Bringing Telephony into UCaaS – The State of PSTN Connectivity
March 28, 2023
Tim Jalland, Solution Manager, VOSS Solutions
PSTN Connectivity: Separating PSTN from UCaaS
When I first read the recent article from Irwin Lazar from Metrigy Research, regarding the state of PSTN connectivity for cloud collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams, my immediate reaction was “that’s all wrong – who would stick with an on PBX premise solution?”
I re-read the article, and it paints a picture of the state of play of PSTN in the market, as organizations grapple with the challenge of running existing systems, evaluating choice on newer cloud platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex, and meeting the changing needs and requirements of their respective businesses. I’m back to the fact that customers have a choice around telephony and how they deliver that. The choices are:
- Stick with an existing on-premise PBX solution, fully amortized and running
- Move to take advantage of cloud calling, with inbuilt telephony, such as Microsoft’s Calling Plans
- Transition to the cloud but bring their own telephony (BYOC) with an existing provider
- So a combination of the above to serve the needs of different regions or departments
Customer Perspective – Making It All Work Together
Choice provides the flexibility to get the best out of existing telephony assets, manage a transition to the cloud, and meet specific business requirements and constraints on topics such as regulatory, regional needs, and security policies. That sounds good on paper but choice can also add complexity and cost in managing and running the PSTN solution. This can be avoided with the right approach:
- Workflow automation to allow regular moves, adds and changes on the broader PSTN solution (such as onboarding a new employee) to be undertaken by a service desk, without needing a detailed knowledge of the underlying technology or choice of PSTN capability. Consistent, repeatable, accurate and fast changes.
- Single point of control – one place to go, with information entered once, by one team, irrespective of the number of underlying components and processing steps.
- Self-service – allowing a level of control and administration to local or regional administrators, working closing in their regions, and alleviating the possible bottleneck and strain on central IT resources.
- Actionable Insight across the various PSTN options, including the cloud calling service itself. Dashboards, information on trends, and performance analysis on the combined solution, against agreed metrics and SLAs, on topical subjects such as uptime and call quality. This can be complemented by a more business-centric level of reporting against user adoption, top callers and trend information to customize the solution to suit the organization’s needs and investment.
- Discovery – a clear picture of the inventory information and configuration detail out of the various PSTN options, across the multiple UC components, with the ability to regularly synchronize it to present the administrator with a single view.
We are here to help
In the Metrigy article, Irwin Lazar talks about “How to decide what’s best”. In my opinion, this is down to building a solution in which different PSTN approaches and components are deployed to meet varied requirements, often in the same customer environment. This brings choice which unlocks flexibility and leads to some real benefits. But in my experience, this only works if the solution is underpinned with a robust approach to management tools to mesh everything together.
If you would like to discuss VOSS for Microsoft, your Microsoft Teams environment or your telephony migration requirements with VOSS, please contact us.