How much does Operator Connect cost?
Pricing your ideal communications stack can be complex, especially when you’re building a flexible solution with something like Operator Connect. Microsoft’s Operator Connect service is an alternative big sister to Teams’ Direct Routing capability.
With Operator Connect, organizations can connect Teams Phone functionality to their Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) services. The Operator Connect environment allows companies to maintain their existing relationships with operators, save money on various costs associated with management and hardware purchases, and more.
Plus, Operator Connect gives you the simplicity you need in today’s world of rapid digital transformation. You don’t have to worry about managing things like SBCs and logins on your own, because your carrier handles the hard stuff for you.
But how much exactly will Operator Connect cost your company?
Costs associated with Operator Connect: Teams subscription
Operator Connect is not a single package offered by Microsoft Teams; it’s a solution that allows companies to connect with literally dozens of vendors to find the best UCaaS solution for teams. This means that no price list is available for Operator Connect on the Microsoft website. Instead, you’ll need to add up the costs of the different components of Operator Connect.
The first and perhaps most crucial purchase will be your Microsoft Teams subscription. Although Microsoft Teams is available for free, this package is extremely limited in the level of control you can expect for your communication system. Most businesses will need one of the following packages:
- Team Essentials: $4 per user per month for unlimited group meetings (up to 30 hours), 300 people in each session, 10 GB of cloud storage per user, and anytime support.
- Core Business: $6 per user per month for everything in Essentials, plus recordings and transcripts of your Teams meetings, cloud storage up to 1TB per user, business email, and web/mobile versions of your Office apps.
- Trade standard: $12.50 per month for all Business Basic features, plus desktop versions of Office apps, webinar hosting, client meetings, and reporting tools.
Microsoft Teams phone license
You will also need a Teams Phone System license to be able to connect your telephony features from your carrier. Office 365 35 license for $38 per user per month comes with a phone license solution already built-in, allowing you to make, receive and transfer business calls from anywhere, on any device.
It is also possible to add “Phone System” add-on licenses to your existing Teams stack in the Microsoft 365 admin center.
Phone System costs $8 per user per month if not already included in your plan. You can also automatically assign a phone license to all your users at checkout. Notably, having a phone license is not the same as using a Microsoft Teams calling plan.
If you plan to use Microsoft Teams Operator Connect Conferencing, your users also need conferencing licenses.
For the conference, there are two options. Microsoft Teams Standard Audio Conferencing subscription comes standard in Office 365 E5 plans. Alternatively, the Operator Connect conferencing license will usually be purchased separately.
Operator Connect Pricing: Operator Costs
Once you have all valid subscriptions and licenses on Microsoft Teams, you should start looking for an Operator Connect partner. You can find the list of approved partners for Operator Connect in the Microsoft Operator Directory. This is where the biggest price differences are likely to become evident.
Different vendors will have other packages and offerings to offer for your Microsoft Teams Operator Connect experience. The cost of your services will depend on several factors, including:
- Multiple users: The number of people you need to connect to your conferencing and telecommunications system will have a direct impact on your pricing. Some carriers will charge “per user”, while others will charge based on usage.
- Geography: If you need access to numbers and calling features in multiple locations around the world, you may need to pay a small fee for Operator Connect. Find out how the costs vary depending on the number of countries you need to cover.
- Characteristics: Many Operator Connect providers offer a range of business-critical services with your communications solution, including compliance recording and integrated call queues. You will also be able to access enhanced support services, dynamic E911 and other bonus features, such as an uptime guarantee.
- Support requirements: All operators working in the Operator Connect partnership ecosystem must offer excellent support to their customers. However, depending on the size of your business and its unique requirements, you may also consider paying for advanced support.
- New bonus numbers and services: Additional charges may be associated with accessing new numbers as part of your Microsoft Teams Operator Connect deployment. If you want to move numbers from an existing provider to your Operator Connect environment and get help setting up your services, this may also incur additional charges.
How much will Operator Connect cost?
When investing in a new strategy for your communication ecosystem, planning and forecasting costs is an important task. You need to know precisely how much your digital transformation initiative will cost, in the short and long term.
Operator Connect can be a little tricky to figure out when it comes to pricing. The good news is that the nature of Operator Connect can save you a lot of money in the long run. Not only can you reduce costs associated with sourcing and managing materials when you have an operator to handle all the difficult tasks for you, but you can also reduce costs in other ways.
For example, Operator Connect allows you to maintain long-term relationships with suppliers, which could mean you can access more deals and offers based on long-term loyalty. If you switch to Operator Connect with your existing provider, they may be able to offer you savings from day one.
The best way to get an accurate price is to get out there and start building your Operator Connect strategy with Microsoft Teams.