A shift in SIP demand has been noted by Nimans as the ‘balance of power’ begins to slowly tilt away from traditional ISDN.
“In the past businesses would keep their ISDN lines and maybe have some SIP trunks for resilience. But now more are putting SIP trunks in as their main platform supported by ISDN 2 as back-up,” confirmed Head of Networks, Mark Curtis-Wood. “This is a notable shift in the market as confidence in SIP continues to grow.”
He continued: “In the last few months we have witnessed a major rise in interest. I think it boils down to how SIP is positioned. For example we have worked closely with one of our trading partners to introduce a complete ‘end to end’ Siemens comms solution, spanning hardware, connectivity and support. This simplifies the whole process and represents a ‘pain free’ introduction to SIP so that resellers and their customers can take advantage of the many benefits of one self contained proposition.”
Mark says the ‘age old question’ of SIP reliability should never be an issue – providing it is sourced from a high quality provider that has total ownership of the whole solution. “It’s all to do with connectivity and support; it’s never really been just about SIP trunks. If you are using unreliable and poor broadband in the first place then SIP will fail. Too many people in the past have been quick to blame SIP when they didn’t have the infrastructure in place to carry it. The crucial criteria is to make sure you have the bandwidth available. Ultimately it boils down to having the right combination of factors in place; SIP trunks, routers and connectivity.”
Mark says if the infrastructure and bandwidth is right from the outset; then resellers will have the confidence to start selling SIP with no issues – enabling businesses to gain a competitive market advantage.
“SIP isn’t going to go away. It’s not a one night wonder. Many of today’s systems and associated components are SIP enabled. There’s still a huge demand for traditional digital lines but there’s no reason why every customer should not have a couple of SIP trunks at least – with a view to gradually replacing their ISDN further down the line. Many of our most successful resellers automatically add a couple of SIP trunks with every installation. When their customers look to move over completely they’ve already got a SIP platform in place. It’s a low risk and low cost opportunity – from the reseller’s perspective they have got in before someone else does.”
Mark emphasised: “The main advantages of SIP are disaster recovery and number portability. If there are any on-site problems such as a fire or flood you can easily switch to another location. SIP also allows you to keep the same numbers even if you move premises. Equally you can use a local number for a specific location even though you may not be based there.
“The key message that every reseller should grasp is that it’s not an all or nothing conversation – rip out and replace. It’s a case of providing SIP with ISDN 30. Rationalisation and cost cutting are the key criteria. Most businesses in the current economic climate are looking to consolidate where possible. So you could have a company with three sites, with 90 ISDN circuits at each location but they may not be using all 270. By deploying SIP you can rationalise much easier, maintain some ISDN lines but have the flexibility of using SIP when needed, both now and in the future.”