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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!

A modern smartphone displaying AI symbols and business service icons.
AI for Small Business

How AI can improve how your business answers the phone

Introduction

The business phone service has evolved significantly, moving away from traditional landlines to advanced AI-powered systems. AI is changing how businesses handle phone calls, bringing about major improvements in efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Key benefits of incorporating AI in phone answering services include:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Automated responses and call routing reduce wait times.
  • Improved Customer Experience: Personalized interactions driven by AI.
  • Cost Savings: Reducing the need for extensive human resources.

Snapsonic offers an easy way to implement an AI answering service through their Fiverr offer. For businesses looking for a complete solution, they also provide full stack AI product development and consulting services. By adopting AI in your phone systems with the help of Snapsonic, you can completely change your business communication strategies, making them more efficient and customer-centric.

The Impact of AI on Small Business Phone Answering Services

AI technology is changing the way small businesses handle phone calls, making it much better and improving efficiency and customer satisfaction. By using AI to automatically answer common questions, small businesses can:

  1. Save time: Instead of having to manually respond to the same questions over and over again, AI can do it instantly.
  2. Focus on important tasks: With AI taking care of basic inquiries, small business owners and employees can dedicate more time and energy to other important tasks.
  3. Provide better service: AI-powered systems are designed to provide accurate and helpful information, ensuring that customers get the assistance they need.
  4. Be available 24/7: Unlike human agents who have limited working hours, AI can work round-the-clock, allowing businesses to serve customers at any time.

Key Benefits of Using AI-Powered Phone Answering Services for Small Businesses

Here are some specific advantages that small businesses can enjoy by using AI-powered phone answering services:

  1. Increased Efficiency: AI can handle a high volume of calls simultaneously, ensuring no customer is left waiting.
  2. Cost Savings: Reducing the need for a large team of customer service representatives can lead to substantial savings.
  3. 24/7 Availability: AI systems provide round-the-clock service, catering to customer needs outside regular business hours.
  4. Enhanced Customer Experience: Personalized interactions through voice recognition and natural language processing create a seamless experience.
  5. Data Insights: Analyzing call data with AI-driven tools offers valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences.

By leveraging these benefits, small businesses can stay competitive while delivering superior service to their clients.

Enhancing Customer Interactions through AI in Phone Service

The role of virtual assistants in phone services is transformative. These AI-driven systems provide personalized and seamless customer experiences by learning individual preferences and offering tailored responses. This level of customization not only meets but often exceeds customer expectations, fostering loyalty and satisfaction.

Voice recognition systems play a crucial role in enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of call routing and authentication processes. By identifying and verifying callers’ voices, these systems ensure that calls are directed to the appropriate department or representative without unnecessary delays. This minimizes wait times and reduces the likelihood of misrouted calls, leading to a smoother experience for customers.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is pivotal in understanding and responding to customer queries effectively. Through NLP, AI phone services can comprehend the nuances of human language, enabling them to handle a wide range of inquiries with precision. This capability ensures that customers receive accurate information promptly, significantly improving their interaction experience.

By integrating these advanced technologies—virtual assistants, voice recognition systems, and natural language processing—AI-powered phone services enhance customer interactions, making them more efficient and personalized.

Boosting Productivity and Efficiency with AI-Powered Analytics

AI-powered analytics can greatly increase productivity for businesses by providing valuable insights from phone call data. These insights help identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement in customer interactions. By analyzing this data, businesses can:

1. Call Volume Trends

By understanding call volume trends, businesses can forecast peak times and ensure that they have enough staff to handle high call volumes efficiently.

2. Customer Sentiment

Using sentiment analysis, businesses can gain an understanding of customer sentiment during phone calls. This information can be used to tailor responses and improve overall customer satisfaction.

3. Performance Metrics

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as average handling time and first call resolution rates can provide valuable insights into the efficiency of phone answering processes. By optimizing these metrics, businesses can improve their overall operations.

Machine learning algorithms are essential in continuously improving the performance of AI phone answering systems. These algorithms have several key capabilities:

1. Adaptation and Learning

Machine learning algorithms are able to continuously learn from each interaction, which leads to improved accuracy and response quality over time.

2. Predictive Capabilities

By utilizing historical data, machine learning algorithms can predict future trends and customer needs. This enables businesses to make proactive service adjustments and better meet customer expectations.

3. Error Reduction

Automation is a key component of AI phone answering systems, and it helps minimize human error by taking care of routine tasks. This leads to more consistent and reliable service for customers.

Incorporating these advanced analytics tools not only streamlines phone answering processes but also provides a competitive edge by making informed decisions based on real-time data.

Streamlining Communication with Cloud-Based VoIP Solutions

Cloud VoIP phone solutions offer a transformative approach to business communication by integrating AI for a seamless and scalable experience. Leveraging cloud technology, businesses benefit from:

  • Scalability: Easily add or remove phone lines as your business grows or changes.
  • Cost Efficiency: Reduced infrastructure costs since there’s no need for physical hardware.
  • Accessibility: Remote access allows employees to connect from anywhere, ensuring continuity in communication.

Integrating AI with cloud-based VoIP services enhances these benefits. AI-driven features such as intelligent call routing, automated responses, and real-time analytics create more efficient workflows.

Challenges and Solutions for Cost-Effective Chatbot Development in AI Phone Answering Services

Developing cost-effective chatbots for AI phone answering services can be challenging. Key challenges include:

  • Initial Setup Costs: High initial investment might deter small businesses.
  • Complexity in Design: Crafting sophisticated, conversational AI requires expertise.

To address these:

  • Modular Development: Develop chatbots in phases to spread out costs.
  • Pre-trained Models: Utilize pre-existing AI models to reduce development time and complexity.

Effective implementation of cloud-based VoIP solutions with AI can significantly enhance the communication capabilities of your business.

Case Studies: Real-World Examples of AI Transforming Phone Answering for Small Businesses

Success stories of online retailers leveraging AI-powered phone answering services:

Online retailers often face the challenge of handling high call volumes, especially during peak shopping seasons. By integrating AI in their phone answering services, these businesses have managed to:

  • Enhance customer satisfaction: AI-driven virtual assistants handle routine inquiries efficiently, freeing up human agents for more complex issues.
  • Reduce wait times: Automated systems can quickly route calls based on the nature of the inquiry, minimizing hold times and improving caller experience.

One notable example includes an e-commerce platform that utilized an AI-powered answering service to manage customer queries during a major sales event. The result was a significant reduction in call abandonment rates and a noticeable improvement in overall customer satisfaction scores.

How construction businesses benefit from implementing AI in their phone service:

The construction industry has unique communication needs, often requiring coordination among multiple stakeholders. AI-powered phone services have proven valuable in:

  • Streamlining project coordination: Virtual assistants can schedule appointments, send reminders, and update project timelines automatically.
  • Improving scheduling efficiency: AI systems can optimize resource allocation by analyzing call data to predict demand patterns.

A construction firm implemented an AI phone answering system to handle inbound calls related to project updates and scheduling. This led to more efficient project management, reduced administrative overhead, and improved client communication. The firm reported enhanced productivity and better alignment between field teams and office staff.

Implementing and Optimizing AI in Your Small Business Phone Answering Service

Steps to Successfully Implement AI in Your Small Business Phone Answering Service

  1. Identify Your Needs: Assess the specific requirements of your business, such as call volume, customer expectations, and existing infrastructure.
  2. Research AI Solutions: Explore various AI tools and providers that offer features aligned with your needs. This study provides insights into the benefits of AI in learning and development, which can be useful during this research phase.
  3. Pilot Testing: Start with a pilot program to evaluate the performance and integration capabilities of the chosen AI solution.
  4. Staff Training: Ensure staff members are trained on how to interact with and manage the new system.
  5. Full Deployment: Gradually roll out the AI-powered phone answering service across all relevant business units.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an AI Provider for Your Business’s Phone System

  • Reputation and Reviews: Check the provider’s track record and customer feedback.
  • Customization Options: Look for solutions that can be tailored to fit your unique business needs.
  • Scalability: Ensure the system can scale as your business grows.
  • Support Services: Availability of robust customer support is crucial for smooth operation.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

  • Integration Issues: Work closely with IT teams to ensure seamless integration with existing systems.
  • Data Privacy Concerns: Choose providers that comply with data protection regulations like GDPR or CCPA.
  • Employee Resistance: Address concerns through education and highlight the benefits of the new system.

Best Practices for Optimizing the Use of AI in Small Business Phone Answering Services

  • Regular Updates and Maintenance: Keep software updated to leverage new features and security patches.
  • Monitor Performance Metrics: Use analytics tools to continuously assess the effectiveness of your AI system.
  • Customer Feedback Loop: Collect and analyze customer feedback to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

Implementing AI in phone answering services can revolutionize how your small business handles calls, improving both efficiency and customer satisfaction. Incorporating AI in learning and development can further enhance the training aspect of this transition.

Conclusion

Embrace the opportunities that AI presents for your phone answering strategies. The integration of AI-powered systems can provide a competitive advantage by enhancing customer interactions, boosting productivity, and streamlining communication.

Consider the future of small business phone service with AI as a landscape filled with potential. Leveraging AI technologies allows small businesses to scale efficiently while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. As AI continues to evolve, its applications in phone answering services will likely expand, offering even more innovative solutions tailored to meet specific business needs.

Investing in AI now could position your business at the forefront of technological advancement, ensuring you stay ahead in an ever-competitive market.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the key benefits of incorporating AI in phone answering services for businesses?

AI in phone answering services can bring about increased efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, and personalized interactions. It also allows for valuable insights through data analytics and continuous improvement through machine learning algorithms.

How can small businesses benefit from using AI-powered phone answering services?

Small businesses can benefit from AI technology by experiencing improved efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced customer satisfaction. AI-powered phone answering services also provide valuable insights through data analytics and continuous improvement through machine learning algorithms.

What role do virtual assistants play in providing personalized customer experiences over the phone?

Virtual assistants play a crucial role in providing personalized and seamless customer experiences over the phone by understanding and responding to customer queries effectively.

What are the benefits of using cloud-based VoIP technology in conjunction with AI for business communication?

Using cloud-based VoIP technology in conjunction with AI provides benefits such as seamless and scalable business communication, as well as cost-effective chatbot development solutions for AI phone answering services.

What are some success stories of businesses leveraging AI-powered phone answering services?

Online retailers have successfully handled high call volumes and improved customer satisfaction through AI-powered phone answering services. Construction businesses have also benefited from streamlined project coordination and scheduling by implementing AI in their phone service.

What are some best practices for optimizing the use of AI in small business phone answering services?

Some best practices for optimizing the use of AI in small business phone answering services include choosing the right provider, considering factors such as cost-effectiveness and scalability, and overcoming common implementation challenges.

What is the final thought on the future of small business phone service with AI?

The future of small business phone service with AI presents opportunities for embracing competitive advantages. It encourages readers to consider the potential benefits that AI presents for their phone answering strategies.

AI Agency Solutions, AI automation consulting, AI Consultancy, Lifestyle, microsoft teams, News, privacy, WebRTC

Microsoft Teams Phone System, Direct Routing, and SBCs, a journey. (pt.4/4)

Last week we spent some time reviewing the TLS and SIP Options requirements for Microsoft Direct Routing, this week it’s payday! Time to make some final adjustments and place some calls.

Setting your outbound routes

For my setup, I wanted to route the outbound calls to my CPaaS, where I could do many other things besides just Origination or Termination. After some experimenting, we had our route configured and we could try some calls.

Calls were now flowing from my Teams client to my SBC and onto my CPaaS / external PSTN phone numbers. Much to my jubilation, the quality was pretty good, check it out for yourself…


Inbound routes

Now the harder part, routing calls into Teams. For this part, I had to route to the Microsoft SIP resources + assign external numbers from my CPaaS to the Teams active users. This is where things get “interesting”. 

As it turns out, the only way you can assign an external number to a user in Teams (today at least) is to run commands from a Power Shell connected to the Teams instance. Since I am a Mac user, that meant spinning up a VirtualBox, installing Windows on a VM, installing PowerShell and SFB modules. (Microsoft, please tell me there is a C# or Graph API coming for this).

Be sure to Run PS as Administrator

Then we need to run the command to connect to the SFB resources…

It will create some remoting modules…

Once authenticated you will end up back at the prompt, where you can enter the commands to add your phone numbers.

That command looks something like this…

Set-CsUser -Identity “user@domain.name” -OnPremLineURI tel:1234567890 -EnterpriseVoiceEnabled $true -HostedVoiceMail $true

Tech tip: Here is a link to all the Skype module commands.

If it works, it will return you back to the PS prompt. A quick look inside Teams and we will see that the number has been associated with the user as an On-premises number.

Here we see the Teams user with the assigned number inside the Team client interface…

Now, we have to route the inbound number from the CPaaS to the SBC and then onto Teams. In my case, I registered my SBC to a CPaaS SIP endpoint and used that connection to send inbound calls from my number to the SBC endpoint. The SBC then forwards the calls to the Teams SIP servers and decides where to send the media. Even though all my endpoints were in the Vancouver area, the media sometimes connected in East USA, which seems weird, maybe their Western hubs were overloaded, not sure.

Et Voila! Once everything was set up, calls inbound started working. Celebrate your small victories, as my dad always said. Here is a screenshot of me answering a call from an external number to my Teams phone number.

I added a bit of redundancy (few more servers) monitoring + failover logic and rolled it out for my buddy’s business.

He’s elated. Not only is the price right, but he now has a great deal more flexibility in how he uses the systems. He added some SIP desk phones to the mix, which now ring simultaneously when someone calls a Teams number.

I also added some SMS capabilities, TTS (Text To Speech), Call Recording and Call Whisper to his setup. 

The next post will be on using external telephony resources with some of the Microsoft Phone System features like; Auto-Attendant, Call Queues, Transfer, etc.


I hope you found this article interesting. We have had good interest in the offering thus far and now are now thinking of building a complete all-in-one solution that would do all of this through an intuitive interface eg. connect external phone systems, carriers/aggregators/cpaas, buy/manage numbers, choose carriers, set up domains, add TLS certs, et al. Let us know if you think that would be something you would be interested in. 

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 Assistants, AI automation consulting, AI for Small Business, microsoft teams, privacy

Microsoft Teams Phone System, Direct Routing, and SBCs, a journey. (pt.3)

In the last post we did some preliminary investigation on Direct Routing and what part the SBC plays in Direct Routing. Today we will take a deeper dive into TLS and SIP Options.

TLS and SIP Options

In order for this connection to work, Microsoft expects TLS+SIP Options to signal their servers that your SBC is alive and vice-versa. For the purposes of this demonstration you can think of TLS as SSL for VoIP. I would need to install certificates per domain that were going to be signaling to Microsoft and then I would need to leverage the dispatcher module in Kamailio to send the SIP Options to the Microsoft SIP servers.

Installing TLS correctly would take some forethought. Working through the Microsoft multi-tenant scenario, was a bit of a beast. In order to serve multiple tenants (thinking ahead a bit here) with the same domain and certs we would need a wildcard certificate. The problem is, double wildcard certificates are not supported, for various security reasons. So, we would have to set up a workflow that used a “*.sbcgroup.mydomain.com” type of structure. We are going to use let’s encrypt certs for the test, just to see if this works. Initially I just created a cert for a single domain. Once that was up, I would return to the multi-tenant requirements. For now, running a single customer on one Digital Ocean droplet was not a huge concern, we can optimize as a next phase.

Tech Tip: Adding a certificate to a debian linux VM is widely documented, that said, using let’s encrypt’s certbot module makes it dead easy.

Kamailio Dispatcher Module

Once I had the machine up and resolving on a secure socket, we needed to ensure that the dispatcher in Kamailio was sending out the SIP Options. First we need to ensure the dispatcher module was loaded add then add entries to the dispatcher list. Nick has a great article on getting started with Kamailio dispatcher, so check that out if you want to learn more about it.

Once we had our Microsoft SIP Server records in Dispatcher, we could reload Kamailio and see what’s what!

sbc:~# kamcmd dispatcher.list | egrep “URI|FLAGS” allows us to see state Flags which means our system is Actively Probing and our config is correct. 

URI: sip:sip3.pstnhub.microsoft.com:5061;transport=tls
FLAGS: AP

URI: sip:sip2.pstnhub.microsoft.com:5061;transport=tls
FLAGS: AP

URI: sip:sip.pstnhub.microsoft.com:5061;transport=tls
FLAGS: AP

If you are seeing IP or another FLAG, your configuration is likely incorrect. See below for the flag states.

  • AP — Active Probing — Destination is responding to option pings & looks to be up.
  • IP — Inactive Probing — Destination is not responding to pings and might be unreachable. This could also mean the destination isn’t liking what you’re sending it and therefore is not responding. In many cases this is due to the improper configuration of TLS on your server.
  • DX — Destination is disabled (administratively down)
  • AX — Coming up, but has not yet satisfied the minimums to be considered up (ds_inactive_threshold)
  • TX — Looks like or is, down. Has stopped responding to pings but has not yet satisfied downstate failed ping count (ds_probing_threshold)

Now let’s take a look at the SBC in our Teams configuration…

Hey that looks positive! Much better than the inactive state that is was in before. It would be nice if Microsoft were to rate these as a percentage of usage versus efficiency.

Next week in our final post in this series, “Microsoft Teams Phone System, Direct Routing, and SBCs, a journey (pt.4)” – we will try some outbound calls and set up our systems for inbound calls.


We hope you found this article interesting, please leave a comment or text the number below and tell us what you think!

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 at 1.877.897.1952 (also textable).

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