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Extending Cisco Enterprise Voice to Microsoft Teams

October 23, 2020

Tim Jalland, Solution Owner (Microsoft Teams), VOSS Solutions

You may have seen the recent announcement about Cisco Jabber integration for Microsoft Teams, and like a number of our customers, it may have caused you to investigate how to add enterprise grade voice telephony to a Microsoft Teams client. I’ve put some thoughts around the Cisco Jabber integration below, along with the more native integration approach that we believe most enterprise organizations will end up adopting.

The most widely adopted, tested, and approved route for integration is with Microsoft Direct Routing (or Microsoft Business Voice/Calling Plans for SMEs). This is the classic way that VOSS enables you to manage Microsoft Teams and Cisco HCS from a single point of control, by using Microsoft Direct Routing.

However, there is another way:

Cisco Jabber Integration with Microsoft Teams 

For enterprises with a heavy investment in Cisco technology that want to maximize this investment for years to come, while also having a small population of users on Teams clients – is through a Cisco Jabber integration. This doesn’t need integration between the two systems but instead uses Microsoft Teams client to cross-launch the Cisco Jabber application. It’s the Cisco Jabber application and Cisco system that then makes the call to the public telephone network.

A few important notes:

  • Usability – This is a separate Cisco Jabber application that will be installed onto the desktop and so is not a native Microsoft Teams experience – something that many organizations may well reject from a usability perspective
  • It is a separate application on the desktop – which needs installing
  • Licence usage – this is a Cisco Jabber client and it will consume a Cisco licence, as well as the Microsoft 365 (Teams) licence
  • Requires access to a VPN – it only works when the user/desktop is connected back to Cisco, which is normally on a VPN connection (or Expressway)

Native Teams Integration

The alternative – as mentioned above – and in many ways better way to do this, due to its use of the native Microsoft Teams Client, is with Direct Routing integration. We see many organizations adopting this route as the user experience is better and this leverages the increasing investment towards Microsoft 365. It is also the preferred, supported and tested route indicated by Microsoft themselves.

The diagram below shows the integration and all calls are made and received with the native Microsoft Teams client.

If you have any questions about Cisco Jabber integration or VOSS and Microsoft Teams, please contact us.