Russell Bennett
Russell Bennett is the Principal at UC Insights and has over 20 years of experience in the software technology...
Read Full Bio >>

Russell Bennett | March 31, 2013 |


Morphing SIP Trunking Into Federation

Morphing SIP Trunking Into Federation Two key players are deploying routing technology and a directory service that will allow SIP Trunk service providers to offer their customers inter-enterprise end-to-end RTP audio and video.

Two key players are deploying routing technology and a directory service that will allow SIP Trunk service providers to offer their customers inter-enterprise end-to-end RTP audio and video.

When I first became aware of "SIP Trunking", probably over 8 years ago while I was a Program Manager in the Microsoft UC group, I was distinctly underwhelmed by the whole idea. Although I completely understood the need for, and value of, connecting a UC system with the PSTN and mobile networks, there existed a myriad of IP-PSTN gateways (e.g. Dialogic, AudioCodes, and about 25 others at the time) that were capable of connecting a UC system to a PRI trunk. Therefore, the value of connecting to a Telco via SIP/RTP, including dealing with all the commensurate provisioning, security and authentication issues at the enterprise edge, only to have to hit another IP-PSTN gateway at the Telco network edge, was something I just didn't understand. I was much more interested in the concept of end-to-end, multi-modal communications that we now call "federation". Naturally, I was punished for giving forth on this point of view by being assigned to create the Microsoft SIP Trunking partner program.

Part of my program strategy was to minimize the "surface area" of the SIP Trunking interfaces that would have to be addressed by tackling the interoperability standards problem: so I got Microsoft involved in the SIP Forum's SIPconnect v1.1 initiative. As it turned out, the big Telcos (ILECs & PTTs) were not interested in participating in that exercise, partly because they saw SIP Trunking as cannibalizing their PRI revenues (i.e., it breathed new life into the CLEC business) and partly because they disagreed with some of the requirements that, in their view, added cost to their end of the implementation (see here for more on this topic).

Despite these objections from the big Telcos, their initial lack of uptake on SIP Trunking was baffling to me. Since, as I have suggested above, "dialing digits over SIP" was so underwhelming, I was sure that SIP Trunking would rapidly transition to a multimedia service, and a new enterprise federation network would emerge. As we all now know, the Telcos, rather than embracing this opportunity, chose to ignore UC and focus on consumer mobile technology, international expansion and, in the US, the re-assembling of "Ma Bell" via massive M&A activity. I have already written at length about why I think that this was a poor choice on their part, not least of which was that it gave the UC vendors the opportunity to launch federation as an alternate multi-modal communications network that completely bypasses the core value proposition of the Telcos.

Now that I have had chance to think about it more, it turns out that a "scope reduction" decision in the SIPconnect v1.1 process may have had a larger impact than anticipated. SIPconnect v1.1 was aimed at the enterprise-to-Telco interface, and not inter-carrier connectivity. SIP Trunking was primarily intended for PSTN termination and origination, so it was assumed that the PSTN would be the inter-carrier network. A number of Telcos today, including Verizon with their VIPER service, offer end-to-end SIP calling among their own subscribers; however, I remain unaware of any inter-carrier offerings for SIP Trunking. As a consequence of these assumptions and limitations, the opportunity for end-to-end UC communications was ignored, to the detriment of the overall value proposition for SIP Trunking.

While I was doing research for two of my sessions (SIP Trunking and Federation) at Enterprise Connect 2013, I discovered that two companies have recently taken the initiative to try to address this gap. BroadSoft, a vendor of next-generation communications switching elements, and Intelepeer, a cloud-communications service provider, have collaborated to deploy routing technology and a directory service that will allow SIP Trunk service providers to offer their customers inter-enterprise end-to-end RTP audio and video. In other words, SIP Trunking is now morphing into federation.

The graphic above is fairly self-explanatory, but are a few things that I should point out that aren't included:

1. Broadsoft's BroadWorks switches are deployed in over 500 service providers in 61 countries around the world; including 20 of the global top 25 Telcos.

2. The SuperRegistry is essentially a private ENUM directory which currently contains 450 million phone numbers that can be routed by Intelepeer either directly or via a redirect to the originating service provider.

3. Although this service is apparently free to the originating service provider, it is the service provider's choice as to whether to configure this routing option in its own BroadWorks elements.

The latter issue is critical: if Telcos choose not to configure this option, for whatever reason, then clearly it won't be available. Furthermore, the theory of "network effect" tells us that for each Telco that chooses not to participate, the overall value proposition becomes exponentially less attractive for those who choose to participate.

Next Page: Enabling wideband audio


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.