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November 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 11
UC Unplugged

SIP Trunking: Lessons Learned and ROI Realized

Last month, somewhere between sharing my PC desktop and clicking to bring another colleague into an ad hoc conference call, I came to a realization.

My staff updates that used to take an entire day of emails, voicemails, and returning calls now take just 15 minutes – thanks to unified communications.

In fact, I’ve been noticing that communications across the company are faster and more productive now that that our 1,700-plus employees across 20 offices are leveraging Microsoft (News - Alert)’s UC technology for all voice and conferencing calls. Many of these improvements fall under the category of “soft benefits,” but we have seen many hard benefits as well.

One CFO-friendly benefit from our UC implementation is the ROI from SIP trunking – after all, it’s contributing to helping us save more than $1.2 million. In a recent conversation with Bill Lynch, our senior director of IT, he discussed the benefits of SIP trunking.

He explained that a SIP trunk located at Aspect (News - Alert) headquarters in Massachusetts provides UC voice and conferencing services to offices throughout the U.S. SIP trunking enables distributed access without the involvement of dozens of localized circuits. When our Chelmsford, Mass., office gets going in the morning, our Irvine, Calif., office is still sleeping. But when Irvine is still going in the late afternoon, Chelmsford’s usage has long passed peak. The Chelmsford-based SIP trunk handles all of this voice traffic and our employees get to keep their local numbers!

Realizing cost savings from SIP trunking was just one of the lessons learned from implementing UC. Sharing these best practices has been critical to demonstrating the value of UC, so we’ve pulled together insights from Bill and other IT experts into an interactive online community,

After all, learning from other deployments is the first step to understanding the soft and hard benefits of UC, and ultimately understanding why unified communications is going to be a requirement to conduct business globally in the near future. IT

Mike Sheridan (News - Alert) is executive vice president of worldwide sales at Aspect (

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