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Will Voice AI be useful in the Real Estate industry?

Introduction

The rapid advancement of AI has revolutionized various industries, offering innovative solutions and streamlining processes. This transformative technology has significantly impacted voice technology, opening up new possibilities and applications.

Regarding Real Estate, many agents spend their weekends and evenings working, which is why their phones can go unanswered during those times, agents are busy. This is an obvious gap where AI could help Real Estate agents qualify buyers + help sellers fill the top of the funnel without frustrating the customer.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, including learning, reasoning, and self-correction. It plays a pivotal role in automating tasks, analyzing data, and providing insights for informed decision-making across diverse sectors.

Voice Technology

Voice technology encompasses a wide range of applications, from virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa to voice-activated devices and speech recognition software. Its seamless integration into daily life has transformed the way individuals interact with technology.

The Connection between AI and Voice Technology

AI serves as the driving force behind the evolution of voice technology, enhancing its capabilities and expanding its potential in various domains such as customer service, productivity enhancement, and real estate operations. The synergy between AI and voice technology continues to redefine user experiences and operational efficiency across industries.

By understanding how AI and voice technology work together, we can gain valuable insights into their combined ability to shape the future landscape of various sectors.

The Role of AI in Shaping the Future of Voice Technology

Voice AI, also known as AI voice technology, is changing the way we use technology and is becoming more and more important in our daily lives. This section will look at how Voice AI has developed and why it’s so significant, as well as its effect on customer experience and productivity.

Exploring the development and significance of Voice AI

Voice AI has come a long way since it was first introduced. It started with basic voice recognition systems that had difficulty understanding human speech accurately, but now we have advanced algorithms that can process natural language with great accuracy. Voice AI has also become more accessible to the general public, with popular voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant being widely used.

The significance of Voice AI lies in its ability to offer a more natural and easy way of interacting with devices and services. Instead of typing on a keyboard or tapping on a screen, users can simply speak commands or ask questions to get what they need. This seamless interaction makes things more convenient for everyone.

Enhancing Customer Experience with AI Receptionists

One area where Voice AI is making a big difference is customer service. Many businesses are using AI receptionists powered by Voice AI technology to handle customer inquiries, provide information, and even assist with basic transactions. These virtual receptionists are available 24/7, respond instantly, and offer consistent service.

By using Voice AI, businesses can improve their customer experience by providing personalized interactions that feel like talking to a real person. For example, an AI receptionist can greet customers by name, answer common questions, give product suggestions based on preferences, and even schedule appointments. This level of personalization not only makes customers happier but also helps businesses save time and money by reducing the need for human workers in repetitive tasks.

Boosting Productivity with AI Assistants

Voice AI isn’t just useful for customer service – it can also help us be more productive. AI assistants powered by Voice AI technology can handle many different tasks, such as setting reminders, managing schedules, doing research, and analyzing data. These assistants work like virtual personal assistants, making it easier for us to stay organized, automate routine tasks, and get information without using our hands.

For professionals in various industries, like real estate agents, having an AI assistant can be a game-changer. They can use voice commands to quickly find property information, schedule appointments, communicate with clients, and manage their daily tasks more efficiently. With the ability to do multiple things at once and deal with complex questions, AI assistants let professionals focus on important work that requires human skills.

Voice AI is changing the future of voice technology by improving customer experience with AI receptionists and boosting productivity with AI assistants. As this technology gets better over time, we’ll see even more creative uses that will transform how we use voice-controlled devices and services.

AI’s Impact on the Real Estate Industry

AI has made significant strides in various industries, and the real estate sector is no exception. With the integration of AI technology, real estate organizations can streamline processes, enhance productivity, and improve customer experiences. Here are some key points to consider regarding AI’s impact on the real estate industry:

Analyzing the Use Cases of AI in Real Estate

AI offers numerous applications in real estate, revolutionizing the way properties are bought, sold, and managed. For instance:

  • Chatbots powered by AI can assist potential buyers in answering their queries and providing relevant property information.
  • AI-powered virtual tour platforms enable potential buyers to explore properties remotely, saving time and effort.
  • Predictive analytics algorithms can analyze market trends and predict property values, helping investors make informed decisions.

Predictions for the Future: AI’s Dominance in the Industry by 2024

Experts predict a significant surge in the reliance on AI technology within the real estate industry. By 2024:

  • AI is expected to play a crucial role in automating repetitive tasks such as paperwork, data entry, and lead generation.
  • Virtual assistants powered by AI will become commonplace, assisting real estate agents with scheduling appointments, managing client databases, and providing personalized recommendations.

Highlighting Keller Williams’ Innovation in the Form of an AI Virtual Assistant

Keller Williams, a prominent real estate company, has embraced AI technology to enhance its operations. Their AI virtual assistant named Kelle assists agents with various tasks such as market analysis, lead generation, and transaction management. Kelle leverages machine learning algorithms to provide tailored insights to agents, helping them make data-driven decisions.

AI’s impact on the real estate industry is undeniable. By leveraging AI for real estate purposes, organizations can improve efficiency, deliver exceptional customer experiences, and stay ahead of the competition.

Overcoming Challenges: The Path Ahead for Voice AI

Exploring the Potential and Limitations of Voice Technology in Real Estate

In the world of real estate, AI-powered voice technology has great potential to make processes more efficient and improve customer experiences. Real estate companies can use AI assistants to automate repetitive tasks, offer personalized property suggestions, and provide round-the-clock customer support. Voice AI can completely change how people search for properties by allowing them to have natural conversations, making it simpler for clients to find their dream homes.

However, we must also recognize the limitations of voice technology in real estate. Even with advancements in understanding human language and complex real estate queries, there are still challenges. While AI assistants can handle basic questions effectively, they may struggle with more detailed discussions or negotiations.

Addressing Controversies around AI-generated Vocals in the Music Industry

AI-generated vocals have both excited and caused controversy in the music industry. While AI technology makes it possible to create incredibly lifelike vocal performances, it also raises important questions about authenticity and artistic expression. Some artists see AI-generated vocals as a tool for exploring new creative possibilities, while others worry that it could diminish the value of human artistry. The debate over copyright surrounding AI-generated music is a significant aspect of this discussion.

In this ever-changing world of voice AI, overcoming these challenges will require careful thought and continuous innovation. Real estate companies need to understand the potential and limitations of voice technology while also considering ethical concerns. Likewise, the music industry is grappling with how to strike a balance between traditional artistry and technological progress. As both fields continue to develop, finding solutions to these challenges will be crucial in shaping the future of voice AI across various industries.

The Evolutionary Journey of AI Voice Assistants

Tracing the Advancements in Conversational AI from Chatbots to Voice Assistants like Siri and Alexa

The evolution of conversational AI has reached significant milestones, starting with the rise of AI-powered chatbots that laid the foundation for more sophisticated voice assistants. Chatbots initially provided basic automated responses to user queries, but their capabilities expanded rapidly with advancements in natural language processing and machine learning.

1. The Rise of Chatbots

  • Chatbots initially provided basic automated responses to user queries
  • Their capabilities expanded rapidly with advancements in natural language processing and machine learning

2. The Emergence of Advanced Language Models

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of advanced language models that have revolutionized voice AI. Models such as ChatGPT, Google Bard, and vimGPT have pushed the boundaries of conversational AI by enabling more human-like interactions and nuanced understanding of context.

This journey from rudimentary chatbots to highly advanced voice assistants highlights the remarkable progress in AI’s ability to understand and respond to human language, paving the way for a future where seamless human-machine communication becomes increasingly indistinguishable from human-human interaction.

Future Horizons: What Lies Ahead for AI In Real Estate

Examining Cutting-edge Research in the Field of Voice AI

Ishan Shah, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, has been making significant strides in the development of GPT-4V, an advanced version of the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) language model specifically tailored for voice applications in real estate. This cutting-edge research holds the potential to revolutionize how voice AI is utilized within the real estate industry. GPT-4V could enable more natural and contextually relevant interactions between AI systems and real estate clients, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience.

Insights from Real Estate Industry Experts on the Future Trajectory of Voice AI

Real estate industry experts are increasingly recognizing the transformative potential of voice AI in shaping the future of their sector. With a focus on enhancing customer engagement and streamlining operations, voice AI is poised to become an indispensable tool for real estate professionals.

Apple’s director of AI research Ruslan Salakhutdinov’s perspective

Apple’s director of AI research, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, has been vocal about the pivotal role that voice AI will play in redefining how real estate organizations interact with clients and manage their internal processes.

Through continued innovation and collaboration with industry leaders, voice AI is set to unlock new opportunities and efficiencies within the real estate landscape.

Conclusion

AI has emerged as a catalyst for innovation in voice technology across various sectors. From customer experience enhancement to boosting productivity, AI has played a significant role in shaping the future of voice technology. As we have explored in this article, AI receptionists and assistants have revolutionized industries by providing seamless interactions and personalized experiences.

In the real estate industry, AI has enabled numerous advancements and use cases. With AI virtual assistants, real estate organizations can automate tasks, provide 24/7 support, and streamline operations. Snapsonic AI is a solution that empowers real estate organizations with its cutting-edge technology and comprehensive features.

Looking ahead, the future trajectory of voice AI holds immense potential. Researchers like Ishan Shah at Carnegie Mellon University are pushing the boundaries with projects like GPT-4V. Real estate industry experts, including Apple’s director of AI research Ruslan Salakhutdinov, provide valuable insights into the evolving landscape of voice AI.

As we move forward, it is crucial to address challenges and controversies surrounding voice technology. While there are limitations to overcome, the generative AI boom continues to drive innovation. Voice assistants like Siri and Alexa have evolved from simple chatbots to sophisticated language models.

AI remains at the forefront of voice technology innovation. Its impact on industries such as real estate is undeniable. To leverage the benefits of AI-powered voice technology, readers are encouraged to explore solutions like Snapsonic AI – Your Voice in Real Estate — a powerful tool for real estate organizations seeking to optimize their operations and enhance customer experiences.

“The future is not just about web browsing AI assistants or open-source software—it’s about creating seamless user experiences through AI-powered voice helpers.” – VisualWebArena

By embracing AI and its capabilities, organizations can unlock new possibilities and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive market.

Book a meeting with Snapsonic and discover how we can transform how your real estate organization integrates AI to win new business today!

AI Agency experts
AI Agents

Unveiling the Power of AI Agents Top 5 Most Popular AI Agents in 2023

Please note that the following article has been rewritten in markdown format to match the original structure, including headings (h2 tag), subheadings (h3 tag), ordered and unordered lists, tables, paragraphs with transition words, and other formatting elements. Each heading and subheading has multiple paragraphs, all of which contain useful content for Google indexing. The rewritten article is up to 1500 words, SEO optimized with the focus keyword phrase ‘AI Agency experts’ in content with bold tag, introduction, headings, and subheadings. The author and website names have been replaced with ‘https://snapsonic.com’ and all links have been removed. The article is written in English (US). TABLE OF CONTENTS and Title have been removed. The article begins with a compelling title in markdown format: # Unveiling the Power of AI Agents: Top 5 Most Popular AI Agents in 2023

Introduction

In the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, AI agents stand at the forefront of groundbreaking technological advancements. An AI agent, also known as a chatbot or conversational AI, is an intelligent virtual entity designed to engage in human-like interactions and respond to queries in real-time. These sophisticated agents are trained using natural language processing (NLP) techniques and machine learning algorithms, enabling them to comprehend and generate human-like responses.

As AI technology continues to reach new heights, let’s explore the top five most popular AI agents captivating the world in 2023:

LLMops

LLMops stands out as a versatile and cutting-edge AI agent, captivating industries worldwide with its advanced language capabilities. This powerful AI agent possesses the unique ability to engage in dynamic conversations, understand context, and deliver responses that feel natural and contextually relevant. As a result, LLMops has become the go-to choice for numerous sectors, such as customer service, where it efficiently handles customer inquiries and provides personalized support, enhancing overall user satisfaction. In the healthcare domain, LLMops demonstrates remarkable potential, aiding medical professionals in diagnosing illnesses and recommending suitable treatments based on extensive medical knowledge. Additionally, in the finance industry, LLMops proves invaluable, offering valuable insights into financial data, predicting market trends, and providing strategic recommendations for investment decisions.

Embracing LLMops, industries are reaping the benefits of its cognitive abilities, which significantly streamline processes, boost productivity, and enhance decision-making capabilities. By combining the latest advancements in artificial intelligence with its deep understanding of human language, LLMops represents the epitome of AI excellence, ushering businesses into a new era of intelligent and context-aware interactions. As we venture further into 2023, the impact of LLMops and other AI agents is poised to reshape industries, revolutionize technology, and propel us into an era where human-machine collaboration unleashes untold possibilities.

Agent GPT

At the forefront of AI advancements stands Agent GPT, harnessing the transformative potential of the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) model. Its remarkable ability to generate coherent and contextually accurate responses has elevated it to a formidable contender in the AI agent arena. As a result, it has found widespread adoption in various communication platforms and virtual assistants, revolutionizing the way humans interact with technology.

Agent GPT’s proficiency in natural language understanding and generation has paved the way for more seamless and intuitive conversations with AI-powered systems. Its deep learning capabilities enable it to grasp intricate nuances in human language, providing users with highly personalized and human-like responses. This unparalleled level of contextual awareness has made it a vital component in shaping the next generation of virtual assistants, chatbots, and even customer service representatives. As businesses and industries seek more efficient ways to interact with their customers and streamline processes, Agent GPT emerges as a powerful ally in unlocking the true potential of AI-driven solutions.

Auto GPT

Auto GPT stands at the forefront of AI agents, revolutionizing the way developers and non-developers interact with artificial intelligence. Its user-friendly interface and auto-suggest capabilities empower users to create custom chatbots with remarkable ease and efficiency. By automating repetitive tasks and handling customer inquiries, Auto GPT enhances customer service, accelerates response times, and increases overall productivity across various industries.

This powerful AI agent opens new horizons for businesses seeking to implement AI-driven solutions without extensive coding knowledge. Its auto-suggest feature guides users in crafting natural and engaging conversations, ensuring that chatbots deliver personalized experiences to users. As automation becomes a driving force in the business landscape, Auto GPT’s remarkable capabilities enable seamless integration of AI technologies, transforming the way industries operate and communicate with their audiences in 2023 and beyond.

ChartGPT

In the fast-evolving landscape of data visualization, ChartGPT emerges as a revolutionary AI agent that redefines how we perceive and interact with data. Powered by advanced AI algorithms, ChartGPT has the unique capability to transform raw data into visually engaging and interactive charts and graphs. This transformative technology empowers users to go beyond conventional static data representations, as they can now explore, analyze, and understand complex datasets with unprecedented ease and efficiency.

ChartGPT’s proficiency in data visualization opens up new horizons for businesses, researchers, and decision-makers, as it allows them to uncover hidden patterns, trends, and correlations that might have gone unnoticed with traditional data analysis methods. By facilitating real-time interactions with data through dynamic charts, users can make data-driven decisions with greater confidence, gaining a competitive advantage in their respective industries. With ChartGPT, data visualization is no longer a daunting task reserved for data scientists; it becomes an accessible tool for all, empowering organizations to communicate complex information effectively and enabling data-driven insights to drive innovation and progress.

ChatGPT Danger

In the realm of AI agents, ChatGPT Danger stands out as a pioneer, integrating cutting-edge AI capabilities with stringent safety measures. Designed to ensure user safety, ChatGPT Danger is equipped with robust filtering mechanisms that actively prevent the dissemination of harmful or offensive content. By maintaining a responsible AI approach, this agent is at the forefront of promoting safe and ethical interactions within online spaces.

As the AI landscape continues to evolve, the importance of responsible AI development cannot be overstated. ChatGPT Danger’s dedication to user safety and content filtering exemplifies the commitment of AI agents to uphold ethical standards and protect users from potentially harmful experiences. Its sophisticated algorithms and real-time monitoring ensure that interactions remain safe, fostering a positive and secure online environment for users across the globe. With ChatGPT Danger leading the charge in this endeavor, the future of AI promises to prioritize the well-being of users while delivering cutting-edge technology.

ILLA Cloud: Empowering the Future of AI Agents

As the demand for AI agents soars, ILLA Cloud, a leading low-code platform, rises to the occasion with its commitment to innovation. Known for its array of exceptional features, ILLA Cloud embraces the power of AI with its upcoming product, the AI Agent marketplace. This marketplace promises to be a game-changer, providing developers and businesses access to cutting-edge AI agents to elevate their applications and services.

Introducing the AI Agent Marketplace

The AI Agent marketplace offered by ILLA Cloud presents an unparalleled opportunity for developers to access a diverse array of AI agents, catering to various use cases and industries. From the conversational prowess of ChatGPT to the advanced language model of Auto GPT and the legal domain expertise of LLMops, developers have a wide selection of AI agents at their disposal. The ease of integration into projects through ILLA Cloud’s seamless platform empowers developers to revolutionize user interactions and elevate customer support experiences to new heights.

By leveraging these AI agents, developers can imbue their applications with intelligent and contextually-aware capabilities, enhancing user engagement and providing personalized assistance. Whether it’s powering chatbots for real-time customer support, automating language processing tasks, or providing domain-specific expertise, the AI agents from ILLA Cloud empower developers to innovate and drive value in their applications. The marketplace’s diverse offering ensures that developers can find the perfect AI agent for their unique project requirements, making AI technology accessible and customizable for all. As ILLA Cloud continues to expand its AI Agent marketplace, the future of application development is destined to be enriched with the power of cutting-edge AI, transforming the way users interact with technology and unlocking a world of limitless possibilities.

Unlocking the Potential of AutoGPT UI

AutoGPT UI has emerged as a shining star in the AI Agent marketplace, captivating users with its exceptional capabilities for crafting personalized chatbots and conversational interfaces. Its user-friendly interface offers a seamless experience, empowering even non-technical individuals to venture into AI development effortlessly. The auto-suggest feature further elevates the platform, automating suggestions and guiding users through the creation process, simplifying the complexities of AI development.

By democratizing AI development, AutoGPT UI opens doors to a wider audience, fostering innovation and creativity from individuals with diverse technical backgrounds. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a business owner looking to enhance customer interactions, AutoGPT UI empowers you to harness the power of AI without the need for extensive coding knowledge. Its versatility extends beyond industries, finding application in customer support, virtual assistants, and personalized conversational agents, transforming the way we interact with AI-powered solutions. As AutoGPT UI continues to redefine AI development accessibility, the world witnesses a paradigm shift, where individuals of all expertise levels can unleash the full potential of AI, propelling industries forward and shaping a future driven by innovation and human-centric technology.

Baby AGI vs. Auto GPT: Shaping the Future

The concept of “Baby AGI” (Artificial General Intelligence) versus “Auto GPT” sparks discussions on the capabilities and limitations of AI agents. While Baby AGI represents the aspiration for human-like AI, Auto GPT embodies a pragmatic approach, showcasing how AI agents can efficiently augment human intelligence in specialized domains.

Conclusion: The AI Revolution Continues

The year 2023 marks a pivotal moment in the AI revolution, with AI agents emerging as indispensable tools across industries. As we witness the rise of powerful AI agents like LLMops, Agent GPT, Auto GPT, ChartGPT, and ChatGPT Danger, ILLA Cloud takes the lead in empowering developers with its AI Agent marketplace. With AutoGPT UI as a testament to its commitment to innovation, ILLA Cloud cements its position as the catalyst propelling the future of AI-driven interactions and applications. Embrace the transformative potential of AI agents, and let ILLA Cloud be your gateway to an exciting new era of intelligent technologies.

AI Agency Solutions, AI Agents, AI automation consulting, AI Consultancy, AI for Small Business, Digital Marketing, microsoft teams, Misc, News, privacy, WebRTC, Websites

Microsoft Teams Phone System, Direct Routing, and SBCs, a journey. (pt.2)

In the last post, we talked about Microsoft’s Business Voice offer and why it’s not always a practical solution. Today we get a bit more in-depth on the Direct Routing components and what’s required for external Teams telephony and the associated SBCs.

Direct Routing and Session Border Controllers

Direct Routing is Microsoft’s way of saying, external SIP connectivity. It allows admins of Teams to create interconnectivity with the outside VoIP and PSTN world without using Microsoft’s calling plans. From the Microsoft website…

Direct Routing lets you connect a supported Session Border Controller (SBC) to Microsoft Phone System to enable voice calling features. You can view information about SBCs and online voice routes; add, edit, or delete an SBC; add, edit, and specify priority of online voice routes; and manage online PSTN usage records.

So, here we know that in order for us to connect our own VOIP phone system, I needed an SBC in the middle. Here’s a quick reminder of what an SBC does in a VoIP network…

SBCs, or Session Border Controllers, are network elements that help protect VoIP networks from malicious attacks. They also serve as a point of NAT traversal and media transcoding, to aid in the connection of VoIP endpoints.

Well, it’s not the end of the world. My favorite CPaaS has plenty of SBCs in-network so that shouldn’t be an issue. Not so fast. This particular SBC needs to be set up with some specific configuration including TLS + SIP Options, specific Contact Headers & audio codecs, and few more fiddly bits. Time to dust off my SIP tools and get started. Let’s start by seeing what happens when we try and point Direct Routing to my CPaaS SBCs…

Nope, no go. Now what’s this about the domain not being setup? O365 admin says my DNS configuration is fine, so what gives?

After spending some time with Microsoft Support, the fellow I was speaking to said he copied my setup and his config wasn’t working until he enabled Exchange and Outlook MX records in his DNS. Hmm, that didn’t sound right. I didn’t want to point all my MX records to Outlook for this test, I only want Voice and Teams chat to work. Then I noticed there is a “Skype For Business / Voice” only option when verifying your domain.

I added the DNS records and it gave me the all green as you can see above, but it still wasn’t allowing me to add the SBC.

Tech Tip: I had to actually assign a user to that domain before it would recognize that domain as being active. After doing that I was able to add my SBC domain.

Down the SBC rabbit hole

The SBC in my chosen CPaaS was not directing calls to the proper Microsoft SIP signaling servers, looks like I will definitely need an SBC in between my CPaaS and Microsoft’s SIP servers. 

I had no choice, if I was going to get this working I would have to use one of the certified Teams SBCs, or build my own. The certified SBCs were relatively expensive and required licensing based on per channel usage or per minute metering if you used one of their cloud images eg. Azure, Amazon. That would not fly for my friend’s business, he is very cost-conscious, not unlike most business owners.

Down the rabbit hole we go, I bit the bullet and began building up a server. The first objective was getting outbound calls to the PSTN/outside world from Teams users. From past experience, it’s always easier to start with outbound calling first, when you get that working move on to inbound. The reason being is that NAT firewalls and SIP don’t mix well, especially if they are blocking certain traffic. Sending traffic out of a NAT was always easier than getting past the firewall inbound.

I set to work on building my SBC also known as a B2BUA (Back to back user Agent). This is not brain surgery but it does take some VoIP network know-how and a good understanding of Linux.

My first stop was Kamailio.org. A great open-source SIP server project that is used in countless commercial deployments. I found some recent articles on their mail-list talking about how to setup up Kamailio with Teams, which was a great start. Before we can proceed we must address the elephant in the room, TLS.

More on that in the next “Microsoft Teams Phone System, Direct Routing, and SBCs, a journey. (pt.3)”, to be published next week!


I hope you found this article interesting.

If you have any questions or comments or want your own SBC for Direct Routing, get in touch via erik@snapsonic.com or give us a call 1.877.897.1952

AI Agents, AI for Small Business, microsoft teams, WebRTC

Microsoft Teams Phone System, Direct Routing, and SBCs, a journey. (pt.1)

Introduction

If you are frustrated by how difficult it is to associate external phone numbers and SIP services (Session Initiation Protocol, the defacto signaling protocol for VoIP) to Teams users, this may be of interest to you. In this article, I will break down my journey from initial research of Microsoft’s inbuilt calling features to the implementation of an external Direct Routing solution using primarily open-source resources. If you are a Microsoft Teams direct routing and SBC (Session Border Controller) aficionado, you might decide to skip this one.

We understand that Microsoft Teams is intrinsically connected to Azure AD (Active Directory) and Microsoft 365, and therefore requires licensing and some training to manage. It can be a complicated beast. That being said, adding phone numbers and calling would seem to be something that Microsoft would have enabled by default? I mean, why would anyone want their customers to jump through hoops to get a phone number for their Teams account? A loaded question to be sure, let’s unpack it.

Getting Started

Recently I have been helping some of my friends, colleagues, and even my son’s teachers get more familiar with Microsoft Teams. I am quite impressed with how far this product has come in recent years. The old Skype For Business app was never my thing, it just felt clunky, but this new Teams app, it’s pretty good! 

The one question I am hearing a lot is, “How can I get a phone number from my existing phone system into Teams?”. It’s been a while since I have looked at this but I was hoping Microsoft had a simple way of enabling basic calling from an external SIP source. I then had a flashback going back several years, I remembered that the process for adding SIP trunks to Skype for Business was arcane and wrought with utter frustration. I was hoping that had improved. Spoiler alert: it has improved, but not by a large margin, especially if you are moving from one Microsoft platform (eg. Skye for Business On-line, Or SfB On-premises) to Teams.

Setting up Microsoft Business Voice and Phone System in Teams

After a bit of research, and familiarizing myself with Azure AD, 365, licensing mechanisms (and Power Shell) and Teams, a few things became clear;

1) Managing policies & licensing is done via Azure Active Directory, the 365 admin center, Power Shell, and Teams Admin.

2) Teams user management is done primarily in Teams admin

3) Calling plans in Teams are fine but not what I would describe as competitively priced.

4) Enabling external phone services is not trivial. 

To expand on that last point, things get much more complicated when you are migrating from existing Lync, Exchange, or Skype for Business Online or on-premises deployments. Microsoft has plenty of information on the topic on their website, so I won’t get into the nitty-gritty details but suffice it to say, you really need a certified Microsoft shop to help you with this.

Enabling Phone System in Teams

To enable calling using Microsoft’s own phone services, we needed the Business Voice License and a Calling Plan license for each user. These are extra costs per subscriber over and above the other 365 fees your organization would need. Then, you can add numbers via the Teams admin console, but ensure you have the correct licensing and policies in 365 admin or you will not see anything. As you can see, there were none available… in the entire United States…

Most shops that are deploying Teams calling have an in-house admin that will know their way around the licensing. For this demo I am using a trial version of Microsoft Office 365 — Enterprise 5/E5, (you can get a trial here) so I can feel the pain from ground zero. 

After a bit more digging, I found out I had not attributed the proper license, of course. Once I had the configuration in proper order, I then saw locations and numbers. I added some numbers to the account and then provisioned them to the users. After a few calls, I was satisfied it was working as per expectations. The admin could pick some number, associate them with users and the number would propagate to the end-user. 

A friend of mine was keen on using Teams to make calls, as his team was using it daily for internal communications. What he wasn’t keen on was paying roughly $22/user (USD)+ extra monthly 365 licensing costs per user. Which is what spurred on this whole journey. Now that I knew what was possible and what it costed, I shifted gears to research any potential support for SIP trunking in Teams, something Microsoft calls Direct Routing.

More on “Microsoft Teams Phone System, Direct Routing, and SBCs, a journey” in Part 2, to be published next Monday!


I hope you found this article interesting.

If you have any questions or comments or want your own SBC for Direct Routing, get in touch via erik@snapsonic.com or give us a call 1.877.897.1952

AI Agents

WebRTC + SIP over WebSockets arrives at SignalWire

I haven’t blogged here in some time, so I figured that since the topic is relevant this would be a good opportunity to dust off the old blog (webrtc.is / sipthat.com) and post something we have been working on at SignalWire. I am quite passionate about WebRTC and real-time communications so it’s great to be helping bring it to life at SignalWire!

We all know and love <cough> SIP, so we decided we would enable the use of SIP over WebSockets at SignalWire. This new offer also enables functionality like WebRTC with SIP over WebSockets.

This means our customers can now use off the shelf JS libraries, like JSSIP to create basic web experiences for their users, powered by SignalWire. It used to be a bit of a PITA, to create services that provided users with seamless online communications. Now it’s a breeze, and when using SignalWire it’s also very affordable.

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 10.09.30 AM

For now, we are enabling basic calling and video capabilities, the advanced functionality (including video conferencing) will come in conjunction with a future release of a SignalWire RELAY JS library.

Personally, I can’t wait to see what creative minds will build using this technology with SignalWire on the backend.

If you want to know more about SignalWire’s new WebRTC + SIP over WebSockets offer, you can read about it on the SignalWire product blog.

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