There are a number of factors that play into a company's decision to choose a business communication system. From price to flexibility to mobile options, a number of things must be considered. And one of these crucial components that businesses often overlook is failsafe or business continuity options. Although rare, emergency situations are a serious consideration and can be detrimental to your office communications. The fact of the matter is, emergencies and disasters can strike anywhere and anytime. That is why aside from establishing a good emergency plan, it is also vital for organizations in every location to have ample access to emergency services. Businesses that rely on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and cloud technology, however, may think that this is a challenge, given that some cloud communications providers do not support emergency services calling. But by carefully considering the number of service options available, you can find a provider that offers exactly what you're looking for.
Voxbone, a leading provider of telecommunications Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) servicing cloud communication providers, global enterprise telcos, and enterprise contact centers worldwide, seeks to help businesses overcome this challenge with VoxOUT, the company’s “as-a-service” emergency calling solution.
In this article, Dries Plasman, the Vice President of Product Management at Voxbone, shares why access to emergency calling is critical for today’s businesses and what makes VoxOUT a perfect solution for service providers and enterprises alike.
VoxOUT - Bringing Emergency Services Within Reach
First launched in 2013, VoxOUT gives cloud communications, SIP trunking, and other enterprise VoIP providers access to support local emergency calling for their end-user customers in over 26 countries. These include the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, and more. According to Plasman, supporting emergency calling is actually no longer just an option for today's service providers. “This capability is a regulatory obligation for countries within the EU and North America and therefore an important component to consider when setting up a VoIP-based phone system,” said Plasman.
In fact, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other regulatory bodies in many countries the world over now oblige communication service providers (whether PSTN or cloud-based) to enable effective emergency service access to customer or else face severe consequences. Australian telecom provider TPG, for instance, was slapped with a $400,000 fine in 2011 for emergency call failure. Hinton Telephone Company, an Oklahoma-based company, also suffered the same fate in 2013 as they were also fined $100,000 for emergency call failure.
Voxbone’s VoxOUT solution ensures service providers stay compliant with various regulatory requirements in multiple countries while helping them stay competitive in the market.
“Offering emergency service access through VoxOUT is a way that Voxbone customers can meet the requirements for providing a telecommunications service to end users–without the need for a separate local carrier interconnections in each country or having to install specific local infrastructure at each customer site (PSTN to VoIP gateways and local POTS lines),” noted Plasman.
How Does VoxOUT Work?
VoxOUT is offered as an add-on to Voxbone’s VoxDID service and is available through a pay-per-use model. Once it is enabled for a VoxDID, it can offer users instant access to local emergency services (whether it’s 911, 112, 999, 000, or others) from multiple countries delivered over a single interconnection.
Here’s how Voxbone's emergency calling service works for end-user customers:
- End-user of a Voxbone customer calls an emergency service.
- Voxbone identifies the location of the caller from its address database.
- Once the location is identified, Voxbone determines the corresponding local emergency service for the location.
- Voxbone then forwards the calls to the local PSTN, upon which it is routed to its destination.
“One important factor to setting up emergency access, however, is that customers need to map the end-user location to a number at the time of provisioning of the VoxOUT service. This location will be used by emergency responders and can be managed afterwards through an easy-to-use web interface,” Plasman explained.
Voxbone Preferred by Leading Enterprise Cloud Communications Providers
For service providers, VoxOUT has proven to be a far less complex and costly solution when compared to alternatives such as interconnecting with a local network operator in every country or installing a gateway and one or more POTS lines at every customer site. These options add substantial costs and complexity, especially when done at an international scale.
Plasman echoed these sentiments, stating, “Buying emergency access as-a-service (such as VoxOUT) avoids adding high costs for a service that is a must-have but not a differentiator over competitors.” This is why a number of high-profile providers of cloud communications, SIP trunking and cloud PBX services in North America have signed on to use VoxOUT for their services. These include popular service providers like 8x8, Level3, and Dialpad.
In a release, Dialpad CEO Craig Walker said Voxbone has enabled more than 3,000 Dialpad users in multiple countries to conveniently access emergency services.
“Voxbone allows us to easily provide our customers with emergency phone numbers in the cloud, eliminating the high cost and inconvenience of supporting hardwired desk phones that are rarely used for any other purpose,” said Walker. “Voxbone is a key partner enabling us to kill off the desk phone with an Anywhere IT Stack™ that supports a company’s workers no matter where in the world they are located.”
Voxbone currently offers VoxOUT in 26 countries and counting.
Voxbone provides telecommunications Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to cloud communication providers, global enterprise telcos, and enterprise contact centers worldwide. Voxbone provides local virtual telephone numbers (aka DID numbers) in more than 60 countries and 9,000 cities around the world. These include landline, mobile and toll-free numbers, as well as inbound SIP trunks, provisioned in real time through an online portal and via and API. Voxbone also works with customers to develop next-gen communications services through The Workshop, a developer space for implementing new technologies including WebRTC. Founded in 2005, Voxbone is headquartered in Brussels with offices in San Francisco, Austin, London, and Iasi, Romania.
For more information on Voxbone and their services, please visit Voxbone’s website.