Ask the Experts: How Does Hosted VoIP Work in a Global Deployment?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle discusses the key factors to consider when deploying hosted VoIP globally with Masergy’s Kristy Thomas. Find out more about hosted VoIP from the Masergy team here:

Andrew: All right, guys. We’re diving into our next Ask the Experts session. We’ve been talking about hosted voice over IP. I’m excited about bringing in to the conversation now, Kristy Thomas, who’s the Cloud Communications Manager at Masergy Communications. Kristy, welcome.
Kristy: Thank you.
Andrew: All right. Love hanging out with you and getting your insights on this stuff. I know you sat on a lot of our panels in the past, and you know something about hosted VoIP that a lot of other people don’t know. That is, how does hosted VoIP really work in a global deployment? That’s one of the things that’s kind of a core strength of Masergy, and you’re doing a lot of stuff now taking this concept of hosted VoIP and taking it all over the world in global deployments.
I want you to talk to us real quick about some of the important considerations when somebody’s thinking about leveraging hosted VoIP, hosted PBX, cloud telephony around the country and a bunch of different countries. How does that work and what should they be thinking about?
Kristy: Sure. So I think, really, the objective that we bring to customers and partners is we focus on taking out the complexities of international deployments. And acting as a subject matter expert from a simplistic term of taking that off of their shoulders and on to ours. When you talk about deployment services globally, there’s a lot to consider such as dial plans, government regulations, importation regulations, services that need to be supported by companies in certain countries that are special to that unique environment.
When we open up a market internationally, we really vet out all of those requirements up front. So for a company, we make it a simplistic deployment for them by capturing what’s really needed in each market. Then really the ultimate goal is to provide a normalized experience for that user in that country, just like it’s in any other environment that they’re used to.
Andrew: Yep. So can’t I just take … I got 20 users in Sydney. Can I just box up 20 IP phones and ship them to them, have them plug them in, and we’re good to go?
Kristy: Sure, but your adoption rate’s not going to be very well, and the people are not going to embrace the solution. Really, what the objective to do is provide a normalized experience in that country that keeps it–the media local within that region. So when we deploy services we don’t backhaul any media, which is really key. You’re not just taking a US-based phone and putting it in a different country. You’re really providing a phone that is normalized for that environment.
Andrew: Got it. So that’s really, really important. You’re saying that sometimes–and I’ve seen companies try to do this–where they ship a box of phones over to Germany or Thailand or somewhere, and they plug them in and then they complain that they’re not working well. One of the big issues, then, is keeping the media in country. That means that when they’re calling across the street for a pizza, that call’s not traversing all the way across the ocean back to the US and hair-pinning back to their location. Is that a fair statement?
Kristy: That’s exactly right, Andrew. We’re talking about an application that’s very sensitive to bandwidth and not only from …
Andrew: And latency.
Kristy: Yeah, and latency. So what our objective is to keep that media local, so latency isn’t a factor of poor quality.
Andrew: Got it. One big factor: keeping media local. What about phone numbers? How important is it for them to have a local in country, native to that country, phone number?
Kristy: Sure. It’s very important. We’re focused on enterprise and mid-market businesses that often have pre-existing offices there, so they’re going to want to port those phone numbers. Every country has different porting guidelines. And that’s another aspect that we’ve had to really vet out is what are those porting guidelines by country, and set the expectation with the customer. Sometimes porting numbers can be 90 days, 120 days, and really understanding what’s required. Some countries require stamps, others require utility bills.
It just really depends upon the country and again: that’s our job. To take all of those complexities off the company and handle it for them.
Andrew: Love it, love it.
Kristy: At least to make it easier for them.
Andrew: Things like that that we kind of take for granted here. We know how to do that every day. Even things like the equivalent of 911. Emergency services. Is that also something you have to figure out how to tackle by individual country?
Kristy: Sure. We have a global presence document that defines what services we support in which country, and in some we can support emergency services. In others, we have to architect a design that allows for a local line to still come in so that they have emergency services available to that business. Other countries don’t even have emergency service to the extent that we do, so it really just depends on the country.
Andrew: Interesting, fascinating. How many countries are you guys now certified to provide these types of services?
Kristy: Sure. So today we’re in over 14 markets where we provide normalized global hosted telephony services, and we are opening new markets on a monthly basis. A lot of that is based on subscriber demand, customer demand, and where the growth markets are.
Andrew: Got it. Perfect. And those 14–don’t list them all–but what are the big ones that–you know, the most common ones?
Kristy: Sure. All of western Europe. A lot of the Scandinavian area. And then Asia PAC is also an area that is growing rapidly for us. So we’re just about ready to open up in Singapore as well.
Andrew: Fantastic. Tons of requests we’re getting for deployments in those markets. Hey, this is really insightful. A lot of companies haven’t quite figured this piece out and you guys are really leading the way there, so congrats on that. Kristy, it’s great to have your insights once again. This is awesome.
Kristy: Thanks so much, Andrew. Thanks for having me.
Andrew: Absolutely. Guys, that’s Kristy Thomas. She is the Cloud Communications Manager at Masergy Communications, and a member of our esteemed faculty here at the Cloud Services University. Check out the Masergy learning center here at the University and go deep with them. If you’ve got a hosted VoIP requirement, and if you’ve got a global MPLS requirement, if you want to figure out how to deploy this stuff internationally–nobody’s smarter than Kristy and her team to help you guys do that. Great. Kristy, thanks again.
Kristy: Thank you.
Andrew: All right. Good selling guys.