Which public cloud? How a cloud-native VoIP startup made the choice

By and Aisha Walcott | 2 minute read | July 7, 2020

woman using smart phone

Every cloud-native startup faces a critical decision: which public cloud to choose. My company faced this choice in 2015 when we needed a hosting and development platform for PhoneTrack, our VoIP application for measuring, analyzing and qualifying sales leads.

At the time we didn’t foresee it, but with social distancing, PhoneTrack’s voice processing and call forwarding can help companies adapt to new ways of selling.

Cost-effectiveness, performance and the potential for growth

What did we seek from our initial cloud provider? Naturally, cost was important, and we discovered that providers often issue subscription discounts to startups. Transparency was vital so we could accurately predict our costs.

There were technical considerations as well. Could the cloud architecture power a high-performance VoIP application and would our customer information be secure? We also sought access to cloud services such as AI and container orchestration that would support future growth.

The relationship with the provider was another major factor. Could we count on a live account executive for advice and support?

The answers to these question led us to IaaS on the public IBM Cloud, which, since the initial contract, has served us well.

A responsive, transparent relationship with IBM

As we grew, however, we became a multicloud organization by working with AWS and the Google Cloud Platform. Thus, when our contract with IBM Cloud expired in 2019, we could make an informed decision whether to renew or switch.

It was instructive how we learned about the choice. IBM sellers proactively approached us with a renewal discount offer. Their responsiveness contrasted to the more transactional, online relationships we had with AWS and Google.

A technical advantage, leaving VoIP service competitors behind

In addition to responsiveness and cost, we factored in technical aspects. Assessing the different platforms’ impact on VoIP application performance, IBM Cloud has a clear edge. The benefit arises from the IP network layer, which provides us a public IP address, whereas other solutions require a NAT network to convert the public IP to a private IP. This creates problems for our application.

We’ve also been able to capitalize on Watson Speech to Text to power our voice analytics. IBM Cloud is easier and more cost-effective to manage, we found, and its Kubernetes Service can further our move toward serverless computing. Plus, IBM data centers in Brazil keep cloud data localized.

Add scalability to these advantages and IBM Cloud is the clear choice. The relationship means a lot to a young company like PhoneTrack because it helps differentiate our VoIP service at a competitive price.