January 13, 2011
SIP Trunking and Least-Cost Routing Come into Their Own
By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor
People have been talking about SIP trunking for years, but the technology is now really coming into its own. The sure sign of that is the publishing of documents like a new whitepaper from Siemens (News - Alert), clearly laying out the financial justifications of deploying SIP trunk architecture.
Siemens claims that governments and businesses are achieving substantial savings through SIP trunking: in one case, an insurance company saved about 13,000 hours of voice traffic each month by feeding 70,000 calls weekly onto an internal SIP network.
In another case, a Pacific Northwest state saved nearly $2 million annually by deploying IP least-cost routing.
The fact that most carriers, in the U.S. and internationally, now offer SIP trunking is another sure sign that the technology has matured and is ready for primetime. These carriers know that SIP trunking can save organizations 25 – 50 percent, and see this as a tremendous business opportunity.
Likewise, IP least-cost routing brings IP advantages to existing networks, and often saves 30 percent in inter-site communications costs.
What exactly is SIP trunking? Here’s how Siemens describes the technology, “It uses the SIP standard for call control and provides the advantage that you can combine all forms of traffic (voice, data, video) on a single connection to the service provider.”
IP least-cost routing also deserves a definition, and here’s what Siemens says about it, “In most multi-site enterprises, each site usually has connections to other company sites via leased-lines, plus local PSTN connections for local calls. With IP-LCR, you simply interconnect all sites using a centralized IP-based call routing system to gain immediate interconnection and call cost benefits—without having to incur the large capital costs of wholesale PBX (News - Alert) replacements.”
It should be cautioned, however, that like all networks, SIP trunking shouldn’t be viewed as a cookie-cutter solution. Organizations considering the move toward SIP trunking would be wise to think carefully about a variety of design, deployment and maintenance factors.
These factors include:
If well thought out, SIP trunking and IP least-cost routing offer many benefits with proven ability to positively affect the bottom line.
“With projected savings as much as 35 percent to 60 percent, SIP trunk consolidation is indeed worthy of investigation for most US enterprises with 2,000 or more employees distributed over five or more locations,” Siemens said in its whitepaper. “The Return on Investment for SIP trunk consolidation can be further sweetened by using IP-LCR for site-to-site traffic and through simple additions of solutions like an enterprise conference bridge.”
It was also added, “These capabilities can be easily added to existing voice networks, usually with little or no impact on existing systems.”
To learn more about SIP trunking and least-cost routing, including much more in-depth discussion on resilience/redundancy, branch gateway solutions, high-gain options and long-term migration plans, read the full whitepaper.
Mae Kowalke is a TMCnet contributor. She is Manager of Stories at Neundorfer, Inc., a cleantech company in Northeast Ohio. She has more than 10 years experience in journalism, marketing and communications, and has a passion for new tech gadgets. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jaclyn Allard