Microsoft has announced that from 2021 most SIP phones will be compatible with Teams. Core calling features will be supported for SIP phones from most major manufacturers, including Cisco, Yealink and Polycom. Previously, only Microsoft-certified SIP phones with enhanced firmware were compatible with Teams.
Most handsets produced by mainstream vendors over the last 10 years are SIP compatible. SIP is a protocol used by unified communications platforms to enhance voice telephony with advanced features like video, instant messaging and user presence.
For many businesses, the cost of replacing existing desk phones and room phones with Microsoft-certified devices has previously been a major barrier for moving telephony to Teams. Depending on the brand and features, Microsoft-certified SIP phones typically cost between $200 and $1,000. Consequently, providing new devices to an entire workforce can be expensive, and this is often the largest part of the overall cost of a migration. By eliminating this cost for some customers, Microsoft will potentially accelerate growth in the use of Teams for telephony in 2021.
One limitation is that Teams will only support core calling features on standard SIP phones. Microsoft has not specified which functionality will be supported, but users are unlikely to have access to all the features available on Microsoft-certified devices. Many older SIP phones also lack encryption, which may result in unsecure connections over the internet.
Microsoft also announced that Skype for Business 3PIP (3rd Party IP) phones will be supported by Teams beyond the previous 2023 deadline. This may encourage businesses to migrate from Skype for Business to Teams telephony. Microsoft has not yet specified whether these 3PIP phones will be treated as generic SIP devices rather than fully-supported endpoints, which would mean that many of the enhanced features of these devices could become unavailable.
LoopUp’s cloud communication solution combines Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams with best-in-class software for external remote meetings. Users can make and receive voice calls directly from Teams on any compatible internet-connected device from anywhere in the world. Businesses can move all users to a consistent cloud telephony platform, eliminating the need for on-premises PBX equipment and local carrier relationships.
LoopUp’s global voice network integrates 13 tier-1 regional carriers from around the world over a resilient backbone. LoopUp provides a fully managed service with 24/7 multilingual customer support from 15 offices around the world.
LoopUp is a Microsoft Global Partner with deep expertise in voice solutions. More than 5,000 enterprises around the world use LoopUp for their business communications – from major multinationals to fast-growing SMEs, professional services firms – including 20 of the top 100 global law firms – and many public sector bodies.