The Seamless Enterprise

Comprehensive news and discussion of enterprise communications and converged network solutions.

The Reasons Behind SIP Trunking Reluctance

on November 03, 2011 by Dan Jacobson

If SIP Trunking looks so good on paper – and it does – as you run the numbers on it for cost savings and productivity gains, why do many enterprises seem so half-hearted about it?

Sorell Slaymaker, writing at NoJitter, has some thoughts on that, with some interesting insight into why it is that, as he says, some 70 percent of organizations have SIP trunks in their network environment, but only five percent have fully migrated.

Clearly, as he talks about the reasons, it isn’t any shortcomings inherent in the technology. The reasons fall more or less into “cultural” and “infrastructural” categories.

Culturally, for some organizations it is a challenge to figure out how the SIP Trunking migration will be paid for. Yes, the cost savings will pay the organization back quickly, but there are still up-front costs to consider. As Slaymaker points out, many IT organizations charge back the network and telecom costs to business units, with new projects funded the same way.

Getting buy-in from all the business units isn’t always easy. That’s where an executive champion, or a CIO with determination and a strong personality, come in handy. Without either of those, it can be an uphill battle to move up the SIP Trunking ladder.

Infrastructurally, the best way to really leverage SIP Trunking benefits is to centralize communications, resulting in a large project that requires a very robust IP network. Because, as Slaymaker says, some organizations have nagging doubtsabout the reliability and robustness of their IP wide area network, they hold back in their SIP Trunking implementation.

A companion problem is that getting the necessary expertise on staff is a big challenge. The right people will know IP networking and telecom, and either already know or can easily learn the intricacies of SIP Trunking. The market is tight for those kinds of right people.

A combination cultural/infrastructural issue arises when all applications reside in the data center. The more risk-averse executives fear that if the network goes down, everything goes down with it. However, as Slaymaker points out, centralized environments have actually been shown to provide greater uptime.

That may be true, but the decision-makers are not always willing to take what they consider to be a big risk. Their reluctance is, unfortunately, too often fed by legacy service providers who counsel against replacing local trunks and urge caution and slow adoption. Of course, the slower the adoption, the longer these providers keep their trunk revenue coming in, so it’s in their interest to create FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

As leaders, we need to understand the risk, plan for it and take advantage of the technology we have available to us – ultimately delivering better products and services for our customers.


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About the Author

Dan Jacobson is General Manager for Converged Solutions at Sprint Nextel. He is responsible for product strategy, development and life cycle management of integrated wireline and wireless services. His team launched Sprint SIP Trunking (Voice over IP solution for Business) and Sprint Mobile Integration, a cloud-based mobility solution which extends the business deskphone functionality to a mobile handset. Dan has more than 20 years of cross-disciplinary industry experience including product development for VoIP, mobility solutions, and traditional voice services; network, information technology, business development, operations, marketing, regulatory, and customer service. Dan received his Masters in Business Administration from Baker University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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