SIP Trunking Snapshot
The Enterprise Connect Virtual Event on SIP Trunking showed that users are progressing in their adoption and attitudes, but we're still nearer to the beginning of what's likely to be an extended process of migration.
Last week's Enterprise Connect virtual event on SIP Trunking turned out to be a pretty good window into where a lot of our audience is at with the process of migrating from TDM to IP trunking. (You can view any or all of the sessions and sponsor content by going here.)
In our opening session, which was a keynote talk by Sorell Slaymaker, we polled the audience on three questions. The first was your basic level-set:
Not too big a surprise here; the vast majority of the market is still in the early stages of adoption, and is still trying to get a grip on the challenges and pitfalls involved in migrating your legacy voice, with all of its specific configurations, DID numbers, etc., to a different service and potentially a new network architecture. Also, there's the self-selecting factor: It stands to reason that the audience for a SIP Trunking event will be those who need lots of SIP Trunking information.
Our next question was about attitudes toward SIP Trunking:
Again, we have a significant chunk of respondents who appear to see SIP Trunking more in their future than in their present. Either they've got a plan that they're working on, or they're just at the beginning of the process.
It's interesting to note that anti-carrier sentiment was actually the smallest response here. This may indicate that earlier concerns about availability are being addressed by the carriers; on the other hand, with so many folks say that SIP Trunking is more of a future issue, it may just be that these folks just haven't yet had the opportunity to engage with the carriers enough to get frustrated.
The obvious point for follow-up--more than we could have gotten into in an hour-long session--is exactly what sorts of internal obstacles our audience was encountering. The logical answer would be that it could be any of a host of potential challenges, but here's an interesting challenge that I was talking with someone about recently: Once you start messing with TDM trunks that have been in place for years, you're starting to deal with voice issues that pre-date the current generation of VOIP CPE (your IP-PBXs). Since the time that those IP-PBXs went in, there's likely been a lot of turnover and transition within the IT organization, and many of the people who were true "voice experts" are likely to have left the organization for one reason or another. The knowlege base to deal with "pure" voice issues is likely depleted.
Finally, here's the results of our question on motivation for SIP Trunking:
It's not surprising that Cost Savings is the top answer, though not by as overwhelming a margin as you might expect. Clearly the message is getting out that there's more to SIP Trunking than just a potentially cheaper connection.
SIP Trunking just isn't cooling off as a topic of interest; we had almost 2,000 people register to attend this virtual event, and got tons of questions in all of the webcast sessions. We seem to be continually digging down to new strata of issues when it comes to SIP Trunking; I think this is going to continue to be a major topic that requires even more of our time--and yours--to explore. Stay tuned for more online events and more detailed content at Enterprise Connect Orlando next March.