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August 15, 2013

Plivo Makes a Move on Large Enterprises with New Cloud Telephony System

Most of us are familiar with the bring your own device (BYOD) doctrine that's finding its way into a lot of businesses as a way to offer cost savings, morale boosts and added flexibility all at the same time. But there's a new doctrine making a move, as led by Plivo, which is bringing Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) to major enterprise players with the “bring your own carrier” (BYOC) cloud telephony technology.

While many companies have for some time now been either discovering or are in the process of discovering the benefits connected with cloud telephony, large companies can have a problem making that jump, mostly owing to the things that make said companies large in the first place. Many companies have infrastructure built with certain carriers, as well as long-term contracts with same. While these companies may want to bring in cloud telephony, the actual practice of putting it in play can be difficult to outright impossible.

Plivo, however, has something of a workaround in mind for large companies with locked-in agreements, allowing companies to take advantage of the benefits of cloud telephony while still allowing companies to use current phone numbers and outgoing phone routes. While many cloud telephony providers resell minutes from carriers, Plivo can bring in its “open platform” system to allow companies to continue working with a current provider, while also offering up many benefits associated with cloud systems, like both voice and SMS services. One such business, a major university, uses a combination of Plivo technology and Oracle Acme Packet to connect enterprise systems. Plivo is supplementing these systems with WebRTC services for Web browsers, giving the university—students and staff alike—not only a new way to keep in touch but also a way to build applications with the technology. This allows the university to keep its current carrier, but step up to a cloud telephony setup.

Plivo's new and surprisingly permissive technology has in turn allowed for major growth in the field. Plivo has reportedly doubled usage levels over the last eight months, and its revenue has seen a likewise jump in growth, and its team has increased from 17 to 30 members. It's not just large enterprises that are looking into Plivo's technology, though, as small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have stepped in, with that customer count going up five-fold at last report.

There's something to be said for a technology platform that doesn't require a lot of change to get fully involved with, and Plivo is looking to provide just such a platform. One of the biggest impediments involved in making changes—particularly for large enterprises—is the difficulty inherent in change. While a small, nimble organization can make a change rapidly, a large business tends to be slower to change. Think of it as the difference between a small car and a semi truck with trailer: clearly the semi is carrying more weight, but it's also more awkward. Turns require a lot of room, and changing direction completely takes a lot more. Plivo, meanwhile, is offering a way to make a change without making a lot of the other changes required to put a change into action. This is a great idea for a lot of firms, both small and large, who want to take advantage of the many positive features offered by cloud telephony.

Plivo's offering is likely to continue proving successful, especially as firms of all sizes look for new ways to cut costs and keep providing effective service in a weak economy.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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