Discussing Elastic CaaS and global SIP services with Voxbone
As the communications marketplace continues to extend and expand, with more flexibility available in the cloud than ever before, businesses are transforming at a rapid pace. It’s becoming progressively easier for today’s companies to invest in new technology, advanced platforms, and even global growth strategies, provided that they have support from the right vendor.
Voxbone is a global operator that offers state-of-the-art voice and messaging connectivity all around the world. With more than a decade of industry and regulatory expertise to its name, Voxbone is ensuring that organisations of all sizes can unlock the real value of what it has coined ‘Communications as a Service’ (CaaS).
I caught up with Matt Brown, VP of Product at Voxbone, to find out more about the kind of opportunities that Voxbone delivers today.
Matt joined the Voxbone brand in February 2018 with a background in B2B software and platform building. “When Voxbone started in 2005, it was a VoIP-based wholesale provider.”
“When I joined the company in early 2018, the board recognised the need to adapt to meet emerging trends in the marketplace. This represented a huge turning point for us”
According to Matt, Voxbone could see that more companies were beginning to buy their communications from multiple vendors in an attempt to find a scalable solution for each branch of their business. “That’s when we started to see the emergence of industry trends like the ‘unbundling’ of communications services and Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC) solutions.” Voxbone describes itself as the Amazon Web Services (AWS) of the communications industry, providing the underlying global infrastructure – in this case voice and SMS connectivity – and service management layer for use by application builders, communications platforms and global enterprises in need of instant, compliant coverage across the world.
Another major trend that Voxbone noticed is regulators across the European Union and Asia-Pacific region have begun to crack down on cloud communications providers. “We are in the midst of a wave of regulatory tightening that’s moving around the world, and this means companies are looking for a more reliable way to build and support their communications strategies. We’ve found ourselves in a unique position to provide a communications platform that is simpler, more ubiquitous, and more compliant in the largest markets around the world.”
I was keen to learn more about Voxbone’s journey over the years, and how the company has innovated its way towards success. Matt told me that there’d been a lot of innovation in the UC market on the application side of things. However, although the app space has been expanding quite rapidly, there hasn’t been as much focus when it comes to delivering the underlying communication infrastructure as a service.
“For the most part, legacy telecom service providers are still delivering the same or similar solutions to the ones that they introduced a decade ago. We think there’s an opportunity here for someone to come and deliver Communications as a Service in a way that’s more intuitive for today’s users – on-demand and via developer-friendly tools and APIs.”
“We help users streamline their operations under a single global provider. One provider, one interface; global service”
The heart of Voxbone’s offering is its flexible and global elastic CaaS solution. The core components of this Communications as a Service platform are voice and messaging over SIP. “Where we really seem to strike a chord with this offering is among companies that are cloud-native. These businesses already have their apps in the cloud, and they don’t want to mess around with on-premises infrastructure or rely on a cloud-based aggregators, resulting in inconsistent quality and compliance from country to country. We believe that our customers should be able to create their complete environment in the cloud and enjoy the same quality of service no matter the market. A growing number of customers come to us because we give them the fastest possible go-to-market path wherever they wish to go.”
Voxbone’s global solution is second-to-none. For companies that want to expand in today’s increasingly globalised market, the company offers coverage in 65 countries, or 93% of the world’s GDP. “Across those countries, we offer a range of services, starting with solutions that replace old-fashioned telecoms solutions with VoIP and cloud offerings.” Matt is keen to stress that what separates its coverage from many of its competitors is that it now offers national calling capabilities that are indistinguishable from those offered by legacy providers in the majority of the markets it serves. Thanks to its work building in-country routing for its SIP services, this means customers have the ability to make as well as receive local calls that can reach any number in a country’s national dial plan including emergency services, plus premium number dialling, local ringtone and local caller ID presentation.
It’s not just the opportunity to go global that Voxbone has to offer either. For businesses that already have a global presence, Voxbone provides a chance to streamline and evolve. “Those companies that are already global usually have a lot of complicated infrastructure and tools that are soaking up all their budget. We can help to consolidate everything into a more effective OpEX business model, providing first-of-a-kind streamlining tools such as APIs to standardise number porting, emergency services activation and regulatory compliance on a global scale.”
Matt also told me that Voxbone has been spending a lot of time and money helping companies to enter new markets quicker and more cost-effectively than ever before. With Voxbone, companies can avoid spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on moving into a new country. Instead, they can access a cheaper and faster way to gauge demand for their product or service in a new market and to start expanding on a global basis. “We believe this is a huge opportunity for us. As a global company, we can offer our customers a fantastic service in multiple markets. With our help, businesses can set up numbers in a new country in seconds. This is a kind of flexibility that hasn’t existed before.”
Matt told me that there are various main areas of investment that Voxbone is looking at going forward. First, the company continues to build out its core platform layer with new features in response to interesting market opportunities. Secondly, the business is investing significantly in platform tools: “We’re working on developing the first global porting API, and a platform for emergency services that’s completely API-driven too. We’ve also put a lot of focus into our Compliance as a Service offering, which allows us to work with businesses to plan successful expansion into a range of countries.”
Another major area of opportunity for Voxbone is in its partnership program. Earlier in 2019, the company launched an integration with Megaport, which allows customers to connect directly to the Voxbone network from 500+ locations worldwide.
“That’s the largest connection footprint in the world, which means that our customers have direct access to the Voxbone network from anywhere in the world, which means better quality of service and security”
Voxbone also offers native integrations for its SIP trunks to be used with a range of PBX and CPaaS platforms, like 3CX and Twilio, which is perfect for companies that want a vendor-agnostic approach for their communications stack instead of relying on one bundled service. This is where the trends for unbundling and Bring Your Own Carrier that Matt mentioned earlier, come into play. “Our focus going forward is on addressing major pain points for our customers and delivering greater usability.”