What is the Zoom Phone Provider Exchange?


How to / Guide

May 4, 2022

Zoom has recently launched Phone Provider Exchange as a new way to add external PSTN calling to Zoom Phone. Zoom Phone Provider Exchange works from directly within the Zoom interface, allowing users to find and connect with their preferred carrier, and self-manage their numbers from their selected partner. The result? A streamlined and flexible approach to migrate your enterprise telephony to the cloud.

How does Zoom Phone Provider Exchange work?

To make external calls from Zoom Phone, you’ll need to connect to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). And if your business operates in multiple countries, you may need to work with several carriers to ensure adequate coverage across sites.

To make it easier and quicker for businesses of all sizes to connect with carriers, Zoom Phone Provider Exchange uses enhanced cloud peering which enables carriers with their own SIP-based voice network, including Pure IP, to have a direct connection to the Zoom infrastructure. Built on trusted cross-connects in their data centres, cloud peering creates a direct link between the carrier’s network, and Zoom’s network, enabling a seamless calling experience for the end-user.

Customers will then be able to order their telephony numbers and other voice services through the carriers app available in the Zoom App Marketplace. Once ordered, those numbers can be provisioned and added to the Zoom tenant, ready for customers to assign and manage them.

How does it compare to Zoom Phone and Bring Your Own Carrier?

Zoom Phone Provider Exchange launches as a third choice to the existing options for adding calling to Zoom: Zoom Phone Plans and Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC).

Zoom Phone Plans are calling plans that offer local/international bundles charged on a per user, per month basis. These offer convenience; however, they are only available in the countries where Zoom can provide coverage, and can work out to be more expensive than the other options.

Zoom’s BYOC program allows businesses to select their preferred SIP carrier and install on-premises Session Border Controllers (SBC) to connect to their SIP network. Having a range of providers to choose from means that there is a wider variety of price points and international coverage, however it does rely on deploying additional on-site hardware. Although this option is still available, the rapid adoption of cloud communications and hosted SBC’s means that it’s appeal is for niche scenarios.

Zoom Phone Provider Exchange is essentially the cloud-hosted version of the BYOC program. This means that customers get the same level of flexibility, without having to invest in any additional hardware. It also allows users to provision numbers from within the Zoom environment, which is a benefit for those familiar with the Zoom interface.

Why choose Zoom Phone Provider Exchange?

Opting for Zoom Phone Provider Exchange over Phone Plans and BYOC has a few main advantages for businesses. These include:

  • Geographic reach: Moving telephony to the cloud has special considerations for multi-nationals who require all their employees on one consistent telephony platform, from anywhere in the world. Zoom Phone has native solutions in 45 countries, but for those countries without coverage, businesses will need to ‘Bring Their Own Carrier’. Zoom Phone Provider Exchange makes this easier, offering flexibility that connects customers with their preferred providers, in site-specific regions.
  • Choice, flexibility and ease: Using Zoom’s Marketplace App, you can easily discover and select providers, with the ability to mix and match. Once you’ve selected your provider, you’ll be able to provision phone numbers securely from a single interface, reducing complexity.
  • Cost savings: In many cases, Zoom Phone Provider Exchange presents a cost savings when compared to Calling Plans or BYOC. Since you’ll have access to Zoom’s broad ecosystem of providers, you’ll have the option to shop around for the most cost-effective option. At Pure IP, for example, we offer a pay-for-what-you-use model that can be up to 60% more cost effective than call plan bundles.
  • Eliminate the need for on-premise infrastructure and hardware: With Zoom's existing BYOC option, you may require on-site equipment and additional hardware. With this comes added costs and the need for ongoing maintenance time from IT Teams. Connecting with your carriers via Zoom Phone Provider Exchange and moving your telephony to the cloud, frees up IT resource and has additional cost savings.

Now, to select a provider …

Only a select group of providers meet the requirements and have been invited to join Zoom's Phone Provider Exchange. As one of the first partners to be approved, Pure IP has been part of the PPE program since the early stages of its development. We provide organizations with PSTN calling in 43 countries, and voice services in 137 using our own global SIP network. Our customers get 24/7 technical support, a range of add-on managed services, and transparent pay-for-what-you-use pricing.

There’s more to come!

As Zoom Phone Provider Exchange continues to be developed in its beta phase, additional partners and new features will be added. Stay tuned for more updates from us on which countries are available through the program and which calling features will be supported.


Zoom PPE

 

Tania Morrill

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