“SIP trunking has momentum but it has not yet taken over,” according to Art Schoeller, principal analyst for Forrester Research, in a recent Webinar titled: Real World SIP Trunking out – How IT managers can seize the opportunity and avoid pitfalls.
Forrester’s latest unified communication buyer survey indicates that some 30 per cent of businesses are not interested in implementing the technology. About 16 per cent of respondents are interested in SIP trunking but are not implementing it yet while 12 percent are moving forward with a deployment.
The numbers are understandable, according to Schoeller, because SIP trunking may not be for every business. Its primary selling point of reducing telecommunications costs through trunk consolidation may not initially appeal to organizations that do not have a large remote workforce or don’t have to deal with massive amounts of voice and data traffic like call centres do.
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As many as 71 per cent of respondents said they had some security concerns about SIP trunking. There’s the notion that because data and services are being transmitted via the Internet, SIP trunking is heavily exposed to Web-based attacks. Many organizations fear it could be a vector for a denial of service attack.
Schoeller said, many organizations are worried that “if somebody starts firing away packets at my contact centre, that a risk to my business.”
However, by clearly mapping out their SIP trunking implementation at the onset, carefully choosing and adequately protected service provider and deploying appropriate session boarder controllers (SBCs), business can mitigate interoperability and security challenges.
Here are some SIP trunking best practices outlined in the Webinar:
- Leverage the ability to concentrate trunking but avoid creating a single point of failure
- Consider multiple aggregation points and build backup and failover to a separate data centre
- Carefully select SBCs and evaluate carrier and interoperability
- Avoid using data compression on voice recognition applications as this tends to take away a lot of information that can be useful for analysis
About 74 per cent of respondents told Forrester that interoperability has been a challenge when they deployed SIP trunking.
In general, network products from different vendors will work together said Schoeller but the learning curve of SIP trunking is a bit longer than other technologies.
“While the curve is counted in years for many technologies, it’s counted in decades for SIP trunking,” he said. “…What I am hearing from people I talked to is that if they planned for two months for an implementation, they spend another two to three weeks before everything is up and running.”
A large number of businesses that went through with their SIP trunking implementation found the project worthwhile after going through some initial interoperability challenges.
Forrester found that companies using SIP trunking were largely satisfied with the quality of performance (52 per cent) and availability (45) they got from the service.
“What I found was once they reached the last mile of configuration, the majority of comments were ‘works like a top,’” said Schoeller.