Ultimately, if you’re leaving your calling infrastructure in the hands of folks who don’t live and breathe Teams, you’re opting for second best. There are plenty of Teams-first companies out there with a lot of great Teams people supporting them. 

Next up, you want to look for someone that supports your locations.

Having conducted this exercise with 60+ providers, I can confidently say that some are great at displaying their locations on their website. This makes your life easy. Others choose to hide this information. Then, when you ask, either don’t know without asking someone and that takes three days or they provide you with what they do know, but that is contrary to the question you asked.

I digress. Here are the red flags to look out for when selecting a DRaaS partner.

How to filter out Direct Routing as a service partner (red flags 🚩) 

1. No certified cloud gateway 

If your potential partner is suggesting using a device that’s not on the Microsoft-certified list, you’re not interested. It’s as simple as that. 

When things go wrong, you need to know that your device has undergone thorough Microsoft testing and has its seal of approval. 

Here are the current Microsoft-supported SBCs (as of June 2024): 

Audiocodes  

  • Mediant 500 SBC  
  • Mediant 800 SBC  
  • Mediant 2600 SBC  
  • Mediant 4000 SBC  
  • Mediant 1000B SBC  
  • Mediant 9000 SBC  
  • Mediant Virtual Edition SBC  
  • Mediant Cloud Edition SBC  

Ribbon  

  • SBC 5110  
  • SBC 5210  
  • SBC 5400  
  • SBC 7000  
  • SBC SWe  
  • SBC SWe Edge (formerly SWe Lite)  
  • SBC 1000  
  • SBC 2000  
  • SBC 8000 (w/SBC SWe Edge)  

TE-SYSTEMS  

  • Anynode  

Oracle  

  • AP 1100  
  • AP 3900  
  • AP 4600  
  • AP 6300  
  • AP 6350  
  • VME  
  • AP 3950  
  • AP 4900  

Avaya  

  • Avaya Session Border Controller for Enterprise (ASBCE)  

Italtel  

  • NetMatch-S CI  

Enghouse Networks  

  • Enghouse BorderNet 

2. Doesn’t disclose locations supported 

When attempting to compile the full list of Direct Routing providers, I became extremely frustrated at the responses to my simple question. My goal was to populate this list with a list of every provider and showcase all the locations they supported. 

Microsoft Teams Direct Routing partner list

An easy enough question, I’m sure you’ll agree? 

Instead of the conversation going like this: 

Q: Hi, in which countries do you support Teams Direct Routing? 

A: UK, USA, and Germany. 

The conversation, a lot of the time, went like this: 

Q: Hi, in which countries do you support Teams Direct Routing? 

A: We have customers in many countries. Please can you provide some more detail so we can book a personalized demo. Also, we will need your name, email address, shoe size, and mother’s maiden name to proceed. 

This is an obvious red flag. This provider of DRaaS is clearly governed by sales processes designed to suit them rather than help a potential customer. If they happen to you, proceed to the next vendor on your shortlist. 

3. Wants to book a meeting instead of providing information 

A classic.

During the research phase of buying any technology, your first steps are to gather information. You’re probably spending a lot of time on Google and LinkedIn browsing companies and trying to understand how they’re different. 

A lot of them will look the same. 

What you don’t have time to do is say yes to everyone and book a 30-minute meeting. No matter how they dress it up, there’s little benefit to you and all the benefit to them. They get your details to add to their email newsletter and you sit around for 20 minutes listening to their sales presentation before you get the answer to your first question. 

If they don’t present the information you need on their website and can’t provide an answer to your simple question via live chat or email, don’t buckle to their pressure of booking a meeting. It’s almost always to make their sales figures look good. 

4. Initial sales experience is slow and doesn’t fill you with confidence 

Let’s say you find someone you like the sound of and do push forward with booking a meeting or requesting information.  

The experience you receive at this point is important as it will set the tone for the rest of your interactions with them. Sure, there will be different people in support, but these initial stages help you understand a lot about the culture of a company. 

What you want is a human that wants to get to know your company to see if they’re a good match. What you don’t want is a salesperson who pushes every lead down the pipeline, even if they can’t meet your technical requirements. It’s a waste of your valuable time, but they’re getting paid either way. 

Check out Callroute’s Direct Routing (if you want to) 

There’s not going to be a hard sell section. This blog post was mainly to recall past events when trying to procure DRaaS. 

It was my personal goal to flag what a timewaster looks like and the people who don’t have your business’ best interests as their primary goal. 

Of course, Callroute must also make money. So, we’d love for you to become a customer. But only if we’re right for you. 

Looking for a Direct Routing provider that handles the voice routing and can provide automated provisioning, self-service number management, and automated failover? 

Check out our offering here. 

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Intermittent Microsoft Teams calling issues reported globally. This issue appears to be affecting all Microsoft customers worldwide. Microsoft are currently investigating the issue. All Callroute systems are fully operational. More information will be provided as soon as possible.