Cloud PBX FAQs

Uno from vivo is a hosted telephony or cloud PBX communications service – a revolutionary way to deliver the facilities you would expect from a phone system, without the capital outlay, ongoing maintenance or support challenges of a conventional on site phone system.

Uno from vivo is a network-based, or cloud PBX service, that provides an incredible array of functions, but without a phone system on your site. This easy to adopt system allows you to connect to a central service, remotely hosted in a dedicated data centre to give you the ultimate flexibility for your business, as well as major financial and technical benefits that could make all the difference to how you run your business.

All that is required are handsets (or PC softphones), a licence for each user, and a connection to the service. Simple!

Cloud PBX or hosted services are now firmly established, and hosted telephony delivers cloud PBX some great advantages to business users of all sizes, from all sectors:

  • Reduced costs – Low or no capital outlay and no annual maintenance or upgrade charges
  • Predictable pay-as-you-go pricing by user
  • Highly reliable – with disaster recovery built in
  • Huge range of features that users choose and manage themselves
  • Integration - Multiple site organisations can act as a single entity with one numbering’ plan & free site-to-site calls
  • Extensive “add on” capabilities to enhance ease of use and productivity.
  • Simple web portal to manage your service, so need for in house expertise or expensive supplier support contracts when you need to make changes

With the Uno hosted communications service, no phone system is required at your site or sites. All you need instead is a local area network (LAN) that your phones plug in to, IP (Internet protocol enabled) handsets, plus a network connection to our hosted telephony service. We can either provide a new connection or you can use your existing broadband or data connections – we can advise case by case.

If you wish to retain your current phone system, you can use a gateway product to link an existing phone system to uno. This is known as SIP trunking, which offers valuable functionality and scalability with minimal new hardware costs. This gives you the opportunity to benefit from the investment made in your existing phone system whilst offering you a way to replace your expensive ISDN circuits. This approach also allows a gentle and often seamless migration path towards a fully hosted service. It can also be a good strategy with multiple sites where newer phone systems may be retained, whilst other sites take the fully hosted route.

As well as the conventional phone features you would expect, Uno also offers users access to an array of communications services such as audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, and desktop sharing from their phone, mobile, PC or tablet. This means you can chose both the device you prefer to communicate with, perhaps your mobile or tablet when you are away from your desk, and also the most appropriate medium, for example arranging a quick video or audio conference, or starting an instant message “chat” between colleagues or external contacts, for example.

As the interface is the same regardless of the device you prefer, using the service quickly becomes intuitive.

Hosted telephony or hosted pbx services are hugely resilient – instantaneous disaster recovery can automatically reroutes inbound calls to another site, home lines  or mobiles. What would happen if you lost either your lines or phone system today?

  • Allows people to work from home with the same capabilities that they have while in the office. Hosted telephony supports remote and field staff and can improve their productivity and help them feel connected to their colleagues..
  • Organisations operating on multiple sites can act like a single entity, with one dialling plan and abbreviated dialling between offices. Distribute your call centres and hunt groups between different locations to spread workloads, or deal with busy periods.
  • Advanced features, such as Call Recording are available to everyone (including home based staff) without the cost or technical complexity of a hardware based approach.
  • Moving to new premises? No problem, all your numbers move with you! Existing numbers can be ported with a hosted phone system so you maintain continuity.
  • Users can control their own call handling, features and services with traditional star codes, phone-based graphical user interfaces or their own web portal. So features like day-of-week or timeof-day based routing become easy to use. And there is no need to wait for an administrator or your network provider.
  • Uno makes it so easy to access useful features such as video and audio conferencing, instant messaging and desktop sharing. Unlike conventional standalone services, No additional equipment, cumbersome set-up procedures or lengthy subscriptions are needed. You simply pay per month, for those staff members that require specific features.

We think with both the upfront and ongoing running costs there is a strong financial case for the hosted approach, as well as many others benefits.

  • No capital investment in a proprietary phone system and handsets.
  • Predictable costs – Uno is priced per user, per month – that’s it! No annual maintenance contracts, upgrade costs, additional licences for new services and so on.
  • Bespoke fit – you can add the exact number of users you need. So there’s no need to invest in a service that is either too large for your present needs, or that may require upgrading as you grow in the future.
  • Using broadband or data circuits deliver a significant saving over conventional analogue or ISDN 30 line rental costs – often by 30% to 40%.
  • Reduces the overhead of managing an on-site phone system, far less on-site technical expertise is required with a hosted VOIP system, and you won’t need to really on your phone supplier to make changes.
  • Line cost reductions, free site to site calls, lower administration and support costs, no maintenance, lower internal support costs and improved landline rates… it all adds up to a compelling financial case!

As most of the clever work is happening in the hosted service, customers don’t need to worry about how things operate in the background. Implementation is also straightforward, and Vivo will be on hand to install the service and train new users as needed.

We also think the Uno offers many other technical advantages:

  • Add additional users quickly, no need to wait for support or engineering staff, or expensive phone system upgrades.
  • Move users between offices by simply moving their phone (and they keep their extension numbers). No technical support is needed – just plug the phone into a different network port to access the service. Instant and easy.
  • Expert network design and engineering, with 24-7, 365 days a year network monitoring and management.
  • Carrier-grade, fault tolerant network and instantaneous automatic disaster recovery.
  • Future service and feature enhancements come as standard – not as an expensive add on.
  • New installations can be carefully phased in in parallel to existing phone systems – no ‘fingers crossed’ cut over installations.
  • Engineering support is provided centrally, so no on-site visits or delays whilst the right staff and spares arrive.

As you’d imagine, there’s a lot of smart technology underlying a system such as Uno.

The vivo platform is built on a carrier grade soft-switch, supplied by a proven global leader in this area. BroadSoft. Broadsoft supply their technology to over 300 of the world’s largest telecoms companies, so we are in good company. The service is located in secure hosting facilities in London and is replicated at a second site to allow full geographical redundancy. We have multiple interconnects to IP and PSTN networks for calls that provide a reliable, high availability service. Customers access the service via a variety of technologies such as broadband, Ethernet leased lines and so on. We will be happy to discuss the options with you.

 

In its simplest terms, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is about making calls over an Internet Protocol (IP) network. IP is a way of wrapping up information so that it can be delivered across virtually any communications infrastructure.

Although VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol calls are not being carried over the public Internet, voice circuits remain on a private network, so voice traffic carried over these circuits never reaches the public internet. However, we can make and receive calls over the internet as well, but this is normally only recommended as a backup path and for home workers.

Hosted VoIP can work with IP phones, PC soft phones, tablets and mobiles, wherever there is a reliable connection.

Call charges are competitive, and calls between users of the uno service are free – especially useful for multi –site organisations.

Unlike some internet based services, aimed at domestic users, Uno is a business grade service, based on the leading softswitch platform (Broadsoft) with calls delivered exclusively over BT’s IP Exchange (IPX) infrastructure, the leading facility of its kind in the UK. The use of dedicated access bandwidth, coupled with a carrier grade Broadsoft softswitch platform and delivery of calls over BT’s IPX services ensures Uno delivers a consistently high quality, high availability hosted IP telephony service.

For all but the most basic of installations (e.g. single home workers), call quality is best assured by providing a dedicated connection for voice traffic only, or by using a customer’s existing data network. vivo will advise on the connection options, determined by the number of users and likely concurrent calls. Our hosted phone service will operate successfully with a variety of network technologies and access methods including broadband, MPLS or Ethernet.

Customers will generally have already deployed a variety of security measures to protect their network. The IP telephones operate in a closed environment and are not susceptible to PC and other viruses. User access to the system is strictly partitioned and there is rigorous, multi-layer authentication to the network core. Advanced Session Border Controllers (SBCs), and specialised voice firewalls guard the perimeter and inspect every packet entering or leaving the system.

vivo provides a range of handsets from Polycom, Cisco and Panasonic, all of which have been specifically tested and approved for use with the uno service.In this way we can be sure the phones we provide are reliable and fully compatible with the service, and conversely non approved phones are not accepted by the service.

There is no additional charge for maintenance as all the intelligence and functionality of the hosted system sits within the service. Service enhancements are also available to all at no additional charge. On line and phone support is provded at no additional cost, its part of the service and is covered by the monthly licence fee.

An established process exists for the transfer or port of numbers from a conventional landline to the hosted service. It is also possible to port IP numbers from other IP providers. We can confirm lead times on a case by case basis, but typically its 20 working days. Alternatively, a customer may select a non-geographic number (for example, a 0800 number), or a geographic number associated with a desired ‘virtual location’, such as London. This is ideal for organisations wishing to portray a presence in the capital (or anywhere else) but who are located elsewhere.

  • IP enabled phone – The service can also be accessed from IPhones, IPads, Android phones, PC’s and Apple Mac’s.
  • Routers – We can recommend and supply a range of routers for new connections.
  • Network connection – We will advise, based on the overall number of users and concurrent calls you will require, and can provide access circuits as required, or work over customer’s existing data connections.

Uno is priced per user, per month on 1, 3 or 5 year contract terms. Different licenses offer varying ranges of features and can be “mixed and matched” to address different end user’s needs.
(see our pricing plan.)

Based on real life experience of existing customers, yes. Vivo recognises that all the advantages of a hosted VOIP service can be undermined if customers experience poor call quality as a result of problems in the network. Therefore, vivo will always recommend the implementation of a voice optimised connection to ensure voice calls are prioritised over other traffic types within the network. This procedure ensures that issues associated with ‘standard’ connections are avoided. We ensure control of the call from end to end, by engineering interconnects with our chosen carrier partner in a resilient manner – and investing in performance monitoring of all systems 24/7.

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