Granite Telecommunications recently announced support for Direct Routing to Microsoft Teams, enabling businesses to make and take external phone calls inside the Teams collabo- ration application on their desktops, laptops or mobile devices. Microsoft Teams Direct Routing is one of the hottest opportunities in the channel right now, with companies across all verticals looking to enhance the Teams platform. This has been an ongoing need throughout the pandem- ic, and there remains strong demand. To learn more about Granite’s offer- ing, we caught up with vice president of managed services Mark Palmer. ChannelVision: What is Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams? Mark Palmer: Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams is a way to enable the Microsoft Teams app to become a phone system. Post-COVID, many customers are looking to integrate Microsoft Teams into their future voice strategy. CV: What is the value for partners with Microsoft Teams? MP: Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams gives our partners another way to help their clients. Microsoft Teams can be used as a phone system in the cloud. A Microsoft 365 user can add the “Microsoft Phone System” feature to their existing license or just enable it (depending on the license they currently have). This allows users to make and take external calls out of an app they are using for collaboration today. Sharing this cost-saving and produc- tivity-boosting solution with prospects and clients is another way for partners to demonstrate their value as a trust- ed advisor. CV: Granite’s product and service offerings are always expand- ing. Where does Granite’s Direct Routing with Microsoft Teams fit within the portfolio? MP: Granite has always looked for direction from our customers as to where to focus our new products. As many people started to work from home, the adoption of collaboration tools like Teams has exploded. Also, companies looked to simplify their users’ experiences. Bringing Teams into their overall voice strategy meets that objective. It allows a user to have one application to use for phone and collaboration. To use it as a phone, however, a customer needs to do one of two things. They either need to add a Microsoft calling plan or provide connectivity to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) themselves. Adding calling plans means a per-user cost, which after a certain threshold (number of users) becomes rather expensive to an organization. To add PSTN connectivity, the company would register their session border controller (SBC) with Microsoft. What Granite has done with Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams has dramatically simplified this process. Our carrier-grade SBCs are regis- tered with Microsoft and can deliver SIP directly to the Microsoft cloud. Because of this, we can offer pooled concurrent calls for customers and great calling rates to help reduce overall costs. Our solution delivers the customer the best overall experience. Granite Channels is excited to work with its partners to enhance their value to end-users and looks forward to closing more deals with them. CV: How quickly can a customer take advantage of Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams? MP: Implementation can be very quick. Because Granite’s network is already registered with Microsoft cloud, there’s nothing to install to the customer’s site. We simply need to add the right number of concurrent call paths for the customer, and they need to connect to our SBCs through the Microsoft platform. We can add the call paths in hours, and the customer can start making calls the next day. To connect with Granite or learn more, contact channel-sales@granitenet. com or call 877.884.5200. o PROFILE Granite’s Charlie Pagliazzo Granite Takes Microsoft Teams to the Next Level CORE COMMUNICATIONS 58 CHANNEL V ISION | May 2021