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Boosting Productivity Across Borders

The productivity and efficiency gains enabled by unified communications and collaboration (UCC) are well known, but analysts at IDC have found that just around one-third (37%) of U.S. enterprises have adopted these platforms. Momentum is growing, however, with roughly another third (36%) of businesses looking to implement UCC in the next two years.

The perceived complexity of UCC deployments is holding back many CIOs -– especially those in large organizations with employees spread across multiple continents. Yet, it's precisely in businesses like these where UCC can make the biggest difference, breaking down geographical barriers between teams and paving the way for truly seamless collaboration.

That's why it's important for service providers to explore ways to eliminate that complexity for their customers –- which is where SIP trunking comes in.

Imagine an instance –- like a natural disaster -- in which there is a need to alert hundreds of thousands of people about something critical. Often the most effective way of getting the message out as quickly as possible is using short, automated voice messages; because nothing quite beats the pervasiveness of voice. This kind of platform enables organizations to reach the right people, at the right time, anywhere in the world. The scale and immediacy is made possible by SIP trunking.

Many SIP trunking projects today are not only about IP telephony consolidation, but also often include conferencing, email, cloud contact centers, and other UCC applications. In fact, SIP trunking is now seen as key for integrating all voice, video, and data communications within the enterprise as well as between the enterprise and its customers and partners. In a similar vein, while the initial drivers for SIP trunking adoption were cutting network costs, simplifying dialling plans, and reducing voice trunks, the benefits that enterprises today seek with SIP trunking are much more far-reaching. It's therefore fair to say that SIP trunking has evolved from its humble voice-only beginnings to a business-critical communications platform.

To make the most of SIP trunking and quickly reap the full efficiency and productivity benefits of UCC, enterprises need a single global SIP platform. A platform like this, underpinned by a global network, not only enables enterprises to generate immediate savings from on-net audio, but also ensures a seamless, consistent end-user experience worldwide -- regardless of whether employees are collaborating over IM, video, or any other way. That is why SIP trunking is increasingly seen as the foundation on which all successful UCC deployments are built.

Another trend gathering pace in enterprises is the use of hybrid UCC technologies, specifically harnessing both cloud and on-premises models for conferencing solutions. This means that there is a growing need to bridge the gap between these two deployments and bring them together onto a single platform, which will ensure a consistently high-quality user experience. SIP trunking not only acts as this platform, but also makes the geographic distance between the user and the conferencing platform disappear, thereby enabling a truly borderless collaboration experience.

The challenge that many service providers face, however, is how to cater for their customers' increasingly global collaboration demands. Building technology capabilities in the U.S., Europe, and the main business hubs of Asia may have been enough some 15 years ago, but not anymore. Businesses want to operate seamlessly and successfully across both developed markets and the high-growth economies of Africa, Middle East, South America and Asia. For example, U.S. foreign direct investment in India increased from $7.2 billion in 2005 to $28.3 billion in 2015, according to Statista. In fact, over a quarter of large US companies intend to invest in the country.

This drive for borderless growth means that service providers, system integrators, and channel partners have the opportunity to help enterprises cope with the complexities that come with operating across different established and emerging markets. In tandem, enterprises increasingly want their SIP trunking solutions to come with the same flexibility and scalability as their pay-as-you-consume cloud applications. SIP trunking, and increasingly APIs for SIP trunking, are central to this.

However, building a global, scalable SIP platform and UCC offering requires time, resources, and subject matter expertise. To meet these needs, providers must build a partner ecosystem of like-minded enterprise solution providers; this offers the global reach and technology expertise to address their customers' rapidly evolving demands through a single platform.

Looking ahead, as the number of different video, voice, IM, and other UCC platforms continues to grow in enterprises, adding a technology-agnostic SIP trunking solution will enable service providers to navigate this maze with ease. And, with more and more enterprises turning to different forms of UCC to boost productivity amongst their employees and drive organization-wide efficiencies, there are huge opportunities for service providers to generate new revenue streams from SIP trunking. The key to unlocking the potential of this market and supporting customers' international growth ambitions is finding the right partner with the technology capabilities spanning both developed and emerging markets.

Learn more about Unified Communications & Collaboration at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla. Register now

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