Vancouver Panel Explores the Benefits of SIP Trunking

At an Allstream event in Vancouver, an expert panel discussed how businesses can use SIP trunking to reduce costs, drive productivity and improve network performance.

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(Left) Allstream’s Grant Bykowy and Forester Consulting’s Art Schoeller enthrall the crowd with their overview of HSBC Bank Canada’s SIP Trunking rollout and a look at future trends in the technology. (Right) Allstream Vice President Larry Goerzen welcomes the crowd at Allstream’s April 19th SIP Trunking seminar at Vancouvers’ Granville Island Hotel. “With SIP trunking you can scale up as needed and reduce when the load is lighter,” said Art Schoeller, Forrester Research, Inc. Principal Analyst who served as a guest expert on the panel. “If you have a call centre that’s really busy in December and January, you end up paying for fixed lines during the rest of the year that you’re not using.”

Feature functionality, reliability and security are other key reasons to make the switch, Schoeller noted.

“SIP Trunking allows many other benefits that traditional telephony can’t,” he said. “That includes virtual presence – letting you have local numbers worldwide that your customers can call in to, without needing to have a physical trunk there.”

SIP Trunking allows multi-site operations to share resources seamlessly. The benefit can be as simple as having one receptionist answer calls for multiple locations, to integrating home workers into existing networks and systems; and sharing call centre operations between multiple offices.

What to Look for in a SIP Trunking Provider

Schoeller suggested working with good partners that you have a trusting relationship with – and who will take the time to learn about your specific and unique network needs.

“The key is to have the right help at the right time,” said Schoeller. “Look at what your provider’s capabilities are – and if they understand your needs.”

Advice for a Successful SIP Implementation

Schoeller suggested getting a full assessment prior to implementation.

“Have your provider look at your business needs, and the breadth of the applications impacted. That assessment drives the process,” said Schoeller. “I’m a big fan of them coming in and really understanding your network, your traffic flows, your inventory of applications and coming up with a really good, detailed proposal that addresses those. Security is one consideration. Does that provider have the security capabilities and understand your security needs?”

Going forward, SIP trunking technology has matured to the point where IT managers don’t have to worry as much about testing the equipment to see if it works. Now, the real focus needs to be on making sure it works within your local configuration.

“It’s not daunting. It’s really configuration and planning that’s key,” noted Schoeller.

That includes making sure firewalls are configured correctly, ensuring bandwidth is being allocated appropriately, and configuring the connection to the carriers.

Having the right expertise on your side, and doing careful planning and lab testing are key to success.

“I’m a big fan of doing a staged rollout, continuously assessing along the way, and getting user feedback about both quality (how does it sound? ) and the user’s experience,” said Schoeller.

He suggested that during the initial roll out to consider complimenting your team with experts from your third party provider. They can work with your team to solve problems on the fly – and even provide end-user support during the early days – while training up your IT department as they go.

And he recommended taking a look at how SIP trunking can fit into your network.

“Get out there and get going with it – because you’re leaving money on the table,” added Schoeller.

Network professionals in Toronto also learned about SIP trunking implementation first-hand when the Allstream experts panel traveled to Toronto in March. Click here for coverage from the event, including details on how SIP trunking customers found success. You can also learn more about how to extend your communications investment in this Frost & Sullivan whitepaper.

View full coverage of all SIP events at:

 Get your Free download of the SIP Trunking eBook: The Complete Buyer’s Guide for IT and Business Decision Makers to learn how your business can benefit.

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