Making your voice heard: why cloud is the way forward for enterprise voice

Work continues to change, with hybrid working becoming commonplace. Voice remains central to enterprise communications alongside UC&C tools, but moving voice to the cloud can be challenging. What can you do to maximize your enterprise voice communications and investment?

Despite today's world being one of posts, shares, likes, and saves, it's easy to forget that sometimes, we just want to pick up the phone and make a call. A voice call can help get decisions made quickly and resolve urgent issues swiftly. Voice retains an emotional element that can help decrease misunderstandings and get ideas across more effectively.

More than four in 10 workers say voice is the next best thing to being there for growing connections with colleagues, and 80% of employees, including younger workers, say voice beats written communication. Having voice integrated with the ubiquitous Microsoft Teams and 365 applications makes sense from both a business perspective and a user productivity point of view.

Despite a proliferation of messaging, email, text, and video meetings, enterprises must maintain voice capabilities, particularly in specific highly regulated markets. And they need to address the challenge of trying to do this while reducing costs and management overheads.

Challenges of migrating to cloud telephony

Migrating to cloud telephony doesn't simply happen; there are challenges involved. For example, enterprises need a cloud telephony partner that can offer Microsoft Teams breakout. There are geographical factors to consider, including a complex voice estate comprising numerous local-level contracts and regulations, so you need to work with providers with local licensing.

Further, there are issues around integrating your voice estate into existing UC&C suites and ensuring they work appropriately. So you'll likely need someone to assist you with auditing and consolidating your current telephony estate. Then there is training: if you're shifting to cloud telephony worldwide, you will likely have users who need Microsoft Teams calling training and support. It can be daunting to shift from years of traditional fixed-line telephony to cloud telephony; there is a lot to manage.

PSTN factors

PSTN landscapes vary by country, too. In some countries, businesses must have a registered landline number as a regulatory requirement. In many countries, Internet providers can't provide external voice services, so if you have a presence in India, you may still need some local PSTN phone services to make calls to fixed line, mobile, international and emergency services numbers.

Not to mention that many countries have already switched off their PSTN networks in preparation for the long-term shift over to IP telephony. Furthermore, regulatory requirements vary by country. Enterprises with operations around the globe typically need to comply with many local-level rules and regulations, such as maintaining call data records.

Big benefits to be had from the cloud voice shift

Voice is now best delivered via the cloud rather than via traditional PSTN. Cloud telephony is more flexible and responsive, and it also carries with it basic cost benefits.

Traditional voice services have become expensive: monthly invoices paid to legacy phone service providers, equipment maintenance and upgrades, and fees for software solutions to support remote working have seen companies' telephony costs increase by as much as 30%.

Moving to cloud telephony streamlines operations overall: it means less hardware, the ability to administrate voice estates globally, and greater collaboration between workers wherever they are.

Companies must also factor in the hosting of voice services and call-path issues between different countries. There are budgetary issues, too, since voice traditionally came from local enterprise budgets rather than a central pot.

But the cloud offers an answer. Moving to cloud telephony with Microsoft Teams is a win-win for positive productivity and cost efficiency. Cloud telephony reduces calling costs and the organizational headaches that still exist around managing customer premises equipment and administration of hundreds of local phone contracts.

It requires less hardware, and it gives you the ability to administrate voice estates globally. Collaboration in the cloud, aided by voice, simply presents more possibilities and a more viable long-term voice option. And according to Gartner, prices for cloud telephony services will continue to decline by 3% to 5% annually.

The right partner can help you make the transition

Making the shift to cloud telephony integrated with Microsoft Teams is easier if you have the right partner. Orange Business offers an end-to-end, fully-managed cloud collaboration suite with integrated voice, and we also support you with Microsoft Teams Calling, Meetings, and associated devices anywhere in the world. We also support you with integration, help desk, international SIP trunking, and ensuring voice works seamlessly with Microsoft Teams and 365. Orange Business Together with Microsoft incorporates voice services like Direct Routing and a session border controller (SBC).

Research has found that it doesn't matter how big or small an organization is – phone calls remain popular regardless of company size. So, you should empower both your workers and customers with state-of-the-art cloud telephony for Microsoft Teams and 365. It's good to talk.

Find out how in our new voice solutions guide.

Marie-Hélène Briens Ware

As VP, Employee Experience Portfolio, Marie-Hélène’s role is to organize and evolve the wide portfolio of solutions for the transformation of the digital workspace of Orange Business customers. There is a deep transformation going on with how we work, where we work and why we work, which requires the right digital solutions. Marie-Hélène has been with Orange for 20 years. In recent positions she has been in B2B: she spent a few years as pre-sales manager, sales manager on the French Enterprise market, B2B strategy and operations across the Orange footprint, and head of Customer Experience for Orange Business. She lives a lovely life in London, where she enjoys bird watching, old movies and playing squash in her rather scarce spare time – and she can’t wait to share all this with her young daughter.