The SIP trunking gotchas you must avoid

A recent Webinar offers tips that can help IT departments steer clear from common pitfalls and ensure project success

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While the benefits of SIP trunking may be clear, the ways to avoid deployment and implementation pitfalls aren’t. This is particularly accurate when considering that lack of standard SIP trunking implementations has potentially slowed overall adoption, notes one industry observer. 

As an emerging standard for voice communications management, SIP trunking is gaining traction and the enterprise – and there are a few IT “gotchas” that organization can avoid with some planning and best practices, according to independent SIP consultant Jim Allen.

Speaking during a recent SIP trunking webinar – sponsored and moderated by IP communications provider XO Communications – Allen delved into a few tips IT professionals and network administrators can heed for a successful SIP trunking deployment.  SIP trunking is indeed on the “upward swing” in adoption and full scale deployment, notes Allen, but added that things are still in the early stages and there are best practices to look out for in ensuring an smoother implementation.

Understanding the overarching business need: It seems like common sense, but organizations should ensure any SIP trunking implementation is clearly driven by the key business priorities.  Test the waters: are you looking for a centralized or decentralized SIP offering? And are these needs driven by concerns around cost and business continuity? Are considerations around latency and E-911 accounted for? Enterprises should be asking these questions, the webinar revealed. Any implementation should be cost-driven, and account for seasonal and geographic requirements when evaluating the best SIP flavour for the organization, adds Allen.

Avoiding interoperability issues: SIP Trunks can deliver a logical connection between communication control switches. But when looking at a SIP trunking vendor, network manager should conduct testing of the IP PBX environment before engaging in any credit, ordering and provisioning processes. Not all IP PBXs work with every service provider; Many service providers also don’t support things like SIP TCP connections, notes Allen. Right off the bat, organizations should consider the interoperability issues they may encounter, including load balancing, call routing between clusters or supporting outbound calling. “Make sure that you take a hard look at your call flows,” says Allen, adding that this includes testing to ensure enough bandwidth.

 

Ensure the price is right: When it comes to pricing, large distributed environments may be best suited for adopting a centralized SIP Trunking model.  But organizations shouldn’t get caught solely looking at the base session price when looking at vendor offerings, but rather look at components such as MLPS, security, bursting and application performance requirements. Consider any existing bundled prices a provider may offer, notes Allen, adding that this includes looking at price structure and usage patterns. With this in mind, carefully evaluate the carrier offerings that are out there; understanding your usage patterns can go a long way in determining the type of SIP trunking solution is the best fit, says Allen.  

Learn more about SIP trunking from the customer perspective by watching our on-demand Webinar: SIP trunking: Take your UC strategy to the next level.

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