In BtBB article "Custom Telephony for Collaborate Ultra" (June 2018), a new service option was described, which was introduced to solve the issue with Ultra's telephony raising for anyone, who is not located in the country where the datacenter is. Blackboard data center provides a legacy telephone number, which leads to additional costs at the client side, for any student in particular, if the organisation's telephony service is not located in the country where the data center is.
While national calls are usually covered with a monthly flat rate, international fees typically apply per call minute.
But this new service option is not a cost saver at all. It just shifts the monthly amount to be paid from the students to the customer organisation, which is invited by "Custom Telephony" to forward any national call from students to the data center, producing unforeseeable amounts of long-distant fees to be paid. As costs are the main driver for the issue, the new service does not solve the issue remarkably.
Blackboard data centers should also deliver an IP-based connection (SIP-Standard) useable with the new custom telephony option.
The 2018 offering to accept organisation's own telephony infrastructure by call forward does not reduce the costs Any organisation not happy with the long-distance fee of international dial-in to Collaborate's current telephony service are enabled to setup their existing communication infrastructure (telephony service) in a way, that any national call forwards to Blackboard's data center through cheap Voice over IP (SIP-Standard) connection
Collaborate Classic (a.k.a. Original Experience) does offer such SIP-based bridging configurable in SAS under "3rd party Telephony integration". This option was introduced many years ago as a cost saver, after Collaborate Classic's former product "Elluminate Live" growed from being a CA-US wide only design towards global.
Any organisation not happy with the long-distance fee of international dial-in to Collaborate's current telephony service are enabled to setup their existing communication infrastructure (telephony service) to bridge any call to Blackboard's data center by cheap Voice over IP standard SIP.
Today 2018, the SIP Standard has grown mature and is widely accepted to handle calls over the internet. Any modern telephony exchange is built to use it. SIP is always included in any phone exchange infrastructure following the Unified Communications approach If caller's privacy is an issue, there is a secure SIP protocol (sipps://my.service.com) available, which is the preferred way to implement this idea (from my European perspective at least)
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