Microsoft Teams Direct Routing: Why you need 99.999% reliability

Microsoft Teams Direct Routing: Why you need 99.999% reliability


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  • Global outages continue to plague Microsoft Teams and its users, shutting down communications for hours at a time.
  • Microsoft Teams 99.9% uptime SLA translates to nine hours of downtime every year. This can cost businesses millions in lost revenue.
  • RingCentral Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams, our Direct Routing integration, offers a backup plan in the event of a Microsoft Teams service outage.
  • Direct Routing users also have full access to the RingCentral app, which offers 99.999% uptime year-round—the highest in the industry, and is available via desktop, mobile, and web app for maximum failover.


From where we work to how we perform our daily tasks, it’s hard to keep track of all the ways COVID has changed our lives over the last year. And while many elements may revert back to how they once were, some things will likely stick around.

Microsoft Teams, for example, became the communication app of choice for many during the pandemic. Now used by more than 500,000 companies around the world, Teams has changed how entire organisations collaborate and has become vital to their productivity and connections.

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. In fact, another recent outage left users without access to their customers or collaboration tools for several hours around the world.

Here’s why it matters:

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

Microsoft Teams provides a 99.9% uptime SLA, offering service credits if Microsoft 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 dollars in lost revenue.

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 math.

What does the difference between 99.9% and 99.999% work out to? With a 99.999% uptime guarantee, businesses can anticipate less than 6 minutes of downtime per year.

At RingCentral, we’ve also experienced a huge surge in usage throughout the pandemic. But accommodating more users hasn’t affected our commitment to reliability. Even better, RingCentral Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams, our Direct Routing integration, gives customers a plan B in case of a Teams outage.

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 centrally pushed out in the browser by IT staff in the Chrome browser 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 that minimise service interruption in case of 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 disruptions.
  • 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 interconnect 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 six 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 record of the highest levels of reliability.

RingCentral’s industry-leading 99.999% SLA minimises these risks while also providing backup alternatives and added functionalities 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.

Originally published 06 Aug, 2021, updated 15 Jul, 2022

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