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More SIP Trunking than I Thought
We just finished another big SIP trunking webinar--almost 1,200 registered, more than 600 attended--and it's not a desire to do a little crowing that causes me to cite those numbers. The big crowd gave us a reasonable sample size for our audience polls, at least one of which yielded a result I found pretty surprising:
It's not surprising that the largest group of respondents say they don't know when they'll deploy SIP trunks; what surprised me was that almost as many--more than a quarter of those answering--say they've already deployed SIP trunks. That doesn't necessarily mean their deployments are widespread or necessarily even beyond the pilot stage. In fact, both of our webinar speakers today characterized SIP trunking as still in its early days.
If you listened to Lisa Pierce's presentation on carrier offerings during the SIP trunking session at our recent VoiceCon Virtual Event, you got one reason why: The carriers don't seem to be making it particularly easy to deploy SIP trunks. Inconsistent pricing, lack of SLAs and, still, lack of ubiquitous availability, were among the obstacles Lisa cited.
The sense of the carrier as the major obstacle to a SIP trunk deployment was reinforced by one of today's speakers, Sorell Slaymaker, a consultant and end user IT veteran. Sorell put it this way: "Tier 1 carriers are dragging their feet and only offering solutions when pressed. Most tier 2 carriers have a more robust, mature, and competitive offering and are using it to take market share."
Still, there's reason for some optimism. Seamus Hourihan of Acme Packet, our other speaker, was able to cite multiple case studies, including La Quinta & Extended Stay Hotels and other unnamed customers in insurance and financial services.
And Seamus presented a business case for a large enterprise installation that spelled out the promised savings and totaled them up to 50%:
The big savings come in per-minute charges, with substantial additional savings because you need fewer DS0 equivalents when you implement SIP trunking than you do when you're buying PRIs at 23 DS0s per line. That's real money by anyone's calculation, and if you can capture it, you'll be a star in your enterprise.
So you take the promise of really noticeable savings, and combine it with an environment where you probably can't yet put together a network that captures those savings (thanks to carrier reluctance); now add to it just enough limited real-world success floating around out there--our 27% of attendees who have some implementations up and running--to make you think you should be able to do this.
If that ain't the recipe for a hot topic, I don't know what is.