Fragmented voice and data systems, multiple network providers, and employees hungry for better collaboration – these are some of the communications challenges facing IT managers. Add disparate, non-integrated voice systems to the mix and the challenges multiply.
A live experts panel convened in Toronto to discuss how new convergence technologies such as SIP trunking are helping companies solve these problems by integrating their communications platforms on a single IP backbone.
Allstream panelist Grant Bykowy noted that these telecom challenges are not unique to one industry sector. “Everyone is looking to better utilize their network infrastructure to be more productive,” Bykowy said. “In many cases businesses are upgrading to MPLS or IP VPN from old legacy frame relay networks and seeing how efficiently these new high-capacity networks carry traffic. This makes for a natural opportunity to ask: can I use these networks to carry voice?”
The answer is yes, but getting there is more complicated. Implementing SIP trunking can be a multi-tiered process, especially for organizations with complex IT infrastructures and multiple locations. Bykowy told the audience of IT professionals that before choosing a SIP trunking provider they had to first understand what systems, services, and features they already have, along with what features they want from they phone system. An experienced SIP trunking provider should help with this process and provide a service and feature roadmap for implementation.
The benefits of implementation were made clear: SIP trunking effectively converges voice and data onto a single network, simplifying network management, eliminating hardware and reducing long-distance costs. SIP trunking also simplifies the management and reduces the costs of many unified communications capabilities, including mobile applications, presence, instant messaging and call centres.
As panelist Melanie Turek reminded the audience, such advances in IP and telecom technologies have created high service levels that every business, big and small, is expected to match.
“Today’s customers expect a high level of communications from the companies they deal with,” Turek said. “They want to dial a number and reach you where you are without having to leave a bunch of different messages in different places. And they expect that when you take their call, you’ll have their information at your fingertips.”
And what customers want, customers get. “If you don’t provide that level of service,” Turek said, “then they’ll go to companies that do.”
Network professionals in B.C. also learned about SIP trunking implementation first-hand when the Allstream experts panel traveled to Vancouver on Thursday, April 19. For coverage of that event, including details on how SIP trunking customers found success, go here. You can also learn more about how to extend your communications investment in this Frost & Sullivan whitepaper.
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