Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Operator Connect generally available, 9 new operators and Metaswitch Managed SBC Option

Earlier this year we learnt about Microsoft Teams Operator connect with the public preview rolling out in May. This week at Enterprise Connect, as well as announcing 5 new calling plan countries, Microsoft announced Operator Connect would be generally available this week.

Operator Connect is another option, alongside Calling plans and Direct routing, for Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity with Teams Phone System. This will not replace Direct Routing, however, this is likely to be the default route to get PSTN carrier numbers unless you have some special SBC requirements.

The operator connect program has some specific technical and contractual requirements. Specifically, on the technical side, it requires directly peering with Microsoft. Requirements include:

  • Direct peering through Microsoft Azure Peering Services (MAPS) for Voice
  • Ability to offer end-to-end QoS to customers
  • SLA to customer
  • Must be a regulated and/or licensed operator capable of providing phone numbers and PSTN services
  • Must have two individuals pass the Practical Guidance Assessment for Voice
  • Must have two individuals with Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate
  • Must be able to provide Tier 1 customer support
  • Must meet the requirements related to interconnection, architecture, and integration

Microsoft and Operator Connect Operators also work directly together on any support issues.

OC logos 9-27-21

Microsoft also announced 9 new operators as launch partners

  • AT&T
  • Colt
  • Gamma
  • Liquid Intelligent Technologies
  • Optus
  • Singtel
  • Telefonica Global
  • Telia
  • Telstra International

They are not yet showing in the Teams Admin Center. I will update the blog if they all appear at GA. They join the original operators from the preview phase, currently showing in the Teams Admin Center:

More operators will continue to be added to the program.

(Microsoft) Metaswitch Managed  SBC for Operator Connect

Microsoft acquired Metaswitch back in May 2020, now we see Metaswitch announcing Managed SBC for Operator Connect,

  • built on the Microsoft-certified Perimeta SBC
  • Hosted in an Operator’s Azure cloud tenant
  • Managed entirely from a central Metaswitch vNOC

This is interesting, as it provides operators a fast SaaS route to Operator Connect.

Microsoft Documentation:

Microsoft 365 Operator Connect Directory

Plan for Operator Connect

Configure Operator Connect

Operator Connect program information for Operators

Managed SBC for Operator Connect (metaswitch.com)

Microsoft announcement blog: Operator Connect general availability and new Microsoft Teams Phone features to modernize calling

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions