SIP trunking’s killer app revealed

Allstream’s Phillip Lightstone offers his insights on the future of business communications at the Avaya Evolutions conference in Toronto earlier this week.

Share this article:

Compared to our American cousins, we Canadians are a curiously conservative lot. Not necessarily in the socio-political sense. But in the realm of business spending, we’re often much thriftier.

Allstream’s Phillip Lightstone riffed on this continental divide during his presentation at the Avaya Evolutions conference in Toronto earlier this week.

“Our American friends are way ahead of us in terms of SIP trunking adoption. I’ve always been very curious about why that is,” mused Lightstone, a solution architect at Allstream.

Lightstone then suggested that when it comes to swaying Canadian CIOs over to the SIP side, the bottom line factor is … well, the bottom line.

“I’ve always wondered what is the SIP killer app,” he told the audience. “And I think it’s all about profitability.”

To that end, Lightstone delivered a presentation called Leveraging Allstream SIP and Avaya UC for lowest TCO: A C-suite view. To make the case that SIP can indeed boost a business’s bottom line, he served up some real life case studies. The strongest one, from where I was sitting, involved an unnamed Canadian organization with nationwide operations, including 1,300 retail locations.

The problem? Said organization had a headache inducing 12,000 PSTN circuits. Yet its existing WAN was actually underutilized – not to mention decentralized, with separate voice and data networks across multiple sites. A messy, costly mix.

The fix? SIP trunks demarking at data centres, PSTN capacity scaled to actual needs, and local phone numbers ported to a centralized IVR.

The savings? Those 12,000 copper circuits were whittled down to just 1,200. Plus, telecom costs at Anonymous Organization were cut by $36.4 million (or 29 per cent) over five years. (Lightstone also said SIP trunking can result in average cost savings of 40 per cent on telecom infrastructure and 25 to 40 per cent on cellular usage.) Any CIO presenting that kind of cold, hard data may just find a seat warmed up for them around the boardroom table, Lightstone hinted.

“You bring that to your CEO, what are they gonna do?” Lightstone asked.

“Give you a big hug!” a cheeky audience member cried out.

That little exchange got big laughs (no mean feat at the end of an hour-long seminar on telecom services in January). But with the cost-cutting pressure they’re under, today’s IT managers probably could use a hug.

“The paradigm today is do more with less,” said Lightstone.

I found my own case study at the conference keynote. Mark is the IT manager at an Ontario construction firm. When I sat beside him, Mark said he came to hear about SIP trunking.

“Is your firm using SIP now?” I asked. No. “Why not?” Firstly, he’s been too busy managing day-to-day IT stuff. (Sound familiar?) Secondly, he wanted to let “the bigger guys” try SIP trunking first, to see if it delivers what’s promised.

Now, however – convinced it’s the real deal and tired of managing communications between several construction sites – Mark said he’s pretty ready for SIP. This cautious, cost-conscience Canadian finally came around. But did he get a big hug from his CEO? If I see Mark at another conference, I’ll ask him.

Watch the on-demand Webinar: SIP Trunking – Take Your UC Strategy to the Next Level


Share this article:
Comments are closed.