First Public Beta of Corona Cloud Released

Norwood’s enhanced core business Over-the-Top (OTT) service, Corona Cloud, has now been released as a Public Beta, ahead of an official launch in the coming weeks.

Significant new features included in Corona Cloud include:

  • A zero-touch, web-based business console (“the Dashboard”), providing corporate clients with detailed visibility and insights on all enrolled mobile calling users, delivering real-time reporting of employees’ OTT calling expenses, calling behaviours and calling patterns on a global and integrated basis
  • Based on existing trial customer feedback, corporate clients can benefit from savings up to 25-40% off their corporate phone bill, measured across fixed office and mobile user telephony expenses, when deploying both the Corona Cloud and Corona GTS platforms in their workplace
  • End-users benefit from an innovative “dual-mode” credit management interface (“the Switcher”), believed to be a world-first in the OTT sector, released simultaneously on version 1.2 of Norwood’s award-winning and top-selling World Phone App, allowing end-users easily to segment personal and business calling expenses
  • Corona Cloud, coupled with World Phone 1.2, provides a compelling feature set for corporate clients who are considering, or who are in the midst of, a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) migration strategy for their mobile fleets
  • Payments through the Corona Cloud platform are processed in a highly secure manner, using the secure platform of Norwood’s strategic payments partner, Stripe

The opening of a Public Beta of Corona Cloud marks the final stage prior to an official launch – Norwood has a number of potential major corporate customers in the final stages of acceptance testing for Corona Cloud and Corona GTS (Global Trunk Services), now through the live environment ahead of the official launch, as well as a strong pipeline of targeted blue-chip clients.
The Corona Cloud Public Beta can be accessed here.

Corporate clients can now “self-serve” Corona Cloud implementations through the web and effortlessly set up individual employees, work-groups or entire departments to use the system. Employees who may have previously downloaded World Phone can also link up seamlessly to the Corona Cloud service platform. Corporate IT administrators can then fund, manage and report on employees’ business-related World Phone calls.

The Corona Cloud service model operates in a similar manner to cloud-based business-targeted offerings from Uber (Uber for Business), Dropbox (Dropbox for Business) and other software firms. Corona Cloud implements a secure credit card payment facility, utilising Norwood’s payment partner Stripe’s advanced, secure payments platform, opening up revenue collection outside the App Store channels.

This is the first time that businesses can have a consolidated, zero-touch and real-time view of employee mobile OTT calling expenses, and be able to manage those expenses without the additional overhead that comes with BYOD implementations. Norwood has a significant sales pipeline of customers able to trial Corona Cloud now that it is available for Public Beta, alongside initial closed beta users performing final acceptance testing ahead of the official launch.

A number of these clients are also trialling Corona GTS, which connects all office voice traffic to Norwood’s global federated network, delivering a single-vendor solution for multi-sited multi-country organisations. Corona GTS call routing over the internet is limited to short-haul routes only, hence users enjoy very high quality calling, without the service degradation generally suffered by free VOIP services, particularly over international distances.

Alongside the general availability of Corona Cloud, World Phone has also been updated to version 1.2, incorporating support for Corona and Corona Cloud. World Phone now operates effortlessly in either a corporate or a personal use case context, supporting an elegant user interface to enable the end-user to switch easily between the two modes.

We are very proud to have been recognised in both categories and delighted to be nominated as a National iAward finalist in the Consumer category for World Wi-Fi. Here are some pictures from the evening.

Corona Cloud Dashboard

The Dashboard is Norwood’s web-based central management platform for Corona Cloud – a “one-stop shop” for a corporate client to obtain deep insights and control of their mobile fleet’s OTT telecoms spend. It presents a super-clear dashboard view that delivers an “at-a-glance” overview on the mobile OTT telecoms spend for their organisation. Each part of the dashboard supports further “drill-down” enquiries into more detailed reports and settings pages.

Corona Cloud Dashboard

Corona Cloud provides advanced, detailed and real-time reports to give IT Administrators effective and easy-to-access tools to manage and control BYOD mobile fleet usage of OTT calling services.

Getting a new or existing World Phone user onto the Corona Cloud platform is straight-forward and simple, involving just one step by the administrator and two simple steps by the end-user:

Example of Corona Cloud reporting

Example of Corona Cloud reporting

World Phone 1.2 Business Account “Switcher” for Corona Cloud

Getting a new or existing World Phone user onto the Corona Cloud platform is straight-forward and simple, involving just one step by the administrator and two simple steps by the end-user:

Two-step process for World Phone Users to benefit from Corona Cloud

We are very pleased to bring Corona Cloud to market, as it represents a major enhancement and improvement to our core business offering. World Phone has been a significant breakout hit on the consumer side, and we have now revamped the Corona platform to include World Phone learnings and user experience improvements, which we believe will deliver the significant appeal to business organisations, improving their ability to manage and control employees’ mobile and fixed line calling.

With the new, integrated World Phone 1.2 Switcher capability, we are delivering unparalleled expense management control and simplicity into the hands of corporate end-users for the first time. World Phone 1.2 is a single OTT Telephony App that customers can use with equal ease and familiarity for both personal and corporate calling, supporting segmented credit management, calling history and reporting.

Corona Cloud is the perfect way to support and implement the BYOD model that we see so many firms struggle with from a control and reporting perspective. Users can easily segment calling records for personal and business reasons – no longer do staff have to spend their valuable time poring through their last month’s phone records to complete expense claims! BYOD, done properly, can reduce a company’s mobile fleet expense by as much as half, but it is very difficult to do without creating additional unwanted management overhead. Corona Cloud provides a credible solution to this very real business need.

With the Corona Cloud service now available for Public Beta, businesses can for the first time view their entire employee OTT calling expenses in real-time, using a high-quality consolidated web-based dashboard. We are very excited to be putting this advanced capability in the hands of Corporate IT administrators and look forward to the strong response we think this will receive.

Corona Cloud and Corona GTS now allow businesses to manage and reduce their entire fixed line phone bill, using a similar approach to that adopted by other business-focused sharing economy firms, for example, how Uber enables centralised control and management of a client’s transport costs.

We are delighted to be demonstrating this potent offering to a strong pipeline of potential corporate customers ahead of the official launch in the coming weeks, and indeed have been extremely pleased with the immediate reactions of those clients who have already seen it in action.

— Paul Ostergaard

CEO and Founder, Norwood Systems