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June 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 6
Channel Ask the SIP Trunk Expert

SIP Trunks and Unified Communications: Making the Connection

SIP trunks are a simple, extremely cost-effective way of deploying VoIP. But the potential SIP trunks can unlock for your network is a big theme we’ll be seeing more of, especially as we approach the ITEXPO in September.

In fact, SIP trunks are an easy way to open the door to Unified Communications (News - Alert).

In deploying SIP trunks, it is necessary to put together all the pieces — of equipment, of service — necessary to make secure VoIP, a SIP-based application, work. This means having an IP-PBX (News - Alert), ITSP and SIP-capable security device to solve NAT traversal. You must also make sure the IP-PBX and ITSP are fully interoperable (another way the SIP-based edge device can help).

Once SIP trunks are up and running, you’re not only VoIP-capable, but you’re fully SIP-capable, too. VoIP is just the tip of the iceberg with SIP applications. Now that NAT traversal and interoperability are solved, and security is in place, the wide array of applications available with SIP are at your disposal.

Think of it: by deploying SIP trunks — and reaping the proven ROI with that kind of installation — employees, customers, partners can all benefit from:

  • Remote SIP Connectivity — Allowing remote users to leverage the VoIP capabilities of your company, from anywhere as long as they’re connected to the Internet. For many businesses, this means the entire sales force can use VoIP instead of their cell phones.
  • Instant Messaging — Have customers IM with your call center for immediate responses to queries.
  • Realtime video — Collaborate with partners or colleagues.
  • Find Me/Follow Me — Have your work phone ring on your cell, or at your desktop to your VoIP number.

And the myriad of applications to be developed down the road.

The beauty of SIP is that it facilitates “global connectivity:” everyone reachable anywhere, anytime. The true vision behind SIP was to bring the global business community together for collaboration, to improve productivity and generally help everyone work smarter, together. SIP trunks are a first step toward that goal, by providing a simple way to introduce SIP to the network. Once that happens, Unified Communications isn’t far behind. IT

Steven Johnson (News - Alert) is President of Ingate® Systems.

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