Blog · 01 Apr 2021

How to get the best of both private and public cloud voice

The way organisations choose and manage their cloud voice solution is changing.

Jon Martin
Meetings Portfolio Lead, Digital Workplace

For some time now, organisations upgrading their legacy-based voice system to a Voice Over IP (VoIP) proposition in the cloud have been faced with a frustrating dilemma – do they go for a private cloud provider like One Cloud Cisco (OCC), or a public cloud offering like One Cloud Microsoft (OCM)?

It’s a complex decision - with vendor preference, cost and user requirements all coming into the mix. But, blending the two hasn’t really been an option because they sit in separate silos, with no connection between them. This forced companies to choose one or the other. 

Sacrificing the minority, for the majority

The final decision usually comes down to what the majority of the organisation needs, but many large enterprises battle with a mix of departments where some want private cloud voice and others want a public cloud solution. Your specialists, for example, might prefer a private cloud service because they’re reliant on hard-wired phones or want to maximise their cybersecurity. But if they’re only a minority of your workforce, it might make more sense to prioritise the needs of the majority and choose a public cloud service instead. I was talking to an organisation recently that had 8,000 back-office users who were suited to OCM and 16,000 store users who were suited to OCC. Unfortunately, there always has to be some sort of compromise. 

New, more mobile ways of working are adding to this challenge. As workforces return after the pandemic, we expect to see a huge rise in the popularity of the 3/2 working ratio (three days working remotely, two days working in the office). Flexible voice services will be crucial, as people move about, and while most needs will be satisfied by an application-based approach, there’ll still be the pull of others needing access to a fixed ‘device on a desk’. It’s likely that users are going to need access to the best functions of each type of solution depending on where they are and what they’re doing during their working week. Maybe one solution just isn’t going to be enough?

The best of both worlds all in One Cloud

So, what if you could combine both OCC and OCM into one all-encompassing cloud solution? There’d be no need to make a choice between them. You wouldn’t have to make a decision that might disadvantage some of your workforce. Instead, you could have a simple and unified voice approach that has the flexibility you need to support changing requirements, including:

  • no number porting – an end to the time-consuming process that relies on your service desk to transfer over numbers. If a single number worked across both providers, you’d save transfer and planning time, as well as cost. Plus, public cloud users would have cross-platform, on-net calling, which avoids having to buy in additional trunking services
  • the freedom to move across platforms - users could move between clouds as much as they wanted, choosing on an individual-by-individual basis how many users are on public or private cloud to meet the specific needs of the organisation at the time. Then if roles changed, they’d swiftly move over to the other provider without stress
  • one self-service portal – a single integrated, management portal controlling both public and private cloud voice solutions. Companies could manage users, entitlements, dial plans and administration changes themselves, so that processes like reallocating numbers are quick and easy to do
  • tools and automation – you could use real-time monitoring and reporting to optimise all your calls, giving you a predictable quality of voice and media no matter how you’re connecting.

Bringing you the best of both

We’ve interconnected our OCC and OCM services so that you can manage both under a single, BT system. This means no more forced decisions or time-consuming number porting to transfer between providers, and the best tools from two of our leading partners, Cisco and Microsoft. Our new multi-platform, unified communications solution provides the flexibility you need to support the evolving needs of the workplace. Plus, our call monitoring and management means predictable quality whatever your choice of connectivity.

To find out more about One Cloud, please get in touch with your account manager.