The most-attended breakout session at VoiceCon was the one on SIP Trunking, which surprised the heck out of me. SIP Trunking has become one of the most popular topics at the show, but the biggest? I wouldn't have expected that.David Rohde, who moderated that session, has a writeup on it over at his TechCaliber Consulting blog, which I highly recommend. We'll also be joining with Dimension Data on a SIP Trunking Webinar next week (register here).
Here's David's explanation on the popularity of the SIP Trunking session:
Interest in SIP Trunking is very high -- I've actually run three panels on this topic for VoiceCon in the last year and a half, and attendance has grown exponentially each time -- but large users are only just starting to seriously solicit real proposals for this. That's a common pattern for important, customer-facing technologies, and helps explain why it takes several years for network ideas to be deemed a success or failure.
David's much closer to the situation than I am, so I believe him when he says that users are only just starting to solicit proposals; after all, we heard about MPLS VPNs and Ethernet services for it seemed like a couple of years before anyone started replacing frame relay in any volume.
And yet, They've been hearing a lot about it, they hear that it could save them money, but they can't seem to get them. These users ask specifically about availability. I think there's a pent-up demand for SIP trunking that exceeds what we've seen in many other WAN technology replacement cycles.
When I talked at VoiceCon with Alan Percy of AudioCodes (who'll soon be blogging here at No Jitter), Alan focused on interoperability challenges with SIP trunks (not too surprisingly, since AudioCodes makes gateways). "SIP is not SIP is not SIP," he explained, adding, "If you do a word search on the SIP standard, the word 'may' turns up too often, and the word 'shall' comes up too seldom." In other words, everybody's implementing SIP differently when it comes to trunks.