Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions becomes 7th Extend Certified Microsoft Teams Contact Center has attained Microsoft Extend Contact Center Certification.

From their website, “ is a powerful omnichannel Contact Center cloud solution for Microsoft Teams that includes telephone webchat, WhatsApp, SMS, and more. All these channels are handled with a single app that gives agents a full range of Contact Center tools and links them seamlessly to automations and other business processes, while Supervisors have total vision over the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.”

With Microsoft Teams Extend certified contact centres, customers can bring their own Contact Center PSTN connectivity via Microsoft Calling Plan, Operator Connect, or Direct Routing.

What does Microsoft Teams Extend Contact Center certification mean?

Microsoft has a certification program for contact center solution providers. There are 3 models for contact centres to integrate with Microsoft Teams; Connect, Extend and Power.

The Connect model uses Microsoft-certified SBCs and Direct Routing to connect contact center solutions to Teams phone system infrastructure. So essentially the contact center takes a call in on PSTN, does all the routing in its platform and then routes the call to a contact center agent on Teams via Direct Routing (essentially a phone call). These solutions may integrate further with Microsoft for user sign-in and presence. This is the model that, until now all the certified contact canters were using.

The Extend model is where contact centres solution leverages Teams Graph APIs and Cloud Communications API in Microsoft Graph to do call control and routing and route calls to Teams via API, not Direct Routing. This model opens up some key differences

Customers can bring their own Contact Center PSTN connectivity via Microsoft Calling Plan, Operator Connect or Direct Routing. Numbers can come into Teams from any of these and then be directed to the contact center for routing. This means you can mix and match operators and PSTN connectivity models for your contact center.

There is no need to configure any Direct Routing specifically for the contact center

The Power model is the contact center vendor using Azure Communication Services as a platform for routing and call management and then presenting the call to agents in Teams. ACS potentially opens up chat and video options too. To date there are no contact centres certified on this model and Microsoft is still finalizing some of the APIs/SDKs but they are coming. Look out for more news on this later this year (2022).

You can see who is certified for Connect vs Extend on the Microsoft website here.

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Founder and Principal at Empowering.Cloud as well as a Solutions Director at Pure IP.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his, UC Today 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