A really big announcement today, Microsoft has announced
- Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams
- Operator Connect Conferencing for Microsoft Teams
These models allow PSTN operators to make their services (phone numbers and calling plans) available to provision directly in the Teams Admin Center, meaning you can assign PSTN calling and PSTN conferencing numbers directly to end-users in a single admin experience.
There is direct peering between the carriers (operators as Microsoft calls them) and Microsoft, shared technical support and service level agreements.
When Operator Connect launches, Admins will be able to open the “Operators” tab in the Teams Admin Center, where qualified operators will be listed.
The Initial partners for Operator Connect (user phone numbers) includes BT, Deutsche Telekom, Intrado, NTT, Nuwave, Orange Business Services, Pure IP, Rogers, Swisscom, TATA, Telenor, and Verizon.
Operator Connect Conferencing adds in the ability to bring third-party carrier PSTN numbers in for PSTN conferencing, previously this was only possible via Direct Routing on GCC High and GCC DoD, but not it will be available directly with no need for customers to run direct routing infrastructure.
This allows customers to use their preferred carrier for geographical coverage or support or commercial reasons. Operator Connect Conferencing will enter private preview next quarter with the initial wave of qualified partners, which includes BT, Deutsche Telekom, Intrado, NTT, Orange Business Services, and Telenor
This is a new additional option alongside Microsoft Calling plans and Direct Routing.
Microsoft also announced Calling Plans for 8 new countries rolling out from April to June.
Here is a preview of the UI in TAC