Our announcement this week of Sprint’s integration of our Global MPLS network and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking with Microsoft’s Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2 (OCS 2007 R2) is significant not just because Sprint is one of the first United States-based providers of SIP Trunking services qualified for use with Office Communications Server 2007 R2, but also for what it means to businesses and their unified communications deployments.
SIP Trunking tends to be one of those behind-the-scenes technologies, but it is an essential building block when it comes to enabling VoIP and other advanced IP-based applications. Steve Parrott had a good take on this, by the way, with his recent posting on AoIP (Applications over IP).
The Sprint-Microsoft combination demonstrates the real potential of network enablement of unified communications applications. As a long time user of OCS 2007, as well as Live Communications Server 2005 before that, I’m excited about the native SIP capabilities of OCS 2007 R2.
When connected to SIP trunking, corporations who deploy OCS technology can see their voice costs drop substantially due to the highly efficient use of SIP trunks over MPLS, and the elimination of inefficient LEC business lines or trunks. There is no longer a need for TDM/VoIP gateways at the customer’s site. Thanks to the efficiency of merging voice, video, and data over a single connection, you gain savings by eliminating separate networks for each. And the transport goes over our highly reliable and secure MPLS network, enabling Sprint to serve as the single source for all of a business’ communications needs.
SIP trunking will be generally available in a few months, but is already available in connection with enterprise deployments of OCS 2007 R2.