In life, saving money usually comes from giving up something, or reducing what you have. The same applies in business, but here’s an exception…SIP trunking – the convergence of voice and data delivered over a single broadband connection that lowers costs and offers better service. “Lowers costs and better service” sounds like an oxymoron, but in this case it is not, which is why SIP trunking is seeing explosive growth…
Compared to TDM and depending on the specifics of the business, SIP trunking can save a business anywhere from 25% to 60% on their telecom expenses. SIP trunking can support voice, data, and video all over IP, meaning a single SIP trunk can replace multiple TDM trunks, drastically consolidating and simplifying the voice architecture – companies pay for one service rather than separate voice and data plans. Additionally, a major reason for the cost savings comes from SIP trunking typically providing much more cost-effective long-distance calling than traditional solutions, as all long-distance calls basically become local calls.
SIP trunking also makes capacity planning/scaling and maintenance a lot less challenging because SIP trunks are virtual rather than physical. For example, during times of high call traffic when a business requires more voice capacity, SIP trunks can be easily adjusted in increments of one or more with a change to the software configuration within a matter of days. On the other hand, traditional T1 or PRI service typically requires purchasing an additional physical trunk with 23 or 24 voice channels even though all the business may need is 10 more voice channels, not to mention it can take months to install a physical trunk. This kind of flexibility and scalability which SIP trunking offers allows businesses to react swiftly to changing conditions.
Increased productivity is also another benefit SIP trunking brings through the combination of voice and data delivery. Regardless of whether on-site or remote, every employee can enjoy voice calls, instant messaging, video conferencing, address books synced between devices, and more. Employees who are on the road or working remotely never have to miss a call again, as their calls can be automatically routed to their mobile phone. The same is true if a line is busy or if the office is closed. [NOTE: click here for a good article on the difference between SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX, as although “these services are similar in function and feature, they also represent different means to the same end.”]
There really is very little doubt that SIP trunking is the way to go for a lot of businesses, but are there any businesses where SIP trunking may not be worth the investment? Typically, if a business has only one central location, or if offices are located in a very concentrated geographic area, then SIP trunking will probably not be worth the time. SIP trunking provides the most efficiency for businesses that have multiple locations spread out over a wide area, hence the cost savings noted above where long-distance calls basically become local calls.
According to a recent study by Frost & Sullivan titled Unshackling the Power of SIP Trunking, “SIP trunking effectively creates a new set of paradigms in business communications services. The defining distinctions that SIP trunking services have over legacy telephony services are in the unprecedented levels of flexibility, scalability, and control that enterprises can have over their communications infrastructure.”
As I bring my three-part series on Telecommunications in the Cloud to an end with this blog, here are a few summarizing thoughts…
- Network operators are in an ideal position to offer cloud-based telecommunications services based on their existing infrastructure.
- CaaS offers network operators the ticket to becoming relevant again to the lucrative enterprise customer.
- Today’s residential customer has higher expectations when it comes to their telecommunication’s requirements, largely due to the influence of the smartphone.
- Increased productivity, flexibility, and lower costs are all tangible features offered to the enterprise by Hosted IP PBX and SIP Trunking.
There is very little doubt that the future of telecommunications will be heavily in the cloud with application development companies like Dialogic taking the lead and offering network operators and enterprises applications like their PowerVille Cloud Centrex.