It was market research firm Frost & Sullivan’s 2012 IT Decision Maker’s View of the Enterprise Communications Evolution survey that recently noted that financial services organizations currently rank as leading adopters of communication tools such as unified messaging and visual voicemail. This, despite the fact that unified communications and collaboration technologies (UC&C) have yet to still reach critical mass. “Future deployment of UC&C solutions does not vary significantly by company size, but larger organizations have plans to deploy them more actively,” the report found.
It is typically the financial services organizations who are looking to extend existing infrastructure by deploying UC&C tools: the emergence of video technology and related collaboration offerings represent a market that analysts note is expected to grow from $2.52 billion in 2013 to $7.62 billion by the year 2018.
SIP Trunking: a budding standard in enterprise communication
This is where Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking comes in. More than a buzzword or hot trend, the end goal is to leverage SIP trunking availability — bridging the gap between VoIP and traditional PSTN – to ensure a strong and enterprise-wide UC&C deployment with a reduced total cost of ownership. There are clear benefits for a SIP trunking environment – and specific ones for the financial sector.
Taking advantage of SIP trunking can help banks in several ways, such as doing away with expensive ISDN PRIs, access to shared trunks across locations, and reducing the number of PSTN gateways across branch offices. For example, taking advantage of a SIP trunking solution at a head office can help the organization leverage the IP PBX to work in tandem with an existing security firewall – helping to ensure the entire organization can take advantage of SIP-based VoIP applications, for example.
From a network perspective, what this means is the importance of a strong IP PBX environment is providing critical for the growth of next generation communication tools, particularly from a service delivery, productivity and cost reduction perspective.
What does the SIP trunking statement of work look like? How can we use SIP trunks to “future-proof the network?” Does using a more simplified enterprise network help better manage potential mergers and/or future growth? How can we take advantage of session border controllers (SBC) to reduce telephony costs? What is the shape of the current communications architecture and how will this impact the procurement process? Who are the SIP trunking vendors currently on the market –
and what do the SLAs look like? (Allstream recently announced an expansion of its own SIP Trunking service, for example.) These are the questions Canadian banks and other financial organizations should be asking.
A recent Forbes Magazine article notes that traditional financial service firms are struggling to contain cost structures that translate into higher prices for customers. For financial services firms looking at leveraging SIP trunking and enterprise-wide UC&C deployments – with an eye on being able to cost-effectively run data and voice traffic over a single IP backbone – these are definitely things to consider in helping improve the bottom line.
Take the next step: Download Allstream’s SIP Trunking eBook: Expanded 2013 Edition.