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The Secrets of a Successful SIP Trunk Migration

Learning never exhausts the mind.
-- Leonardo da Vinci

I go to a fair number of tradeshows and industry conferences throughout the year, and as much as I love presenting at these events, I am just as thrilled to attend sessions given by my communications colleagues. It's rare when I don't pick up a tip or two, and there have been a number of sessions that have changed the way I view a product or a particular technology.

This year, I presented two breakout sessions at Avaya's IAUG Engage 2016 conference and attended at least a half dozen more. I would love to write about all my favorites, but for now, I will pick one.

For me, Larry Riba's "Secrets of a Successful SIP Trunking Migration" was a highlight. It's not that I haven't been living and breathing SIP migrations for the past several years. Believe me, I've paid my dues, time and time again. Still, hearing personal experiences allow me to see things that I might not otherwise see. Even the best of us fall into patterns and tend to repeat the same methodologies over and over again.

Larry began his presentation by discussing the benefits of SIP trunking. While most were not new to me (e.g. better redundancy and failover, cost savings, reduction in inbound and outbound trunks, etc.), a few were not on my personal list of "Why SIP?" For instance:

Following the benefits of SIP, it was off to checklists for preparation, design decisions, choosing a SIP provider, planning, and avoiding pitfalls.

Everything begins with an inventory of the existing TDM infrastructure. This involves detailing voice circuits and DIDs and should be fairly easy to complete using configuration records and billing statements.

The next part is much harder. You may know all the DIDs owned by your enterprise, but determining how they are used takes an examination of overall usage patterns, current costs, specific or location usages, and busy hour requirements. The goal is to not only meet the current needs, but right-size the organization following a centralization of trunks. For example, the number of required trunks may drop substantially once they become a shared resource spread across a large geographical area and over many time zones.

My nerdy soul loved this part of the presentation. Here, Larry discussed:

SIP brings along a lot of flexibility, but at some point you need to put a stake in the ground and choose a path. Some of the decision points include:

Choosing your SIP carrier should never be an afterthought. Although it's tempting to stick with your current TDM provider, this is the time when you need to consider the following:

As a technologist, I hate having to think about money, but as a practical person, I can't ignore it. Here, the following should be considered:

You've done your due diligence and determined what you want and from who you want it from. You now need to come up with a clear and concise plan on how to implement everything. This includes:

Even the best laid plans sometimes go awry. Here are a few potential problem areas that must be considered:

You won't know if it works if you don't properly test everything. Areas of high concern include:

Life doesn't come with guarantees, and Murphy has a way of showing up when he's least expected, but the better the plan, the more likely you will have a positive outcome. The tips that Larry shared will take you a long way to achieving the results you want, but it's up to you to customize the approach to one that delivers the results that make sense for your organization.

Andrew Prokop writes about all things unified communications on his popular blog, SIP Adventures.

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