Choose telephony provider
Choosing a telephony provider is an important decision in ensuring that your end users can securely and confidently use their phones to access your company resources. When selecting a telephony provider, consider the needs of your Okta org. For example, the number of users who use this service, how frequently, and from what geographical regions. Also, consider your budget and scalability requirements.
Evaluate features, documentation, customer support, and ease of integration for each provider you’re considering. Check if they offer trials so that you can try out different vendors to determine which one of them best aligns with your requirements. Also inquire with the providers about how these features, services, and pricing may change over time.
Evaluate your telephony provider based on the following criteria:
- Messaging features and functionality
- Developer experience and documentation
- Customer support
Messaging features and functionality
|Messaging||The provider should have the capacity to send SMS and voice calls to your end users.|
|Retry mechanism||The provider should have a robust built-in retry mechanism to handle failures in sending SMS/voice calls and when a user requests a new code when retrying.|
|Messaging throughput||Make sure you can send the SMS as a full phone number, short code, or custom code, depending on your needs.|
|Coverage area||The provider must be able to send SMS and voice calls to the regions where your end users are. Check their coverage capabilities and any applicable restrictions. Some countries may require registration for dedicated short codes. For example, Singapore, India, Vietnam, and certain Middle Eastern countries.|
|Custom sender ID||If you need a custom sender ID for your use case, the provider should allow registering your company or organization as the sender ID.|
Delivery confirmation is the confirmation that the SMS is sent to the telecom provider for further dispatch. The telephony provider should confirm that the message is delivered and notify when the delivery fails. Assess their tools and console features for troubleshooting.
Okta knows about failure to deliver a message only when the telephony provider doesn’t return a 200 code or returns a 500 code. Therefore, Okta can’t provide a detailed analysis if the message isn’t delivered.
|Deliverability Confirmation||Deliverability confirmation is the confirmation that the SMS was delivered to the end user’s device. The telephony provider should support the deliverability call-back mechanism. This feature completes your deliverability metrics in the Admin Console.|
The provider should have a troubleshooting console or tools. They should have logs where you can find more information about the sent messages.
Okta System Logs only logs the initiation of the SMS-sending process by calling your inline hook.
Okta has a built-in mechanism to detect fraudulent telephony activities. However, make sure that your telephony provider can also detect such activities. See Prevent or mitigate telephony-based fraud.
The provider should have a transparent pricing structure and billing practices. They should have a billing dashboard where you can track your spending over time, by location, and other criteria you may need. The dashboard should allow you to generate reports to analyze your usage and spending. Multiple admins should be able to access the dashboard.
Developer experience and documentation
If you’re using APIs to use this provider and integrate into your environment, make sure they have well-defined APIs, detailed documentation, and a strong developer ecosystem.
The provider should have customer support available when you need it. They should help you troubleshoot and resolve issues with their system.