While most Canadians spent the past Thanksgiving long weekend trying to see how much turkey they could consume in a single sitting, Grant Bykowy took on an even bigger challenge: explaining the concept of SIP trunking to radio listeners across the Kitchener-Waterloo region.
Allstream’s director of voice, IP and product strategy was among the guests on the Oct. 7 episode of B2B Talk Radio, a weekly program that airs on 570News.com and reaches a wide audience of small and medium-sized businesses. While Allstream and other firms have been talking about the technology for years, the show’s hosts underscored the fact that for many people, SIP is far from a household word. Bykowy sought to change that.
“It’s a technology that’s becoming more and more prevalent in communications,” he explained on the show. “It’s a form of voice-over-IP, if you’ve heard of that term. It’s actually called session initiation protocol, and it allows you to use voice communications over data and Internet networks.”
To break it down in layman’s terms, Bykowy sketched out a typical scenario. “You may have a business operation with, let’s say an office location, a manufacturing facility and a remote site,” he said. “Usually those have to have some telephone service to it, right? The telecom manager or the person who’s responsible needs to order phone service from a provider. If you’re accessing a centralized e-mail server, though, you may need data services from another provider. Most likely you’ll also need Internet access. You have three kinds of network services that you’re buying or paying for in order to make that work. It’s not particularly flexible. It’s not that easy to add sites or remote workers. You have this behemoth you have to work with.”
SIP trunking overcomes these obstacles by allowing SMBs to run voice/telephone traffic over a data network and eliminate that voice network that you were paying for. “This thing saves you money,” Bykowy explained.
More tech-savvy companies might worry about the bandwidth required in a SIP trunking scenario, but Bykowy said it may need no more network resources than the telephone service does.
Beyond that, Bykowy argued that SIP trunking is a way to extend the productivity and business flexibility of a business beyond what’s possible with “that mish-mash of networks,” as he put it. “It allows you to get access to many different cities in one physical location,” he said. “It allows a business to actually project a virtual presence – you could have a local telephone number where you have no office and no presence. It’s much like a virtual storefront. Many users come to us with that challenge.”
Dive deeper into SIP trunking by watching an on-demand Webinar, SIP Trunking: Take Your UC Strategy To the Next Level, featuring Bykowy and an Allstream customer Thomson Tremblay.