SIP Trunking Will Be Used by 3/4 of North American Businesses in the Near Future
20 October 2014
The Internet stirred a revolution in the way human beings interact with one another, changing everything from entertainment to politics and, perhaps most importantly, commerce. It is the communication age and business has responded en masse, companies developing their enterprises in the effort of improved quality and reduced costs. Now, Infonetics Research -- a research firm based in the technology market -- has released a survey illustrating the extent to which firms are improving upon themselves, including their plans for Session Initiation Protocol -- or SIP -- trunking, the use of voice over IP to facilitate the connection of a private branch exchange to the Internet, and enterprise session border controllers -- or eSBCs.
The Migration to SIP Trunking
Diane Meyers, principal analyst at Infonetics Research for VoIP, explained, "“Businesses continue to migrate to VoIP and unified communications on their premises, but when it comes to connecting to the PSTN, legacy technologies have not disappeared. T1 lines are still the most commonly-used trunking service today, though they will come down by 2016 as the use of SIP trunking grows." The reasons aren't too subtle; it's where the money hides. SIP trunking provides a business with a centralization of lines, a strong unified connections platform and fast disaster recovery.
Michael Finneran, principal analyst at dBrn Associates confirmed, "Your costs over time is miniscule and you gain flexibility from investing in SIP trunking as opposed to the traditional prime rate interfaces. You usually have to pay for a given amount of SIMS - or simultaneous connections." In layman's, "You don't have to buy your trunks in bundles." In total, enterprises have reported a cost savings of nearly 33 percent according to a survey done by Webtronics.
The Opportunities for Expansion
There are still roads to be travelled, however, as legacy systems are still prevalent and pose compatibility issues. Diane Meyers noted, “SIP trunking is becoming more mainstream with North American businesses, but it’s important to remember that few companies have done a 100% cutover. This represents a significant opportunity long term for SIP trunking.” These numbers speak to that opportunity as the survey conducted by Infonetics Research shows that use of SIP trunking is expected to increased to 78% by 2016 as more and more corporate networks shift from T1 communications.
While the aforementioned cost savings are impressive, Infonetics Research notes that most respondents cited other benefits of SIP trunking that furthered their want to switch away from legacy systems, including speed of deployment/service changes, centralized trunking and better reliability. Those who erred against a change, on the other hand, did not cite any issue with SIP trunking itself, but rather the standard issues with switching from incumbent forms of technology - or anything else - that is, satisfaction with their current voice services and service contracts not yet being up for renewal. And, as it is an emerging technology, SIP trunks were not yet available in certain desired locations.
For its "SIP Trunking and eSBC Strategies: North American Enterprise Survey" Infonetics Research interviewed the decision makers of 184 North American corporations with 101 employees or more, all with detailed knowledge and all with purchase power. Among these 184, Cisco lead the pack on the number of installed private branch exchange and united communications manufacturers, trailed by Microsoft, AT&T, IBM and Avaya, illustrating how SIP trunking is indeed the way forward among the biggest North American competitors looking to build toward the future.
The Array of Benefits
So what's driving this tectonic shift, a shift so large scale that over three fourths of North American business will be at its head? Principal analyst at dBrn associates, Michael Finneran, notes the "move to an IP environment--both wired and wireless. Now, we are seeing SIP trunking on the wired front. But with the move to LTE, the whole idea is to have an all wireless IP network." Finneran added the benefit, again, of united communications, stating, "SIP provides you the signaling tools you need to establish the wide variety of connections you are going to need in the UC environment. It is the right solution at the right time."
Among these benefits -- unified communications, high definition VoIP, etc. -- is rapid disaster recovery. Independent analyst and blogger Dave Michaels explained the difference between legacy and SIP systems as so, "If a phone system fails, you can't easily move those T1s to a different location, [but with] SIP the only thing you need to do is pull up a different server and mold that for the Session Initiation Protocol, and the SIP trunk shifts effectively. This is a big deal for disaster recovery."
Voice over IP (VoIP) is where SIP trunking has, to date, made its mark, but through its advantages, it holds opportunities that simply weren't possible with antiquated communications systems. J Arnold & Associates analyst, J. Arnold, laid it, "If you can move the voice traffic [from] the traditional voice network onto the data network, you get economies from combination for pushing everything to a single network environment [and] once you've begun down that path, you become cognizant of the idea of voice as just another parcel in the data network. The walls between data and voice fall down. Then it is, 'Now I have this network that is handling everything. What else can I do with it?'"
Reduced complexity, reduced costs, increased capability: these are the foundations on which a business can build something for the future.
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