Edmonton Experts Panel: SIP Trunking Connects a Multi-Site Business

The Allstream live panel of SIP trunking experts recently touched down in Edmonton to speak to a gathering of IT managers and technology professionals.

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The Allstream live panel of SIP trunking experts recently touched down in Edmonton to speak to a gathering of IT managers and technology professionals. The discussion largely focused on a SIP trunking implementation implementation and how it assisted an organization in simplifying their network complexity while reducing operational costs and enhancing organizational productivity. The live SIP trunking customer was Chandos Construction, an Alberta-based contractor and construction solutions provider.

The Challenge

Chandos runs several offices and multi-year construction sites across the province. Its work sites were connected by VPN hardware and employed different telephony solutions from multiple service providers, making each site an IT island onto itself. The company wanted to reduce the costs of running separate networks and using multiple service providers.

Bandwidth clogs were also limiting data transmission and application availability, while voice technology was feature-heavy but light on performance when it counted. “Supporting all those different systems and dealing with multiple vendors, and training staff on those systems, was a real challenge,” explained customer panelist Jaycen Kuehn of SNS Technologists (Chandos’s IT integrator).

Chandos needed a reliable voice and information stream between head office and its on-site employees. It also wanted customers to be able to reach the company via a single number, wherever they were calling from. “We wanted it to appear that when you were calling any site that you were calling a single office,” Kuehn said. “We wanted the company to appear under one roof and encompassing all of Alberta.”

Panelist Brownlee Thomas, Principal Analyst Serving Sourcing & Vendor Management Professionals for Forrester Research, observed that conformity and consistency are common goals for companies upgrading their communications. “Historically, companies would get telephony at the local level, separate from IT. But as companies look to reduce their costs, and IT technologies continue to mature, people are looking at IT and voice in a more holistic way. The desire for a converged network is very much about reducing the complexity of operational management.”

The Solution

All locations were connected with an MPLS infrastructure, and SIP trunking was used to converge voice traffic onto the IP network and to simplify voicemail, long distance, call transfers, inter-office calling and mobile connectivity.

Grant Bykowy, Allstream’s Director of Voice and IP Communications Strategy, Allstream explained why Chandos eventually went with an MPLS and SIP trunking solution to converge their communications. “SIP is a protocol that is used to set up any communications session – whether it’s voice, video, data or IM – in an IP environment. This means you can treat voice like an IT application in an IP environment rather than as a separate controlled voice environment.”

SIP trunking also allows organizations to make phone calls to the outside world via their company network. “VOIP solutions traditionally only allow voice over data in a corporate environment, but you still have to buy those phone lines and PRI trunks to reach the outside world,” Bykowy said. “There’s a lot of value in doing away with those extra connections.”

The Benefits

Chandros’s help desk calls have been reduced by at least 30%, and the company has created economies of scale by consolidating network costs under one provider. The solution has helped increase employee productivity with improved work flexibility and mobility options, including videoconferencing.

Kuehn’s IT team can also spend more time helping Chandos with their long-term IT goals. “We finally have more time to focus on other projects that were getting delayed because we were dealing with bottlenecks and other user problems,” Kuehn said. “We’ve become more efficient overall.”

You can also read about the recent Allstream Experts Forum events in TorontoVancouver and Ottawa. We’ll be posting coverage of our Calgary and Mississauga events in the coming weeks. To download the “SIP E-book: Complete Buyers Guide for SIP Trunking” and to view other SIP related articles and videos, visit our Network Convergence Resource Center.

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