SIP trunking has gone mainstream, and the business case for getting rid of T1 and PRI lines has never been stronger.

sip trunkingMore than half of all U.S. businesses are using some form of SIP trunking, according to Dave Stein, principal of Stein Technology Consulting Group, who noted the fact in a recent Enterprise Connect webinar. And what's accelerated this trend since the technology's introduction in the 1990s is how SIP trunking consolidates, simplifies and saves money for businesses of all sizes.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunks establish voice, video and data communications over IP networks via logical connections—not physical ones—between control points like IP-PBXs. This helps pave the way for many businesses to adopt unified communications to boost productivity and innovation, because all media types run over the same IP connections.

Organizations that have moved to SIP trunking have seen their telecom costs drop anywhere from 15 percent to 30 percent by aggregating their voice and data trunks from multiple office sites, Stein added, as well as relying on Internet connections for access, rather than multiple T1 lines. Even better, because IP trunking is regulated differently than T1s and PRIs, features that incurred separate charges, like "D" channels of ISDN services, get bundled into the overall fixed monthly or usage-based charge instead. Plus, required breakouts for TDM-based services—intrastate, interstate, local usage and Universal Service Fund charges—don't apply to IP and SIP trunking services.

SIP trunking offers another major advantage over TDM services: It allows business customers to scale on-demand during peak periods or when application or user requirements demand more than the usual allotted bandwidth.

Many businesses that have already adopted SIP trunking find they prefer its centralized management and support model, which makes administration simpler, easier and cheaper. SIP trunking also offers more flexibility with number portability and business continuity—incredible resiliency and uptime that PRIs and T1s can't touch. And SIP trunking paves the way for businesses to deliver multi-channel services like presence, instant messaging and video.

SIP trunking also allows for application session management, enabling interconnectivity among IP PBXs, video systems and presence platforms, among others. Session management contributes to SIP trunking's ability to scale and deliver centralized control.

 After closer examination, it's no mystery why businesses are embracing SIP trunking. Moving to SIP trunking isn’t just an incremental improvement; it’s a completely different realm of capabilities and convenience for organizations of all sizes. The cost savings, coupled with vastly simplified management, make it easy to justify the transition to both the CFO and CIO alike. And by opening the door to unified communications, SIP trunking users can promote greater levels of collaboration and innovation within their organizations. And that’s a win for everyone.

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