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How Much Does SIP Trunking Really Save You?

One of the things we all know about SIP Trunking is that it saves money. Big money. Maybe 90% savings on your trunking costs when compared with PRIs. We all do know that, right?

There was a brief exchange during an analyst meeting at last week's ShoreTel partner conference that highlighted some differing perspectives on whether SIP Trunking really is a big money-saver. One analyst cited his firm's research showing a 28% savings by moving to SIP Trunks, a figure that sparked a brief discussion--was it too high, not high enough, just right?

In this particular meeting, the issue of SIP Trunking savings was a sidelight, and one that wasn't really pursued. But there is legitimate debate over whether SIP Trunking savings are really as impressive as advertised, once you figure in various costs. Marty Parker says that in his experience doing client work for UniComm Consulting, "By the time all the necessary (redundant/failover) gateways are purchased and then are routed through the (redundant/failover) SBCs, the costs of SIP trunks are on a par with, or maybe 10% less than, traditional large groups of T-1 trunks."

One thing that makes the number I heard at ShoreTel's meeting sound somewhat reasonable is that it jibes with at least the low end of what Sorell Slaymaker's been saying about SIP Trunking savings--Sorell's one of our main SIP Trunking gurus and knows a lot about the real cost impacts of putting in SIP Trunks--i.e., the ripple effects and unforeseen circomustances that can cut into your expected savings. Sorell's latest update on the state of SIP Trunking pegged the potential savings at 25%-60%.

The other factor that will affect SIP Trunking savings is the nature of the contracts that you write with your service provider. These are also in a state of flux, as the incumbent carriers (AT&T and Verizon) go through the cycles of grieving when it comes to cannibalizing a lucrative legacy service with newer, cheaper offerings--a process we’ve seen play out when MPLS replaced frame relay, and in countless other instances over the generations. On this topic, our ace expert is Lisa Pierce of Strategic Networks Group, who's been following the carriers’ enterprise service offerings for years and is the best in the business at helping enterprises understand the ins and outs of these offers.

I'm delighted that Sorell and Lisa will be keynoting our upcoming online session, "SIP Trunking: Making It Happen." We really felt that it was important to focus this event on the realities of SIP Trunking, because enterprises are at the point where they don't need to be convinced to do SIP Trunking; and hopefully their carriers are approaching the Acceptance stage of their grief, and thus are increasingly willing to roll out the services.

So now it's a matter of capturing the maximum possible savings. Sorell’s and Lisa’s keynote will be followed by a series of companion webcasts and will be accompanied by the chance for attendees to learn more about SIP Trunking from our sponsors, Siemens Enterprise Communications and XO Communications.

We hope you'll join us Wednesday, August 17, for what promises to be an informative, useful deep dive into the realities of SIP Trunking. You can find the sign-up for the online presentations here.