We have arrived at a tipping point in the evolution of the market for business communications.
Every global and regional Service Provider has announced their roadmap for the transition to all-IP networks somewhere between 2018 and 2025 – with some emerging markets in Central Europe and Asia already there – and most are scrambling with hundreds of new OTT market entrants to introduce parallel Cloud and Hybrid communications services to their customers.
Whatever pleasing yet distant prospect the rise of Everything-as-a-Service from the cloud might offer, telcos need to bring their installed on-premise IP-PBX base along for the ride for at least the next 10 years whilst migrating selective existing customers to the Cloud and ramping new customers up quickly.
A decision between leveraging SIP trunking or adopting cloud telephony services will have as much to do with the lifecycle of existing platforms as it does with the undoubted benefits of each. In other words, the ability to migrate from the existing platform will determine the way forward for many enterprises.
If your organization has recently invested in on-premise, IP-based PBX or unified communications (UC) services, it probably makes more sense to complement that solution with SIP trunking services over traditional digital trunking services in terms of cost and capabilities. Conversely, if your existing PBX is nearing end of life (and many are!) , you have the perfect opportunity to consider either an on-premises or hosted platform as an alternative. For many businesses, migrating to a hosted telephony service might be a viable and cost-effective alternative to purchasing and deploying all the new hardware, software and licenses for a new, on-premises UC platform. Others will find that on-premise solutions are still the best fit for them, offering greater levels of customisation, control and integration with other on-premises applications and harware components than hosted solutions.
However, the choice of SIP trunking or hosted telephony services is not an either/or decision. Increasingly, distributed enterprises are choosing hybrid deployments. In a hybrid deployment, a mix of SIP trunking and hosted services is used to match the needs of specific users or locations. While SIP trunks might be used to connect on-premises UC platforms at a larger office or contact center, the same organization could leverage hosted telephony services for remote users or smaller branch locations. In well-designed hybrid solutions, businesses can take advantage of the right set of services to meet their specific needs while maintaining a consistent set of dial plans, extension dialing and least-cost routing throughout their organization.
Whatever the choice, the need for verified interoperability between on-premise IP-PBX, Cloud services, critical business applications, SIP trunking and endpoints will remain a paramount concern for Service Providers and their Enterprise customers alike as they embark on the journey to all-IP.
About the photograph used in this post
Elliot Erwitt was born in Paris, France in 1928 to a Jewish-Russian family who immigrated to the United States in 1939. While stationed in France and Germany in the 1950’s Erwitt worked as a photographers assistant for the United States Army; there he met famous photographer Roy Stryker who hired Erwitt to on a photography project for the Standard Oil Company.
Outside of his career as a freelance photographer Erwitt has also worked on several films including Gimme Shelter (1970) and Bob Dylan: No Direction Home (2005). He has been awarded the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship in 2002, and the International Center for Photography’s Infinite Award in 2011.
In this black and white photograph we see a seesaw in an open field; on the end of the seesaw sits a young girl in dress, on the other side is large man wearing a hat. Against all odds the the large man has been lifted into the air by the weight of the little girl, who seems unamused by this situation. Such staged scenes of ironic absurdity were common in Erwitt’s work, as he has always looked to capture the comedic side of life in his photos.