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Building Scalability & Reliability into the Next Great Cloud Phone Solution
October 10, 2019 by Niel Levonius

When we decided to build Zoom Phone, we didn’t want to create just another PBX system. We wanted to build an innovative solution that our customers were asking for, one that delivers Zoom’s frictionless user experience while providing the flexibility, freedom, and reliability of a top-tier cloud phone solution. 

With Zoom’s video-first unified communications platform already transforming how businesses communicate, our engineers already had the foundation for a great phone product in place. Using the same robust infrastructure that supports Zoom’s video conferencing platform, we were able to launch Zoom Phone, a solution packed with great features that also offers the same ease of use and reliability of Zoom Meetings. 

Getting clear, consistent audio from your cloud phone solution, no matter where you are, is crucial to creating a culture of agility, flexibility, and connectedness. When users sign up for Zoom Phone, they get all the scalability, innovation, reliability, and support they need for their mission-critical business communications. And here’s how we make it all happen.

The cloud infrastructure

Zoom Phone leverages a distributed architecture that enables usage to be balanced across our global data center network. All of Zoom’s data centers are built with an active/active architecture, which uses load balancing to ensure that demand is evenly distributed across all of the points-of-presence (POPs). And with rapid failover capability, Zoom can provide virtually uninterrupted service and consistent call quality. 

Zoom’s unique cloud architecture allows us to scale and adapt to voice traffic in real time for any volume, and our microservice architecture enables us to instantly increase resources to ensure calls are never dropped and quality remains high. This enables Zoom Phone to provide unmatched call quality that doesn’t degrade as more calls are made, whether it’s a few hundred or a few million concurrent users at a time.

Additionally, Zoom’s secure global data centers provide unprecedented connectivity and resiliency. These data centers are fully redundant, with their own cooling, power, network carriers, and private network peering to PSTN providers, which ensures consistent, uninterrupted service. 

Zoom Phone

The software

Over 1,000 years of combined engineering experience went into building Zoom’s ground-breaking video-first unified communications platform, and that experience and dedication was put to good use in building Zoom Phone. Zoom’s full-stack engineering teams have dedicated members for each layer of our architecture and each supported device, and this specialized knowledge enables them to innovate faster and provide robust support for all of our products, including Zoom Phone. 

Zoom Phone leverages Zoom’s native MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux client software to actively monitor every call, responding in real time to diagnose and overcome poor connectivity and ensure superior call quality and reliability. This also gives you the ability to track the performance of a single call or your entire Zoom account at a macro level. Zoom’s client technology also assesses a user’s bandwidth, jitter, packet loss, and latency, while also collecting the user’s CPU usage, network I/O, and memory. The Zoom client is even able to provide clear audio in environments with up to 45% packet loss, which makes it ideal for businesses that operate in remote areas or have customers that are calling from areas that have poor connectivity. 

The Zoom client sends all of the diagnostic data from each call to the Zoom Phone dashboard. This allows network administrators to see call statistics in real time and compare their performance to previous calls to address network errors and adjust their settings to get the best possible performance. The Zoom client also gives each call that goes through Zoom Phone a Mean Opinion Score (MOS), which provides a rating for each call based on call quality and other factors. This lets network administrators fully explore any issues and pinpoint exactly what affected the quality of the call. 

Additionally, as a fully functional cloud PBX solution, we also support the use of hard phones. Zoom Phone administrators can assign, provision, and manage standard desk phones from the Zoom Admin portal.

Zoom Phone Call Flip

The features

Above all, Zoom Phone was architected to help our customers succeed in every aspect of their business. With a feature set that is built on Zoom’s cloud infrastructure and dynamic software, Zoom is able to offer an enterprise-grade phone solution. Zoom Phone cuts down on wasted time in the user experience by allowing users to elevate a Zoom Phone call directly from the application to a video conference, meaning seamless transfers between different communication mediums. And with its ability to easily integrate with other business applications, Zoom Phone helps users increase their productivity and remain agile in their communications.

Rather than unleashing something with “features” that you acquire piece by piece or that requires constant re-investment to upgrade, Zoom Phone provides users the latest features in business communications without needing to buy new hardware or services. Thus, those who purchase Zoom Phone as part of Zoom’s video-first unified communications platform automatically receive the latest innovations that enable users to more easily scale their deployment and expand the business at their own pace.

Zoom Phone also removes the friction in the user experience by transforming the basic functions of a regular telephone into a powerful toolset. A few of the features within Zoom Phone that give our customers the capabilities they need to succeed include:

  • Voicemail transcription: Receive a written transcript of every voicemail, making recording or transferring information faster and easier.
  • Scheduled-based call routing: Automatically redirect calls to various destinations determined by your personalized schedule.
  • Call continuity: Seamlessly flip calls between your mobile app, desktop app, and physical desk phones.
  • Caller ID control: Choose to make business calls from your direct business line or alternatively recognizable numbers, regardless of the phone you’re using and your location.
  • Bring Your Own Carrier: Use your own phone service provider in conjunction with Zoom Phone to avoid early-termination fees and mitigate the transition risk. 

Further, Zoom Phone seamlessly integrates with a number of top-tier business solutions like Salesforce, Twilio, and Five9, which makes the process of implementing Zoom Phone and integrating the application into your business workflows frictionless. For example, users who rely on Salesforce can access Zoom Phone’s dialer and calendar, Zoom Chat, and other Zoom Phone features right from the Salesforce interface, making the processes of setting appointments, dialing out, and communicating on the fly faster and easier. 

Part of a modern unified communications strategy

We built Zoom Phone to address the issues with stagnant legacy phone systems and provide a solution that helps our customers succeed, no matter their size or location. But most of all, we built Zoom Phone for our customers. Delivering happiness to Zoom customers is at the core of everything we do, and this customer-driven approach guides our innovation and ensures any technology update we make helps to solve your real-life business challenges. We built Zoom Phone to provide the features, resiliency, and flexibility that our customers need to communicate regardless of location or device, but also to help enable a unified communications strategy that today’s organizations demand.

Download the “Leveraging Zoom Phone” white paper to learn how modern companies are confidently migrating to the next great cloud phone solution, or schedule a personalized Zoom demo with a product specialist today! 

Check out the next blog in this series to learn more about a unified communications strategy and how businesses are leveraging Zoom Phone to simplify their technology stack and drive business growth.