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The SIP Series (I): What is SIP?

What is SIP? And how can SIP Trunking address the need of change in the comms market?

The business communications market is dynamic. It reflects both the constant rate of change brought about by ongoing technological innovation and the ever present need for organisations to seek out ways to control costs and gain competitive advantage.

Today there is a digital transformation taking place in both of these dynamics caused more by a re-alignment of management ethos than by the supporting technology – albeit that the latter is fundamental to the success of the former.

Traditional ways of doing things are being replaced as firms seek out new, responsive, flexible and agile solutions to deliver the customer-centric and collaborative strategies they now see as being essential success factors in avoiding the risk of being digitally disrupted by new and existing competitors.

We are therefore seeing a change away from legacy PBX systems to cloud based and hosted unified communications solutions that provide the kind of flexibility businesses are demanding.At the same time, connectivity solutions are also undergoing a transformation from ISDN to IP based services. Whilst ISDN has performed well for many years in terms of voice quality and reliability it is in essence an expensive ‘one-trick pony’ in that it cannot deliver high quality data and video services and this has led to the widespread adoption of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunks.

SIP trunking – the definition

SIP trunking is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and streaming media service based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) by which service providers deliver telephone services and unified communications to customers equipped with SIP-based IP-PBX and Unified Communications facilities.

Most Unified Communications software solutions provide, as well as voice, the collaborative tools such as video, messaging and other streaming media applications such as desktop sharing, web conferencing, and shared whiteboard needed by business today to enable their customer first strategies.

Today, real-time collaboration is crucial. A recent survey by Eastern Management Group found that around 62% of IT managers consider collaboration technologies to be essential to their business by 2018.

The business drivers for the adoptions of SIP trunking are many and powerful and we will cover these in this series of articles on SIP trunks, but there is also an imperative; in the UK, as well as throughout Europe and the rest of the world, ISDN trunks are being phased out.

The absolute cut off point for the UK is 2025 but in reality the tipping point whereby the majority of trunks being installed are SIP based was passed some time ago.

Today SIP trunks are far cheaper and more versatile in their application use than ISDN and delivered on an underlying network infrastructure that is robust, resilient and cost-effective.

Stay tuned for the following Gamma SIP Trunking blog series, and get much more detailed information in our accompanying SIP Trunking eGuide. This is eGuide is aimed at giving you a full overview of the purchase considerations needed when is comes to SIP Trunking in the UK.

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