No. 1 - The Simple Guide to SIP Trunking. City Lifeline Technology Briefing

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1 No. 1 - The Simple Guide to SIP Trunking City Lifeline Technology Briefing

2 We ll be adding these to our website every couple of months or so, to provide you with useful and informative information on a variety of technology related subjects. Our first offering is what we call the Simple Guide to SIP Trunking, courtesy of our client (supplier?) Gamma Telecom. Our aim is to introduce you to SIP Trunking in a way that is simple to understand, helping to explain the benefits of this connectivity solution over other options you might already have, or be considering - so that you can see if it might be the right solution for your organisation. Apologies in advance for all the acronyms - they are impossible to avoid in this industry, but we ve done our best to explain them all! 1 What are SIP Trunks? SIP Trunks are basically an alternative to traditional primary rate (30 channel) ISDN30 or basic rate (two channel) ISDN2e connections. ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) connections run between the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and your phone system, usually known as a PBX (Private Branch exchange), to carry voice traffic from the telephone exchange to each individual organisation. SIP Trunking replaces these ISDN circuits with one or more dedicated IP (Internet Protocol) connections, and a complete SIP Trunking deployment generally consists of three key elements. Firstly an access circuit which is capable of carrying voice traffic, usually either an Assured DSL or Ethernet connection. Secondly a SIP-enabled PBX at your premises, and lastly a SIP-enabled firewall or other edge device between the SIP Trunk and your own network. Once internet connectivity has been established, the SIP channels can then be turned on within minutes and the service is live. 1

3 2 Cost benefits Fixed and mobile telecoms spend in the UK is on course to rise to a staggering 40 billion by Which is why both public and private sector organisations are turning to the cloud for more cost effective solutions, not only to cut costs but also to take advantage of new levels of flexibility and agility. Having said that, there are more benefits to be gained from implementing SIP Trunking than just cost saving, but it is a key factor and one which often initiates the discussion, so we thought we d cover it first - and the argument is a simple one. A typical ISDN30 connection with 30 voice channels can cost in excess of 5,000 a year to rent and usually comes with a minimum 12 month contract, which is a hefty expense by any standards. SIP Trunks however typically cost around 50% less per channel to rent, and generally also carry a much shorter commitment. So, based on your organisation s telecoms infrastructure, it s easy to quickly calculate the cost saving. It is worth remembering though, that while cost saving is an immediate benefit, moving to SIP Trunking should really be a strategic business decision and not a short term tactical one. Yes of course, you will save money almost straight away, but a SIP deployment will also give you far more control of your telecoms costs, which will help with business growth and future planning. 3 Beyond cost saving There are many other benefits which can be gained by moving to a SIP Trunking solution. Here are the key ones, in no particular order, as what is most beneficial to you will depend on your specific business situation: Improved control SIP Trunking will give you far more control over how your telephony system operates. This includes the ability to self-manage your 2

4 telephone numbers, instantly set-up redirects, move extensions at will and add extra call handling capacity to meet traffic peaks. You can even populate the CLI (Calling Line Identification) of your outbound calls with any number that you have a right to use, including mobile numbers, at no extra cost. This can be useful in many situations, for example within a contact centre environment where an outbound call needs to present the individual client s number. Number flexibility SIP Trunks allow you to move offices and yet keep the same geographic numbers without any ongoing call forwarding costs, or even any costs associated with new company stationery! This is because your geographic telephone numbers now live in the cloud and are no longer tied to a specific telephone exchange. Which means that almost any UK number can be provided anywhere that a SIP Trunk is available. With this number flexibility, SIP Trunks can help organisations to work smarter during financially difficult times, for example by closing smaller local offices and concentrating staff at larger central locations, but without customers needing to be aware of the fact. These local numbers can retained for advertising and display purposes, but any calls made to those numbers can simply be routed to sales offices anywhere else. Total scalability With SIP Trunks, your telecoms capacity can be adjusted up or down as business needs dictate, usually without any delay and also without the contractual penalties of traditional services. A good example of this is the academic sector during University clearing, where for one day a year, institutions can witness more than 100-fold increase in calls. With the scalability of SIP Trunking, these sites can respond to students effectively, knowing that it can all be turned down again the next day. 3

5 Everyday resilience SIP Trunking gives you the option to take your connectivity from multiple sources - for example leased lines, Assured DSL, Ethernet and even the Internet. So should one connection fail, another can be used in its place. Your SIP Trunking deployment can be configured to allow for active and standby circuits, with automatic failover to the secondary connection, or even load sharing amongst available sites as and when required. This level of redundancy is prohibitively expensive with ISDN, but business as usual with SIP. Data communication Although SIP Trunks are designed to primarily provide voice communications, bandwidth on the SIP Trunk can also be shared with data services, bringing the possibility of further savings and laying the foundation for full voice and data convergence in the future. 4

6 4 What next? If your PBX was installed in the last 12 to 18 months then it is very likely to be ready for SIP immediately, and if it was installed between 18 months and five years ago, then it may only require the addition of new hardware interfaces. So taking advantage of a telephony solution that is based on SIP Trunking should be a very straightforward process. Even so, despite the clear advantages, it is understandable that some organisations might be reluctant to make a wholesale move to SIP Trunking, and would ideally prefer a more phased approach. If this is a factor for you, then you will be pleased to know that a gradual migration path is of course possible - starting with a few extensions and leading progressively to 100% SIP capability as you become more confident in the solution. If you would like to find out more about SIP Trunking from Gamma Telecom, please call , or visit We hope you found this first City Lifeline Technology Briefing useful. If there are any specific subjects you would like us to cover in the future, please just let us know. 5

7 About City Lifeline City Lifeline is a carrier-neutral Data Centre facility based in a highly desirable location near Moorgate in Central London. We are independent, privately owned and have some of the best connectivity in London, even when compared to the larger players in Docklands. Our key strength is that we are small enough to be flexible and to know our customers personally, yet large enough to be able to invest in the plant, equipment, services and people needed to run a first-class Data Centre. Location Benefits Highly secure Central London location One of the most easily accessible facilities in the country Located at the centre of the World s internet backbone Situated in fibre alley, with fibre-optic cabling running right outside the front door Onsite parking for equipment deliveries and removals Technology Benefits Proven reliability and resilience High carrier availability Continual investment into the facility Availability of NOC office and storage space Extremely robust ISP and carrier connectivity People Benefits Deep industry knowledge and proven industry experience Staff longevity and continuity Flat management structure Helpful and very easy to work with High customer satisfaction levels 6

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