Understanding Operator Connect Providers: A Primer

Operator Connect providers help connect traditional telephone systems and cloud-based tools like Microsoft Teams. By partnering with third-party providers, Teams users can keep everything within the Teams interface to simplify and streamline calling.

Core features offered by Operator Connect partners include:

  • Advanced call features
  • Management of phone numbers directly in the Microsoft Teams portal
  • Customized system design and integration
  • Migration
  • Training and communication
  • Monitoring and management

Services may also include device and configuration management, change and capacity management, and availability management based on Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

The right partner for your organization can seamlessly unite cloud calling and your legacy infrastructure to improve productivity.

Yorktel’s expert IT Consulting team draws from nearly 4 decades of experience helping our customers achieve their strategic business objectives. From hardware to software, from the customer premise to the cloud, Yorktel has earned a reputation as a top IT Consulting firm with intimate knowledge of how to roadmap innovative IT solutions and the expertise to bring those solutions to life.

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Evaluating Operator Connect Providers for Teams

Native dial-in capability has become a priority for many businesses. Operator Connect addresses this demand by equipping organizations with enterprise-grade calling, but you need a provider with the right skills and experience to help you deploy and manage your integration.

When assessing MS Teams Operator Connect providers, you will want to analyze their competency with Microsoft integration expertise.

Consider the business use cases versus the level of services provided. Besides functionality, evaluate physical infrastructure and SLAs to ensure carrier-grade reliability.

Factors to Consider in Selecting Operator Connect Providers

While Microsoft partnership depth is invaluable, analyze vendors thoroughly across other areas that impact reliability. After all, any technical solution you use is only suitable if it works when you need it.

Robust Infrastructure

Telephony is crucial to delivering a strong customer experience. Ensure your Operator Connect provider has the infrastructure uptime and ability to ensure 99.999% (“five nines”) availability even during heavy usage.

Security and Compliance

Evaluate security and compliance such as HIPAA, CCPA, and GDPR adherence to ensure secure calling is standard.


You want the ability to pay for what you need right now while maintaining the ability to scale easily to meet business demands. Analyze if service tiers, number capacity, and coverage meet current and future needs.

Navigating the Landscape of MS Teams Operator Connect Providers

Not all Microsoft Teams Operator Connect providers offer the same level of expertise or services. You will want to do a thorough needs analysis and ensure the provider is the right fit for your organization. 

For example, look for a provider that provides robust integration to leverage the full power of Microsoft’s cloud such as:

  • Direct peering with Microsoft Azure provides more efficient call routing without traversing through the public internet or “hairpinning” connections. This optimizes call quality and reliability.
  • Evaluate providers that offer end-to-end Quality of Service monitoring between their cloud infrastructure and Microsoft’s cloud. This enables them to maintain high call quality standards for enterprises.
  • Look for simplified and self-service mechanisms to connect traditional PSTN calling with Teams through the provider. This makes the transition to Operator Connect easier by enabling administrators to activate and manage telephony services through native Teams admin tools.

The goal is to get seamless connectivity without the complexities of managing separate on-premise systems. Operator Connect partners that tick these boxes can elevate Teams into an organization-wide communications hub.

You’ll want to make sure any provider you pick can customize integration to your organizational needs. Here are a few examples:

  • Companies with a distributed workforce and work sites may have multiple on-prem devices to manage or decentralized communication systems. Operator Connect can centralize operations and reduce equipment and management costs.
  • Contact centers that employ large numbers of remote workers can bring every team member into a single solution to ensure reliable, consistent performance within Microsoft Teams and tightly integrate with legacy tech stacks.
  • Organizations that have deskless workers across various sites can integrate Operator Connect with existing investments in Teams telephony to improve productivity regardless of where employees are working.
  • Businesses with numerous store locations can manage each site’s phone system centrally through Operator Connect instead of fragmented on-premise solutions. This simplifies calling administration via native Teams tools.

Tips for Optimizing Operator Connect Provider Selection

Asking the right questions is key to ensuring you get the right fit. You’ll want to probe about Microsoft partnership specifics – supported products and features, integration sustainability, roadmap influence, and certification levels. Such responses can help you understand a provider’s technical depth and relationship maturity.

Ask about the deployment process and administrator access in the MS Teams portal, user self-service capabilities, and ease of migration from legacy or between service plans. Complex setups can cause headaches, tax IT resources, raise costs, and frustrate employees.

You should also get a detailed proposal with proof-of-concept before purchase to confirm systems work seamlessly with your tech stack. Be sure to also test across real-life usage models and edge cases.

Getting answers directly also provides leverage during contract negotiation, helping finalize more favorable terms.

Making Informed Choices for Seamless Communication

While native Teams integration creates consistency and efficiency, look beyond surface-level compatibility. Ensure the vendor’s infrastructure, security policies, compliance adoptions, and telephony feature sets deliver complete, resilient communication customized to your business needs.

Contact the Microsoft Teams Operator Connect experts at Yorktel to discuss your organization’s needs.