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“What exactly is Cloud Voice?” Your FAQs answered

What exactly is Cloud Voice?

If your organization hasn’t yet switched to Cloud Voice, it could well be just a matter of time. You see, for many enterprises, the time – and the need – is now.

If it’s a solution you want to know more about, then here are some of the frequently asked questions. And my frequently supplied answers!

What exactly is Cloud Voice?

Good question. Cloud Voice is cloud-based telephony.

Okay, but what exactly is cloud-based telephony? How is it different to normal telephony?

It’s telephony that takes place in the cloud. Telephony without any on-site infrastructure and no need to use traditional PSTN. All you need is an internet connection.

How is this different to VOIP? Or ‘internet-calling’, or ‘cloud-native telephony’?

It’s no different really. Just different ways of saying the same thing.

So why do you call it Cloud Voice?

It’s simply how we describe our solution – as delivered using our own NTT network.

What’s wrong with the ‘traditional’ way of making calls?

It’s disappearing. It’s been around for over a century. It involves routing calls along physically connected cables, but in the coming years it will be switched off completely. In some countries it’s already happened. The important point here is that PSTN doesn’t support modern business needs and ways of working. It’s simply an expensive, outdated solution.   

What’s the ‘big deal’ about Cloud Voice?

Lots of things. But for many enterprises it’s the fact that employees can make or take calls from any device – laptop, smartphone, tablet – wherever they are.

So can Cloud Voice offer a remote working solution?

Bingo! With Cloud Voice and a Cloud PBX solution, your telephony is in the Cloud. No need for any on-premises equipment or physical infrastructure. And no need for employees to be in any defined location. This perfectly suits the rapidly-growing demand for flexibility and decentralized offices and teams.

How do manage this new way of running our telephony?

As an organization, you have centralized control. You can add or remove users. You can quickly and easily assign users into groups for call routing, and you can enable all different kinds of functionality, as needed.

How does Cloud Voice work with switchboards and contact centers?

Seamlessly. Inbound calls can be shared across as many or as few people as you wish at any one time. You can scale-up and down to meet your needs and demand, ensuring customers can reach your business. It’s a similar story for outbound calls. You can enable employees to make unlimited concurrent calls from the same service number. This provides a seamless, safe, and consistent brand experience.

How else can Cloud Voice help our organization?

There are gains for many different business functions. The operations department gains business resilience and continuity. Sales and marketing can benefit from increased agility, improved productivity and improved customer experience. Finance departments love the idea of fewer suppliers, simplified billing. reduced capital expenditure and greatly reduced call costs. Human resources teams are of course interested in how it can support flexible and remote working.

How much money can we save using Cloud Voice?

Almost without question, Cloud Voice will save you money. Clients that switch will typically save 40-60% on their telephony compared with their prior traditional way of doing things.

How are these savings achieved?

It’s down to a few factors. Firstly, you will be eliminating all your physical hardware costs. Secondly, you will no longer need to have resources in each location dedicated to maintaining your infrastructure. Finally, and crucially, your organization can now enjoy greatly reduced call rates, via one of our highly-competitive – and we believe, unbeatable – universal calling plans.

How does this solution work with different offices and other countries?

With Cloud Voice, you can now have national and international telephony without needing any on-premises equipment or physical infrastructure in any offices, in any region. No new installations, no more maintenance, no more upgrades of physical equipment to worry about. You can manage centrally and benefit from universal call plans that will save you money.

How reliable is your Cloud Voice service?

NTT Is a Tier 1 network provider, which means we own our own network. Your calls will run through our IP – an internet backbone that carries some 40% of the world’s internet traffic. We back this up with a service level agreement guaranteeing 99.99% availability.

What is the call quality like with Cloud Voice?

Cloud Voice is an enterprise-level solution. It offers extremely high quality calls. These are at least as good, if not better, than on traditional networks. It also offers secure telephony, and an array of advanced functionality and features. 

Given the above, why isn’t everyone already using Cloud Voice?

Business are transforming themselves in lots of ways, and cloud telephony has not always been considered as the most urgent aspect. Now however, we see more demand to accelerate this change. It’s rightly seen as a way to provide business resilience and satisfy business continuity planning.

What do we need to make calls with Cloud Voice?

In order to manage your users, voicemail, call-routing and so on, Cloud Voice will need to run over a PBX system. This is easily achieved through native integration with Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex. If your organization already uses one of these platforms – or is considering it – then integrating Cloud Voice will allow you to achieve even greater value from your investment in these.

Don’t these solutions have their own in-built cloud-telephony solutions?

Yes, you can use Microsoft Teams Calling (the replacement for Skype for Business) or Cisco Webex Calling. However, we believe that using Cloud Voice with these platforms offers the most comprehensive, and cost-effective solution. You have all the functionality, but more countries, and lower costs.

Can we use Cloud Voice with other solutions / different platforms?

Yes, we can also help you integrate Cloud Voice with any other PBX solution (whether cloud-based or on-premise) that we name in our hardware compatibility list.

Change can be hard. How urgent is this?

You can certainly wait. It will certainly be some years before it becomes absolutely necessary. However, all this time your organization will lose out on all the advantages – operational, competitive, financial – that are available right now. Do respond to this nudge now, rather than a harsh wake-up call later!

How would we actually switch to Cloud Voice?

You just need to ‘enable’ it. This means making some technical changes to your existing telephony configuration. When done, your voice calls will then be carried over internet networks and not the traditional telephone networks.

And what about all my existing telephone equipment?

Hire a skip! Or at least, please recycle responsibly. Certainly, you shouldn’t delay because of, say, the sunk cost fallacy!

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Okay, this wraps up this initial romp through some of the FAQs around Cloud Voice!

Want to know more? Then move on to part two of our Cloud Voice FAQs. These look in more detail at where you can call, our call plans, and about our network – and much more.

If you have further questions at any point, then please do comment below, or make a business enquiry via the website.

About the author

Julien is Network & Voice Product Director for the Cloud Communcations division of NTT Ltd.

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