Webex Calling: Cisco Calling Plans vs. Cloud Connect vs. Local Gateway

How to / Guide

May 24, 2023

With the rise of remote work and the need for virtual collaboration, digital platforms like Webex have become essential for businesses of all sizes. Webex’s suite of cloud-based tools including meetings, messaging, telephony and webinars make it a natural fit for the needs of a modern business enabling intuitive, joined-up communication and collaboration for hybrid work arrangements. With specific focus on telephony, organizations are increasingly looking to migrate this critical business function away from legacy platforms to a more cloud-based option with something like Webex Calling.

Webex Calling CTA

Webex Calling is a cloud-based phone system that enables users to make and receive calls from anywhere with an internet connection. It works by connecting to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) using SIP technology. And as Webex Calling is built on top of the Webex platform, it seamlessly integrates with the entire Webex suite of collaboration tools of a unified and seamless experience.

What are the benefits of Webex Calling?

For businesses looking to stay connected in the digital age, Webex Calling is one of the most popular options on the market with a range of benefits to suit a variety of organizations.

  • Flexibility and scalability

With Webex Calling, you can make and receive calls from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. That means that you can take calls from home, in the office or on the road on the go on any IP enabled device.

Webex Calling is also easily scalable allowing you to add or remove users as your businesses grows or changes, without concern around hardware or software.

  • Reliability

Webex Calling is built on a global infrastructure of data centres that deliver proven 99.999% availability. It is also available with survivability options for any deployment model that provides calling redundancy even when the cloud is not accessible.

  • Security

Webex Calling promises to provide a high quality user experience, without compromising on security. It offers superior security features which are recognized as second to none amongst their competitors. All calls are encrypted, and features like multi-factor authentication add an extra layer of security to your account.

  • Cost savings

Webex Calling can help you save money. Since it’s cloud-based, no expensive software of hardware is required to get started and no resource is required to maintain on-premise equipment.

If you are working with a telecommunications provider through the Cloud Connected PSTN option, there might be associated cost-savings depending on the provider you work with (more below). Pure IP for example offers utilization pricing where you only pay for what you use and what you need.

External ‘PSTN’ connectivity with Webex Calling

PSTN connectivity is needed to acquire phone numbers, port existing numbers and set-up emergency call routing. Webex Calling offers three ways to do this:

Cisco Calling Plans

Cisco Calling Plans are an all-in-one service where Cisco and Cisco’s Certified Calling Providers act as your PSTN carrier. This service is designed to simplify the process of connecting to the PSTN for businesses of all sizes.

The main advantage of using Cisco Calling Plans is that they are fully integrated with Webex Calling, providing a seamless experience for users that is easy to set-up. With Cisco Calling Plans, users can make and receive calls using their Webex Calling number and can access all the features of the platform, including voicemail, call forwarding, and more.

Cisco Calling Plans are available in a limited number of countries. Organization’s that require services in countries outside those currently covered by Cisco will need to use Cloud Connected PSTN or Local Gateway.

Cloud Connect

Cloud Connect is the second way to connect to the PSTN using Webex Calling. Cloud Connect is a service that allows users to connect their Webex Calling platform to the PSTN through a third-party carrier. This service is ideal for businesses that already have an existing relationship with a carrier who is certified with the program, or that want more choice and control over their PSTN connectivity. All carriers on the program undergo a strict certification process.

The main advantage of using Cloud Connect is that it provides a high level of flexibility and control over the PSTN connectivity. Users can choose the carrier that best meets their needs and can customize their connectivity options to fit their specific requirements. Depending on the provider chosen, service coverage is offered in more regions making this a good option for organizations with a global footprint.

Local Gateway

A Local Gateway connects a user's on-premises telephony infrastructure to the Webex Calling platform. This service is ideal for businesses that need to maintain their existing phone system but still take advantage of the benefits of Webex Calling. This could be down to an on-going contractual agreement, or due to a user requiring coverage in a hard-to-reach country using local SBCs.

The main advantage of using a Local Gateway is that it provides a high level of flexibility and control over the PSTN connectivity. Users can retain key components of their existing phone system, such as geographic coverage in hard to reach areas, while tapping into the full benefits of Webex Calling.

How Pure IP can help

Connect Pure IP’s secure and resilient cloud-based global voice network with Webex Calling for a high-quality and reliable voice service.

The solution utilizes direct links between Pure IP’s cloud-based voice network and Webex Calling. To achieve end-to-end compatibility with the Webex network and ensure customers receive a high quality and reliable service, Pure IP underwent a thorough certification process.

Delivered as a fully managed voice solution with 24/7 technical support and a suite of online management tools, Pure IP’s solution for Webex Calling was designed specifically for the enterprise customer.

Through the program, Pure IP supports a wide range of deployments including basic calling scenarios, enterprise scale Dedicated Instance migrations and demanding high volume Webex Contact Center deployments.

Pure IP also offer Managed SBC services for extended geographic coverage, and SIP Connect services to integrate with legacy and analogue devices.

More details on our Webex solution here >>

Tania Morrill

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