Cloud telephony is emerging as one of the fastest-growing technologies of the decade. Its low setup cost and easy scalability makes it an easy choice for every business that has to deal with customers – every business.
Businesses in India are highly conscious of their customer connect, which makes customer phone calls the backbone of many businesses in India. This is true even in the days of explosive social media and ubiquitous email. Quite simply, customers love being able to connect with the service or product providers and get a solution immediately. In that sense, cloud telephony has assumed the position of core infrastructure to businesses.
With an increase in adoption, there is also an increasing expectation for reliability of this service. However, cloud telephony comes with unique challenges because it is built on two building blocks – the Internet and telephony.
Both the Internet and legacy telephone systems come with unique problems of their own, right from dependency on weather conditions to challenges with policy regulations in the country.
India is one of the fastest mobile telephone adopters in the world, making India the second-largest telecommunication network in the world. Still, India’s telecommunication is plagued with issues of call quality, especially a high rate of call drops averaging at about 4% (mandated to be improved to 2% by TRAI).
These issues are very frequent and common with physical PRI lines, where the connectivity of calls is also dependent on which roads are being dug on a particular day. These problems find an easy solution with cloud telephony, since there is lower reliance on physical infrastructure.
Apart from call drops, which typically occur after the call has been connected, issues with call connectivity also exist. Call connectivity can be improved by a great deal through cloud telephony.
For example, businesses that typically suffered about a 33% percent failure rate with call connectivity, see a tremendous improvement after using Exotel’s cloud telephony service, due to their inbuilt retryability feature, which works on both the telephone and the Internet layers. Calls that do not connect due to carrier incompatibilities or internet issues are identified and dynamically retried via several available routes and PRI lines. This is automatically carried out at the backend, without the knowledge of the caller until the connection occurs.
Cloud telephony companies ensure a backup set of PRI lines for every system of numbers that they cater to. This redundancy ensures that they have a redundant (backup) lines available for the quickest possible connection, to avoid single points of failure.
Measurement And Monitoring
Building a reliable system on top of a flaky system is a challenge in itself. Much of the improvement in the current call rates with cloud telephony have come from constantly monitoring downtimes. In most cases, downtimes were the result of the underlying infrastructure like operator issues, or telephony line damages and not with the cloud telephony software itself. In any case, Exotel made a major decision to include not just software down times, but overall downtimes and make it public here.
The current uptime is at 99.95% (downtime of 4 hours a year) and, constantly monitoring and measuring the numbers will be one of the major drivers to their goal of 99.99966%.
Cloud telephony is ready to match its wits with India’s massive appetite for telecommunication. However, technology also needs the support of policy regulators to be able to reach its full potential.
It is a welcome sign that the TRAI has opened the field for discussion to reconcile the concerns of policymakers and technology providers. Ultimately, progress can only be made through a well-orchestrated collaboration between the Government, policy makers, private companies and consumers. It only pays off when being part of the solution is made easy.
This article is part of “The Future of Communication” series by Exotel. Customer communication as we know is changing rapidly. This change is largely due to the evolution of customer needs and changing priorities. Just right place, right time is no longer sufficient. The right medium has also become a big necessity. The technology used to earlier play the role of a facilitator. And today, technology has created the business model in many cases. And these series aim to explore this paradigm shift.