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What are the barriers to deploying SIP trunks?

What are obstacles to SIP trunking? Gartner analyst Sorell Slaymaker explained at Enterprise Connect what barriers enterprises face deploying SIP trunks.

The barriers to implementing SIP trunks aren't as significant as they used to be. But enterprises still face difficulties...

when adopting SIP trunking.

In the Enterprise Connect panel discussion "Maximize your SIP trunking cost savings," Gartner Research Director Sorell Slaymaker explained how the industry has overcome the traditional barriers to SIP trunking and the hurdles that still remain.

Security and WAN infrastructure have been seen as the two most common barriers to SIP trunking adoption. But as SIP trunking has matured, enterprises have overcome these challenges.

SIP trunking was viewed as less secure than traditional time-division multiplexing (TDM) because signals are transmitted over the Internet. But with the availability of session border controllers and other encryption options, SIP trunking is now more secure.

"When you look at TDoS (telephony denial of service) attacks and other types of malicious events going on in the telecom space, it's probably equal between TDM and SIP trunking," Slaymaker said. "I don't think there is any major risk in moving to SIP trunking, from a security perspective."

Enterprises looking to migrate to SIP trunking need a robust WAN infrastructure as most deployments are centralized, where all connectivity between an organization and its carrier is going through the data center. A robust WAN is necessary to support the requirements of SIP trunks and prevent issues like latency and jitter. This setup is a barrier for many organizations, Slaymaker said. But enterprises that don't have the necessary infrastructure can still take advantage of trunking by deploying SIP trunks in a decentralized manner and centralizing at a later date, he added.

Despite the waning barriers of security and WAN infrastructure, only 15% of organizations have completed the migration to SIP trunking, Slaymaker said. This fact is due to four other obstacles: complexity, silos, magnitude and SIP support.

Deploying SIP trunking is complex, and organizations may not have the needed expertise for a successful migration. Organizations are also fragmented into separate departments, making it difficult for network managers to create a comprehensive deployment strategy.

Adopting SIP trunking is a huge undertaking because network managers are centralizing an organization's entire telephony infrastructure, but organizations may not have the tools and training needed to manage a new technology, Slaymaker said.

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This was last published in May 2015

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