What’s Blocking SIP Trunking from Widespread Adoption?

By now, businesses know that SIP trunking will save them money and add features that make their phone systems more powerful and easier to use.

Steven Johnson, President of Ingate, a SBC manufacturer, just wrote the article Three Reasons to Adopt SIP Trunking, explaining how “SIP trunking is the key to taking your business to the next level” with rapid ROI, local phone numbers and centralized call management features, and greater control and security of your phone system.

We’re living in an increasingly IP-based, IoT world and the SIP protocol is designed to tie it all together.

So why aren’t more businesses excited about deploying SIP trunks?

There are a number of reasons that can stop a company from adopting SIP trunking for their communication needs.

Key pain points can include one or a combination of these concerns:

  • Reliability – perception of unreliable customer service and lack of planning for backup (failover) SIP trunking and/or Internet service provider
  • IT Support – lacking in-house support to share responsibility of maintaining their own SIP trunks
  • Education – don’t realize long-term cost saving benefits
  • Security – connecting anything to the internet poses risk of DoS attack
  • Mix of Technology – old and new – not easy to switch from TDM and legacy equipment – interoperability concerns
  • Trust – unsure how it fits in communications strategy but, trust in quality of VoIP and SIP trunking is growing
  • Broadband Availability – lack of adequate bandwidth to make the switch
  • Contract Restrictions – locked into existing TDM provider contracts
  • Hosted Solutions – direct competition to SIP trunking that provides worry-free ease of use (e.g. service provider handles troubleshooting)

Back in 2013, Infonetics reported that while SIP trunking was gaining favor as a less expensive communication service, the main reasons that companies weren’t planning on deploying SIP trunking by 2015 were “satisfaction with existing voice services as the chief reason, followed by existing service contract not up for renewal.”

The 2015 SIP Survey substantiates that with the majority of end-users responding that they have a mixture of PBX technologies in place from IP PBXs, to TDM, to cloud-based services.

A summary of the Frost & Sullivan report, Analysis of the North American VoIP Access and SIP Trunking Services Market, further states that:

Hence, hybrid-cloud deployment models, which feature a mix of on-premise and cloud-based platforms tailored to consumer requirements, are making their way into the North American VoIP access and SIP trunking spectrum. However, competition from other cloud-based services such as hosted unified communications limits adoption. The time taken to deploy SIP trunking services also poses a challenge to large-scale growth.

Small businesses may be more reluctant than enterprises to switch to SIP trunking because they may lack the dedicated IT support necessary to manage and maintain the system.

In the eyes of SMBs, taking responsibility for your own telephony system is not something they’re willing and able to tackle – even though the benefits of SIP trunking are greatly enhanced versus traditional phone lines.

The upfront costs of deploying SIP trunks can also be a deterrent if a business doesn’t have an infrastructure that’s already equipped to handle it. We’re talking about high-capacity bandwidth and backup power, hardware, and phone lines.

Even with so many potential (perceived) roadblocks, it’s estimated that SIP trunking can save a business up to 50% on their telephony costs.

With a savings that big, the excuses not to adopt SIP trunking can’t be justified for long.

Currently the U.S. market for SIP trunking is outpacing Canada and the EU but there’s still plenty of room to grow.

We’ll see even greater use of SIP trunks when deployments become simpler and customers don’t have to deal with multiple platforms and providers.

Michael Brandenburg, UC analyst for Frost & Sullivan, explains that, “As service providers find the right balance between price and performance, product differentiation will be the key to thwart commoditization and open the doors to success in the North American market.”

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