This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Vic Bozzo, CRO of SONOC
Platform providers, OTT players and a whole range of communications service providers simply need faster and integrated access to global numbers. The speed that they can access number inventory and seamlessly deliver to customers has emerged as a competitive advantage. Today, Direct Inward Dialling (DID) management is accelerating service delivery and supporting the growth of communication service providers (CPaaS) and unified communications (UC) platforms worldwide.
DID refers to the idea that numbers are not tied to a geographic location. Instead, service providers route calls through a central node such as a PBX to the actual location of the number owner. Historically, business offices had a single phone number and a switchboard that received all incoming calls. Callers requested the switchboard operator or the PBX by pressing extensions to contact a specific person in the company and transfer the call.
With IPPBX’s, it became possible to automate the call transfer process. When a company uses DID numbers, external callers are able to dial directly to the correct extension. The control panel detects the digits dialed and passes the call to the corresponding extension. Therefore, callers from outside the building get direct access.
- Anyone can call the extension, or phone number, to connect with the recipient without the company having to buy massive phone lines.
- Multiply the possibilities that international customers and people can easily contact you.
- Add several numbers on the same line that can make or answer calls simultaneously, and thus have the best customer service by being available when the customer wants to communicate with your company.
- The number can be from anywhere in the world and the caller will be charged as a local call.
- Quality and timely communication with your customers will speed up the sales process in your company, increasing your conversion rate.
Drivers for DID Growth
The growing demand for telephone numbers is being driven by platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other CPaaS offerings. It is also becoming a critical component of IoT deployments where service providers need to scale to deliver hundreds and potentially thousands of numbers.
The key is to have a platform and processes in place that are ready to tap these opportunities. If a service provider is still managing numbers in an excel spreadsheet, they’re going to lose business to a player that can move faster and scale quickly to meet growing customer demands in an automated fashion. This also includes the ability to manage that inventory and make it available for resellers, OTT’s and Enterprise Carriers and Mobile companies alike.
According to Juniper Research, the CPaaS market will be worth $25 billion in 2025, up from $7 billion in 2020. At the same time, the global IoT market will be worth $1.1 trillion by 2024, according to GlobalData. Telephone numbers remain critical to the communications ecosystem, identification of customers including KYC (Know Your Customer) authentication and underpin many of these exponential growth services. Service providers of all kinds need to recognize the value in managing numbers efficiently and look to a platform provider for support.
Beyond the Spreadsheet
The challenge is to see the opportunity and go beyond the legacy approach. Just like so many other aspects of telecom, number management must move from the manual offline world to an automated, API-centric, and efficient cloud ecosystem. Anytime spreadsheets and phone calls need to happen to procure new numbers, a service provider is losing an opportunity to grow and scale with a customer.
Platform providers, OTTs and enterprises need a platform that they can plug-and-play, using APIs and remove as much friction as possible when consuming numbers. They don’t want to hold large inventories of numbers but instead access and consume numbers from a cloud-based platform as and when they’re needed. They need a platform that can offer a pay-as-you-grow model that mirrors other cloud services. These players don’t want to work with an outdated carrier model. They want numbers to be accessible via a web-based portal and easy to manage. Otherwise, there are barriers to getting the numbers they need and accessing inventory that is otherwise expensive to hold.
They want to pull numbers from the cloud and dip into other inventories instantly and, at the same time, provide a consistent customer experience to their end users.
Building a Global Numbering Ecosystem
Some service providers have attempted to develop in-house solutions as a short-term fix, however these often lack the capabilities to integrate with existing technologies and standardized processes and don’t give the benefit of the collective crowd sources requirements. They can be difficult to scale with a growing customer base and often lack a long-term development roadmap.
At the same time, these solutions must integrate with existing technologies and standardized processes. In-house solutions might solve an immediate need but typically aren’t enablers for optimized and agile number management.
Most service providers need a platform that allows them to rapidly transform global number processes and enable them to monetize the growing demand for numbers in the long-term. Service providers need a single, user-friendly platform that is ready to integrate into its existing applications via REST APIs.
With a fast and simple tool, they can present out number inventory and enable it to be consumed by customers. To optimize global numbers, service providers need access to numerous services to keep up with demand including number ordering, reporting, SIP trunk management, invoicing, SMS connection, number portability and user management. With an all-in-one solution that is ready for public and private cloud deployments, service providers can remove the complexities from DID and gain immediate access to an expanding ecosystem of numbers.
To manage global numbers effectively they need a complete, scalable management that encompasses a large DID inventory, third party numbers, porting of existing phone numbers, redundant secure private networking, 24/7 support, adaptable pricing options and a user-friendly portal to manage all DIDs. Users should be able to take full control of the tool and purchase and manage DIDs directly from their platform inventory using informed telecoms data, instead of just accepting a purchase-and-go process.
Service providers must have access and control over their DIDs and be able to deliver an optimized experience to customers. The result is a comprehensive offering with on-demand access to DIDs via a cloud-based solution that enables CPaaS providers, OTT players and other service providers to serve end customers with greater speed and agility.
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