Connecting analog devices to Microsoft Teams: Understand the options

How to / Guide

December 15, 2022

Organizations are accelerating their journeys to Cloud Phone Systems like Microsoft Teams Phone. Analog devices can be a sticking point. How do you deal with them with Microsoft Teams?

Many organizations still have some analog devices, be it specialist devices like door access systems, gates, overhead paging or elevator phones, or regular phones in locations where there is already an analog cable connection and it is not possible to run cabling for an IP phone. 

Being partially migrated to Teams Phone but still needing to run the PBX for just analog extensions impacts the ROI of Teams Phone and increases the ongoing operational overhead.
Fortunately, there are a number of options.

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What type of analog devices do you have?

It is important to define if the device(s) are running on analog lines delivered directly from your telco or using analog ports on a PBX or existing Analog Gateway. 

Analog lines from the telco

If the analog line is coming from your telco, it will continue to work as long as the telco supports analog. Most telcos globally are moving to switch off analog connectivity, so if you are using handsets that also draw power from the analog line from the telco, now would be a good time to consider how you might change them.

Analog lines on your existing PBX

This is the more common scenario in enterprises. There is a central legacy PBX with analog lines running back to it from different parts of the site/building. In order to remove and decommission the PBX we need to remove the analog dependency on it.

No network cabling? A Wi-Fi or DECT phone could be a replacement

In some scenarios a locally Powered Wireless IP Phone may be a solution, there are a number of Teams Phones that support Wi-Fi for network connectivity, but they will need local power. DECT Phones are also another wireless option to reach specific locations. 

Want to keep the analog Phone?

Analog phones, by their nature, need a wire connection between them and a local device, like a gateway with analog ports or an analog telephony adapter (ATA). For simplicity we will talk about an analog telephony adapter (ATA) but know this could also be a physical gateway with analog ports. These can be setup in two ways:

Analog Telephony Adapters connected to Teams Phone SIP Gateway

In this model you can register the analog gateway directly to Microsoft Teams SIP gateway. You can then use either Calling Plan, Operator Connect or Direct Routing to provide PSTN connectivity for the analog phone. In this model you will need a Shared Device License for each analog phone. In this model the Analog phone has a contact Identity in Microsoft Teams. Please note that the SIP Gateway method for the ATA is still in preview with Microsoft at time of writing, and only certain ATAs are supported.

Analog Telephony Adapters connected to the Operator

Alternatively, you could choose to connect your Analog Telephony Adapter or Gateway with a SIP trunk or even mobile connectivity to provide PSTN. 

In this model the ATAs are not directly connected to Teams Phone, but using full phone numbers Teams Phone users can ring the analog devices and vice versa. In this model there is no Microsoft Teams license needed. Note the phones will not have an identity in Teams so will not be searchable by name. Users will have to dial the full number to connect to them.

Not confident in managing the Analog Gateways or Analog Telephony Adapter? Speak to us to find out how we can assist and support you. 

There is no right or wrong answer here. It will come down to your individual requirements, but it is important to consider how you plan to service the analog telephony in your estate and ensure it doesn’t block unlocking the full ROI of moving away from your PBX and onto Teams Phone.

Watch: Pure IP's Tom Arbuthnot and Microsoft's Chris Wheeler breakdown the options for Analog in Microsoft Teams



Tania Morrill

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