Microsoft Teams Direct Routing: Why you need 99.999% reliability


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For most people, where and how they work has changed markedly over the last few years. With hybrid working now commonplace in many industries, logging into tools like Microsoft Teams has become part of the daily routine.

Now used by over 280 million people globally every month, Teams has changed how entire organisations collaborate and has become vital to their productivity and connections.

Why do third-party Teams telephony solutions lead the market?

But while Teams offers an impressive suite of collaboration tools, its reliability often comes into question. The service has been plagued with outages, some lasting several hours. Here’s why it matters:

Implications of a 99.9% uptime service level agreement (SLA)

Microsoft Teams provides a 99.9% uptime SLA for its core service (Presence, Chat Messaging, and Online Meetings) and a 99.99% uptime SLA for Calling Plans, Phone System, and Audio Conferencing. The firm then offers service credits if it falls below this minimum availability. Sounds like a solid proposition, doesn’t it? But let’s unpack what 99.9% uptime actually means.

Just like it sounds, a 99.9% uptime offers service availability 99.9% of the time, with outages, whether planned or otherwise, no more than 0.1% of the time.

Now consider what these percentages actually mean in a real-world business setting. There are 8,760 hours – 24 times 365 – in a given year, so 99.9% of that comes out to about 8,571 hours. This equates to nine hours of downtime annually.

That’s a lot of time, especially because when outages occur, work comes to a halt. Employees can’t collaborate, customers get frustrated, and business suffers. For enterprises, this can translate to millions of pounds in lost revenue.

Fortunately, the 99.99% uptime SLA promised for Teams’ Calling Plans, Phone System, and Audio Conferencing is significantly better, equating to less than an hour of downtime each year. But it’s still not the ‘gold standard’.

RingCentral’s gold standard: 99.999% SLA

RingCentral offers the industry’s highest SLA – 99.999%, also called “five nines” availability. It might not sound like a lot more, but let’s do the maths. With a 99.999% uptime guarantee, businesses can anticipate less than 6 minutes of downtime per year. That’s a lot less than 9 hours or even 1 hour.

Even better, RingCentral Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams, our Direct Routing integration, gives customers a plan B in case of a Teams outage.

A team having meeting in a modern office
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The RingCentral app

Direct Routing customers also have access to the RingCentral app. The RingCentral app gives Teams users an alternative so that even when Microsoft services go down, you’ll never miss an important call.

The RingCentral app can be accessed on any device via desktop app, mobile app, or browser. It can also be pushed out in the Chrome browser by IT staff, if there is a preference to not download any apps.

Here’s what the RingCentral app offers: 

  • Feel secure with 30+ data centres that provide seven layers of failover redundancy, minimising service interruption caused by geographic outages or natural disasters.
  • Get flexibility for both admins and users with rich call handling (including transfer, conference, park, and call recording).
  • Easily “switch” your live calls between your devices to continue the conversation without disruption.
  • Access advanced call control features like call queues, heads-up display, reception console, monitor/whisper/barge functionality, and more.
  • Send and review faxes.

RingCentral’s systems are also located in the same facilities as all major telecommunications carriers to maintain the fastest response times and interconnected services possible. Our commitment to reliability is just one of the RingCentral attributes that earned our platform recognition as a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for the last eight years in a row.

Downtime is simply not an option  

Employees today are more reliant on cloud communications tools than ever, especially in the work-from-anywhere world. And collaboration solutions that support this new work paradigm aren’t going away.

For many businesses, Microsoft Teams is their solution of choice. But for workers to collaborate and serve their customers, they need a provider with a proven track record for high levels of reliability.

RingCentral’s industry-leading 99.999% SLA minimises these risks while also providing backup alternatives and added functions and features. You can rest assured knowing that, no matter where your employees are, they’ll always have access to their customers and collaboration tools.

Why do third-party Teams telephony solutions lead the market?

Originally published 23 Jun, 2023, updated 14 Sep, 2023


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