LoopUp’s senior vice president for telecommunications strategy takes us behind the scenes into the more complex side of cloud telephony.
Cloud telephony capabilities such as Microsoft Teams Calling can make business communications better and easier. With Teams Calling, multinational organisations have the means to move all of their employees to one consistent telephony platform. This means that wherever they are working – and across whichever devices they choose – employees will have everything they need to collaborate and communicate.
Teams Calling also drives organisational productivity within the IT department. No on-site equipment is required, so IT teams don’t have to worry about managing and maintaining things like outmoded PBX hardware.
There are significant cost benefits and improved audio quality. For multinational organisations, a fundamental advantage is the ease in which a cloud phone system can expand or contract to suit their needs – swiftly encompassing all new employees and any new sites.
Given the streamlining gains that Microsoft Teams Calling offers, it’s easy to see why people might assume that setting up the infrastructure to deploy it would also be straightforward.
Unfortunately, this is where cloud telephony can get tricky. There are two significant challenges to providing a single consistent telephony service to a user base around the world.
The first challenge is that the telecommunications industry is heavily regulated in most countries. This is for many reasons, including consumer protection, quality assurance, tax raising and information security. In most countries, telecommunications service providers must be registered.
The requirements for registration vary from country to country, and can be substantial. They may extend to needing to have a registered company and/or an in-country director. In one of our South American countries for instance, we had to set up two new companies in order to apply for the license. For both brand-new businesses, we must report financial results to the government every month – a task that can only be done by an in-country firm of accountants. We are also obliged to have an in-country legal team.
The second part of the global telephony puzzle is that, to provide a full PSTN replacement to users, an organisation must either have a relationship with a local carrier or be registered as a local carrier themselves.
PSTN replacement is needed to provide features such as local inbound numbers, number porting and emergency call routing. In India, where they divide the subcontinent into regions called ‘Telecom Circles’ or ‘Telecom Service Areas’, meaning it is necessary to deploy equipment in 22 data centres, so calls can be terminated within each of the Telecom Circles.
Multinational organisations must have full PSTN replacement for all employees, which could mean a different provider for every country they have a site. That’s a separate set of contracts and set of interconnects for each country, which is a time consuming, complex task for an IT department to manage.
With this in mind, organisations are increasing looking to go with a cloud telephony provider who can oversee the regulatory and PSTN connectivity for them. But finding a provider who can cover all of their international sites can be challenging. Few providers can meet the needs of a large multinational. Even the world’s best-known providers tend to cover surprisingly few global markets.
The telecommunications industry tends to operate locally, rather than globally. Even today, the world’s largest carriers tend to provide services to users in relatively small range of countries.
To give an example, a household-name multinational approached us recently to provide full PSTN cover in the 80+ countries they have offices. They were looking to roll out a single cloud solution for all of their employees. Due to the breadth of their locations, they had previously needed to work with multiple carriers. The result had been so many disparate contracts across their sites, it was understandably difficult for their central IT team to even pull together a consolidated list of all the carriers they were working with.
Solving the global telecommunication challenges
At LoopUp we take care of the complexity for our customers, providing full PSTN replacement service across the globe. A key part of my role is getting regulatory approval and making sure we continue to be compliant in the ever-changing regulatory environment.
We’re very proud of our coverage. LoopUp is regulated to provide enterprise-grade PSTN replacement in more countries than any other provider.
We’re on track to have 81 countries live this year. For the countries we don’t yet cover, we integrate with local SBCs for a single, consistently managed service. Our private global network interconnects with 20 tier-1 regional carriers for resilience and audio quality. We truly deliver a global solution.
To find out more about how LoopUp can help your business, contact us here.