Vision for a Flat (and Hyperconnected) World With Next Generation SIP
"The world is flat" is a favorite book of mine from Thomas Friedman, who analyses globalization as a level playing field in terms of commerce, where all competitors have an equal opportunity. The title also alludes to the shift required for companies to remain competitive in a global market where historical and geographical divisions are increasingly irrelevant.
In his opinion, this flattening is a byproduct of a convergence of personal computing with the Internet and the rise of workflow software, boosted by today’s hyper connected mobile & social workforce.
"The Steroids" as Friedman described them are: wireless, VoIP, video and collaboration tools, as well as personal devices, messaging, digital and virtual applications. All analog content and processes – from entertainment and photography to virtual reality – can be digitized and therefore shaped, manipulated and transmitted. In addition, these processes can be done at high speed with total ease; voice, video, instant messaging and collaboration can all be done on many different types of devices (PC, tablet and smartphone). This allows for organizations to have the ability for knowledge workers (either in office or virtual office) to communicate and share information at will.
However, the sad reality of the global telecommunications landscape has been highly balkanized, with regional sets of rules and regulations, suppliers, cost structures and legacy standards. Making the move to a truly flat & hyper connected communications world has proved more challenging than envisioned given different vendor agendas, challenges behind unified standards, and decades-old PSTN infrastructure lasting longer than anticipated.
In addition to the world of overly-complex telecom services, the underlying infrastructure that underpins most global enterprise networks has also been held back by complexity and tied to the legacy PSTN. This has resulted in islands of communications, spanning many continents and time zones, with tremendously complicated interconnects and operational challenges. As a result, quality of service across those islands has suffered, as has the ease of delivering innovative new services and applications to corporate users.
This complexity of legacy PSTN systems has had an adverse impact on global enterprises, hindering their ability to integrate new productivity-boosting collaboration services, deliver superior experiences for internal employees and external customers, and to control costs.
While SIP has emerged as the de facto enterprise standard for communication and collaboration, we’ve witnessed an emergence of differing implementations across geographic boundaries and competing telecom vendors - not exactly the panacea it was envisioned to be.
To untangle this complexity, a number of service providers have developed global legacy SIP trunking solutions, providing a uniform footprint worldwide. While SIP trunking has been around for a decade, many enterprises are tied to existing contracts and services and have not yet been presented with the SIP trunking services coupled with cloud first, mobile first applications that would represent a true game changer.
The global SIP market is growing at 22% annually; however, majority of organizations with SIP trunks have limited deployment of SIP trunks due to complexity, interoperability, management and regulatory challenges around the globe. Indeed, the market is wide open and ripe for new entrants with innovative approaches, with a focus on truly global service delivery that allows a single point of entry into the network from management and provisioning, as well as a global telecom dashboard view to understand the voice traffic pattern and take control measures that help to improve service levels.
Based on call patterns and volume, a next-generation SIP trunking solution has the potential to reduce on-net and off-net calling costs for an enterprise by up to 55%. These savings can be invested in new productivity enhancing communications applications such as Skype for Business, which gives end users the flexibility and mobility they crave in the anywhere-working age.
SIP trunking is rapidly evolving to be one the best solutions for untangling the complexity of unified communications and helping enterprises realize a vision of a flat and seamlessly connected world.
This paper is sponsored by Tata Communications.