IPT and SIP Trunking Slowly Gaining Ground
Legacy access technologies still dominate, according to Frost & Sullivan's CXO Study, but IP communications are growing.
Opportunities exist for UC&C vendors and service providers to help consolidate and streamline their customers' ICT infrastructures and improve IT operational efficiencies, helping those organizations gain a competitive advantage. And increasingly, enterprises are taking advantage of these opportunities, according to Frost & Sullivan's recent survey of more than 200 C-level executives. (Clients can download the full report at www.frost.com.)
The network interfaces that businesses use to connect to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) are a vital link to customers, partners, and employees. Given the mission-critical role that voice traffic plays in most organizations, adoption of a particular network interface requires a certain level of trust--and the majority of companies are still placing that trust in digital voice lines such as T1/E1 circuits, which comprise the majority of network interfaces among the companies in our survey.
However, more than a third of the participants say their organizations have adopted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) access and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking services for their communications platforms, suggesting a developing trust in IP-based technologies for voice communications. But the largest users of VoIP/SIP solutions are in early-adopter industries, such as health care and IT/telecom.
Analog voice lines trail both digital and VoIP/SIP trunking solutions, with fewer than a quarter of participants still using them within their organizations.
The devices that businesses deploy to support their network interfaces bridge the gap between communications platform and services. These edge devices can be a clue to both the communications platforms and types of services being deployed.
Based on survey responses, standalone media gateways fare the worst in nearly every type of connection, suggesting that businesses favor multi-function devices at the network edge. Likewise, most service providers offer businesses bundled data and voice services. For such unified services, integrated access devices that offer both data routing and voice traffic management in a single device are the most common among respondents.
Among users of VoIP access or SIP trunking services, a number of clear patterns emerge. Integrated devices are the most commonly used for IP-based services, and the use of enterprise session border controllers (E-SBCs) among participants is very low.
This lack of adoption suggests that the interoperability concerns associated with SIP might be overstated, particularly considering that almost a quarter of the participants who use these services are forgoing any form of device and instead are directly interfacing VoIP and SIP trunking services with their communications platform.