Like any technology investment, you will expect SIP trunks to reduce costs and deliver new efficiencies. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, writes Colm Sunderland.
SIP (session initiation protocol) opens the door to new ways of working. It’s a communications protocol that can provide large companies with a single voice service and advance strategies to run a global enterprise across future-proof IP networks.
So what’s the best place to start? It really depends on the organisation and its level of IP maturity. You could be locked in with carrier contracts or tied to PBX systems that are too new to switch out, but there will still be opportunities to explore.
Below are six typical scenarios where SIP makes sense.
1. Replace legacy equipment
If you’re paying too much for leased lines or looking to upgrade from ageing PBX systems and go end-to-end VoIP, SIP trunks are the fix. They help rationalise technologies and reduce maintenance costs associated with the old TDM network world.
Rather than go with a ‘big bang’ roll-out, do it incrementally, one location at a time, integrating with existing PBX systems if you want to sweat assets for longer.
2. Consolidate voice services
The strategic endgame for many large companies is to use SIP trunks as a way of consolidating global voice services. For multinationals that have grown piecemeal and depend on local carriers in different countries using different PBX solutions from different vendors, it’s a way to simplify suppliers and streamline networks.
Reducing the number of telcos for local or international connectivity and eliminating on-site complexity will deliver more resilient and agile networks that are easier to manage.
3. Centralise control
By bringing voice and data together on to a converged global network, consolidating service providers, you can begin to centralise and control your communications in a way that was unimaginable five years ago. You can route calls more efficiently, answer calls centrally for a better customer service, optimise bandwidth for a better user experience, streamline inbound and outbound calls, and assign numbers to any individual anywhere.
4. Ensure business continuity
With traditional ISDN lines, you are always exposed to a single point of failure. With SIP trunks, it’s much easier and more affordable to build in resilience to make sure your voice service never goes down.
A second SIP trunk to an alternative location is easy to provide and offers an affordable disaster recovery solution.
5. Facilitate new business initiatives
SIP is not just a technical fix for network engineers; it’s a fast way to support strategic business initiatives.
Use SIP trunks to ramp up a global footprint more quickly – opening a new office or turning a location into a multichannel contact centre.
SIP can also be deployed to support a unified communications platform, bringing a distributed workforce together to collaborate online with multimedia tools.
6. Pave the way for new ICT services
Not only does SIP deliver cost saving and efficiencies, it puts you in a better position to roll out new solutions globally. With enterprise-wide, real-time IP communications, multinational companies will have a platform for accessing enhanced services more easily. As they consume services from public and private clouds – including hosted telephony solutions – they will need a network architecture that facilitates integration of hybrid services that better align to business needs and drive competitive advantage. SIP is an important component in this IP-enabled environment.
The point to remember with all these SIP projects is that they require a telco with the technical knowledge and global reach to execute effectively. SIP is a mature technology, but deployments are not without their pitfalls. It takes an experienced provider to get the best results and a faster return on investment.
BT will host a free SIP webinar on 28 September titled ‘Give yourself a global voice by making communication simple’. IDC will join BT in evaluating the SIP opportunity and the best ways to exploit it.
Colm Sunderland is head of sales specialist in cloud, data and voice at BT Ireland where he leads a team of sales specialists in the global MNC market.