Eric Krapf
Eric Krapf is General Manager and Program Co-Chair for Enterprise Connect, the leading conference/exhibition and online events brand in the...
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Eric Krapf | March 05, 2013 |


The Value of SIP Trunking

The Value of SIP Trunking It's about being able to afford to build a communications architecture that does things the previous generations couldn't do, while still providing all the legacy services and benefits,

It's about being able to afford to build a communications architecture that does things the previous generations couldn't do, while still providing all the legacy services and benefits,

Is SIP Trunking still as big a deal as it's been the last few years? We'll get plenty of feedback on that question in a couple of weeks at Enterprise Connect Orlando, but there's clearly still a strong case to be made for SIP Trunks, as is demonstrated in a presentation that I just reviewed for the show. It's the work of Andrew Blackmon, Director of Infrastructure & Technology Services, Children's Hospital Colorado, who's going to be a panelist on our "SIP Trunking Case Studies " session.

We mostly think about SIP Trunks for cost savings, and Andrew Blackmon, in his presentation, says Children's Hospital is poised to save 50% over their ISDN PRIs. But he actually focuses much of his presentation on the many architectural and other business benefits of SIP Trunks, with a strong focus on disaster recovery. Indeed, two of the major risks that Children's Hospital hopes to allay with its SIP Trunking migration have to do with disaster recovery and scalability.

Indeed, what becomes clear in Andrew's slides is that, while SIP Trunking appeals to Children's Hospital because of cost savings, it's not simply a matter of wanting to swap out one kind of connectivity for an equivalent connectivity that just happens to cost less. In fact, like many hospital systems, Children's has a main hospital linked to multiple affiliated sites, which it calls its "Network of Care" locations. This gives it a powerful incentive to look for a more resilient architecture. As Andrew puts it in his slides:

* The Unified Communications infrastructure must be able to provide service to "Network of Care" locations, even if a disaster impacted the main hospital

* A design relying on ISDN PRIs would be very expensive, and would require manual intervention to port the DIDs to the backup trunk group

* We need a solution that will allow DIDs from multiple Local Access Transport Areas [LATA] to be delivered into our two data centers in Aurora and Denver

I think we're making a mistake if we think that SIP Trunks are just about cheap connectivity. It's about being able to afford to build a communications architecture that does things the previous generations couldn't do, while still providing all the legacy services and benefits, so that the business of the enterprise isn't unduly disrupted. Oh, and doing all of that for a fraction of what the legacy technology cost. That's a nice added benefit.

I just want to wrap up with the summary that Andrew Blackmon presents in support of the benefits and justification for migrating to SIP Trunks:

* 50% cost savings using SIP compared to ISDN PRI

* Increase redundancy and eliminate single points of failure
--Soft switches in multiple cities instead of a Class 5 switch in a single central office in the service provider's network
--Unified Communications servers and equipment in multiple enterprise data centers

* Immediate failover between sites
--No manual intervention required

* Nearly infinite scalability
--CUBE [Cisco SBC] can support up to 2,500 simultaneous calls on a single 3945E platform
--It would take 109 ISDN PRI circuits and many voice gateways and large quantities of DSP resources to achieve the same capacity

* Deliver DIDs from multiple Local Access Transport Areas [LATA] into multiple centrally located enterprise data centers

After these benefits, he encourages his colleagues:

* Don't be scared off by concerns about call quality, faxing, E911, or other functionality
--Design, design, design--QoS, last mile design, faxing, E911
--Test, test, test, and test some more--Allow significant time in the project plan for thorough testing
--Have a back out plan

Andrew is just one of many great end users we have on the program in Orlando, so I hope you'll be able to make it to Enterprise Connect to hear and learn from them--and to share your own insights and experiences.

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