COVID-19 has forced you out of your office. And if you hadn’t already made the jump to the cloud, what you’ve likely had to do in the last few months is signup for some kind of free trial with a UC provider. Or maybe you’ve gone one step further and linked up with a managed service provider. Either way, if your comms weren’t already in the cloud, you’ve moved them there – and you probably had to make that migration much quicker than you would have liked.
But now the dust has settled, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be going back to offices in the same way we were before, your challenge is to figure out how to make business communications sustainable, scalable, and efficient – so that your capabilities to connect with colleagues, customers and prospects grow with your business, in a way that is as cost-effective as possible.
Scaling Your Comms without Breaking the Bank
Businesses everywhere are feeling the financial squeeze of the pandemic, and cost-cutting is becoming more of a priority.
As always, access to the PSTN and the ability to make and receive calls globally remains a necessity. But the legacy approach to buying voice capability is no longer viable with the end of ISDN connections not as far away as we might have previously thought.
In fact, BT Openreach has announced that from this year, businesses and individuals in the UK will no longer be able to purchase ISDN lines.
Switching to a cloud subscription model allows businesses to better manage the outgoings for one of their biggest areas of IT spending (more than 30% of total budgets, according to Gartner) way by replacing the need for significant hardware investment with more sustainable monthly subscription costs. Effectively replacing major capital expenditure with a much lower and more manageable operational expenditure.
But there are plenty more ways that moving your communications to the cloud and picking the right cloud strategy can cut your overall comms costs at the same time as allowing you to scale your reach.
Read on for some of the most effective strategies for doing just this.
Lowering Your Bills by Cutting Out Margin Stacking
Last year, we partnered with Nemertes Research to find out the benefits of moving to the cloud. Their survey of 600 companies revealed:
- 75% of organizations already deployed SIP trunks or are evaluating it for future deployment
- 41% of companies say they want to use SIP Trunking to save costs
- 45% of those using SIP trunking are seeing a reduced WAN spend
- Large enterprises from that group saw an 18% average spend saving
But since everyone is now being pushed in this direction, with the proliferation of remote working many more businesses are adopting a cloud SIP trunking service, reducing their operational costs, extending their reach globally, and improving customer engagement.
Cutting Your Costs in Half with Built-In Resilience
For enterprise buyers of trunking services, it’s traditionally been the case when dealing with legacy TDM and ISDN 30 bundles to buy twice the capacity your business needs in order to have a resilient solution that can cope with hardware failures at a specific point in the network.
But the move to hosted infrastructure provisioning models – in business communications and elsewhere – has rendered this unnecessary. The best modern networks for transiting SIP-based voice traffic around the world have been architected and engineered with full geo-redundancy and failover mechanisms in place, meaning that there are multiple paths through the network between any two points. So in the event that a network node fails, voice traffic will be automatically routed around the affected areas.
And the end result of this approach for enterprises is that there is no longer a need to pay for rainy day capacity and can cut your total channel spend in half with one fell swoop. Instead, you only need to provision as many channels as you actually expect to be able to saturate with calls, plus however many you decide you need as a buffer against sudden peaks in call volumes. This is just one of the ways that the elastic, scalable nature of cloud communications can provide real-world cost savings to businesses.
Additional features – such as temporary capacity provisioning that can automatically trigger when a certain threshold is reached and the ability to share unused trunk capacity across numbers and even countries – only serve to further the efficiency savings on offer.
Avoiding Penalty Surcharges in Countries Origin-Based Rating
Have you noticed the cost of your voice traffic inexplicably rising in certain markets over recent months? The culprit may very well be the origin-based rating systems that are being deployed by a growing number of carriers around the world.
Effectively, origin-based rating (OBR) considers both the originating and terminating networks when calculating the cost of a call. Ok, great. But problems arise if the CLIs used for caller identification are invalid because then the network terminating the call is likely to place a penalty charge on it.
According to XConnect, these penalty charges can be in excess of 3,500%. As an example, for calls terminating to German mobile networks, it estimates that this penalty charge can be the difference between $0.01 a minute and $0.35 a minute. So it’s easy to see how even a relatively minor amount of call traffic can exponentially inflate your overall communications costs.
Some of the most typical causes of an invalid CLI are incorrect formatting, often due to configuration errors within a switch and potentially fraudulent activity as a result of a vulnerability within your call control platform or the actions of a bad actor manipulating CLIs in an attempt to access lower billing rates.
Luckily, there are effective preventative strategies in place for enterprises to mitigate the risks of OBR penalty surcharges by using carrier networks that support CLI whitelisting, in order to ensure that all outbound calls come from a validated CLI.
Accessing Cheaper Pricing by Consolidating Vendors
But how do cloud comms help me save money on the scalability of my business?
Well if you’ve got members of staff in a few different countries, you’re comms setup probably has one of these two designs:
1. You’re contracting a local level of service in your country, and an international level of service everywhere else you need to call. This gives you international outbound but you don’t get all the capabilities of a modern cloud comms provider.
2. You’re contracting with an incumbent in several countries, which is expensive and complicated.
With traditional telephone carriers, you only ever receive coverage in one country, (a handful, if you are lucky) meaning that you need to enter into contracts with dozens of service providers for a global communications footprint.
This can be a migraine-inducing process because of the local regulatory requirements of each country and the lack of consistent processes across borders.
So if you’re in one of these two groups, by consolidating your comms, you’re either going to be increasing your capability, or decreasing your costs.
Not only that, but if providers offer volume-based discounts that grow as you scale, consolidating your minutes onto those networks will allow you to access deeper discounts – e.g. it’s cheaper to have 100 minutes with Vendor A if it unlocks a 30% discount than it is to have 50% with Vendor A and 50% with Vendor B and unlock a 15% discount on the first and a 20% discount on the second.
Cut Deployment and Management Times with Automation
Time is money, and the man-hours you can save using programmatic and automated comms can save you a boatload down the line.
By consolidating your communications with a single global provider means you’re able to deploy new services across the globe with a few lines of code or clicks of a mouse. And take your comms setup from this:
- Identify carrier for each country
- Make contact with the individual regulators
- Comply with their regulations (Ongoing)
- Set up a new business entity (if required)
- Pay the appropriate fees
- Strike commercial agreement with each carrier
- Build dial plans
- Manage scale (Ongoing)
- Identify carrier
- Some light setup work
- Ready to integrate
- A few days till you go live
- No More Pricey Overheads
Having one supplier for your comms means that you might not even need to change supplier, or find a new supplier every time you look to adjust your comms capabilities.
And with a single carrier to take care of all your coverage needs, you’ll eliminate all the pricey overheads that come with multiple contracts and paperwork.
That’s an enormous saving in resources and makes your comms adaptable to your business growth, things you can’t afford to lose out on in the current climate.
That’s the kind of power and scale that Voxbone can offer your business – whether you provide communications or just need them to grow alongside your main product set.
Our tools and APIs make the job of managing global communications as free from friction as possible. Plus you can integrate our SIP trunks and phone numbers into any VoIP-enabled app while interconnecting securely from 500+ global locations.