Cloud Voice and SIP Trunking - explained
Spot the difference
May 8th 2017
They’re two great products with much in common - but there are crucial differences between Cloud Voice and SIP Trunking that organisations should bear in mind.
To get a better understanding of their capabilities, we spoke to the products’ greatest champions at Virgin Media Business. James Thorn and Tim Patchett are our very own experts in SIP Trunking and Cloud Voice respectively. Here they explain the strengths of each product.
Watching the bottom line
In today’s competitive climate, managing costs has never been more important. A recent survey by Censuswide found 55% of organisations switched to IP Voice to reduce telephony spend.
When it comes to cost, there are various things to be taken into consideration when deciding between our two VoIP products.
“SIP Trunking doesn’t always mean savings, but for larger organisations it can,” says James. “Its scaling potential means it is best suited to environments with high call volumes. The customer pays for channels within the product and additional charges around it for numbers. It also secures investment in on-premise equipment.”
Meanwhile, Cloud Voice offers capabilities all of its own.
“Cloud Voice will appeal to organisations, small or large, that don’t want a massive outlay for telephony hardware, but do want fixed expenditure,” says Tim. “Its licence-based service is good for cost control because you only spend what you need. If you have 100 employees you buy 100 licenses. This means you have a monthly per-user fee covering licenses, ready-to-go handsets, maintenance and functionality.”
“Digital disruption is here. But what next? Organisations must stay ahead of the game and “future proof” for what lies ahead”
At your service
Telecoms companies struggle with a reputation for shoddy customer service, but Virgin Media Business has always tried to do things differently. Cloud Voice and SIP Trunking come with differing levels of support, which needs to be borne in mind by potential customers.
James says, “SIP Trunking is our network service, which can optimise the customer’s data service, allowing them to receive voice over it whilst using their existing PBX. However, as the equipment is the customer’s, maintenance and support is their responsibility.”
Conversely, Cloud Voice is more closely managed by Virgin Media Business. Tim explains, “We provide more support through self-help portals where customers maintain services via an auto-configure setup. It’s an end-to-end solution, with everything needed to get going. This ‘plug and play’ is great for those wanting a hassle-free, hosted voice product. Let us handle the headaches.”
A flexible friend
Digital disruption has changed the world forever. Just think how Uber made hailing a cab a thing of the past. Organisations need to be flexible in order to survive, but our VoIP products can help. Here’s how…
“SIP Trunking allows control and flexibility,” says James. “It is the conduit enabling customers to make and receive high volumes of calls. You can switch up a gear in response to the business climate. Adding, removing or re-routing lines and services is quick and painless. There is no waiting 60 days for your voice estate and supplier to catch up with you.”
Tim says, “As a managed service, Cloud Voice allows more flexibility. The customer doesn’t need to upgrade kit and there is no need for multiple supplier relationships. We make sure it is maintained, up-to-date, and has all the features and services required. Changing locations used to be a massive challenge. With Cloud Voice you can literally pick up the phone and move your network to another site without missing any of the calls that keep your business booming.”
It gets even better. Unlike traditional telecommunications services, Cloud Voice operates on a licence-based model, so you pay a fixed monthly fee based on your usage – there are no nasty surprises.
Moving telephony and call handling to a single, hosted, managed network makes it easier to predict budgets. And that’s the kind of freedom that allows you to grow, disrupt, surprise and thrive.
Tim says, “We’re creating cost certainty for businesses on their telecoms spend. Previously an organisation would have to buy a PBX regardless of whether they had 200 employees or 2000. With the scale and agility of a cloud-based PBX, a business only needs to buy as many licences as it has employees. It’s easy to scale up or down, so you can respond quickly to the unexpected.”
Are you future proof?
Digital disruption is here. But what next? Organisations must stay ahead of the game and “future proof” for what lies ahead. For example, the big analogue switch-off is coming in 2025. How will Cloud Voice and SIP Trunking fare?
James explains, “There will always be customers who want to use their own equipment and prefer a service like SIP Trunking. It allows the customer to converge their voice and data over joint access circuits, giving businesses a head start on the competition as the switch-off looms.”
Tim says: “Cloud Voice is ideal for organisations that want a hosted solution. Our IP network is at the core of what we do and Voice over IP plays to our strengths, allowing us to differentiate ourselves from the competition. Ahead of the switch-off, Cloud Voice is an ideal way for organisations to future proof and declutter their ICT infrastructure.”