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Boosting productivity across borders

January 25, 2018

Bob Laskey   

Blog Contributor

The productivity and efficiency gains enabled by unified communications and collaboration (UCC) are well known, but analysts at IDC have found that just around a third (37%) of US enterprises have adopted these platforms. Momentum is growing, however, with around another third (36%) of businesses looking to implement UCC in the next two years.

The perceived complexity of UCC deployments is holding back many CIOs – especially in large organisations with employees spread across multiple continents. Yet, it’s precisely in businesses like this where UCC can make the biggest difference, breaking down geographical barriers between teams and paving the way for truly seamless collaboration.

That is why it’s important for service providers to explore ways to eliminate that complexity for their customers – which is where SIP trunking comes in.

Imagine an instance – like a natural disaster – where there is a need to alert hundreds of thousands of people about something critical. Often the most effective way of getting the message out as quickly as possible is using short, automated voice messages – because nothing quite beats the pervasiveness of voice. Everbridge is a US-based global critical event management software service provider for government agencies like FEMA as well as businesses. It enables organisations to reach the right people, at the right time, anywhere in the world. In an emergency situation, when a message goes out using Everbridge’s Crisis Commander system, all those calls are carried over Tata Communications’ network. The scale and immediacy is made possible by SIP trunking.

Many SIP trunking projects today are not only about IP telephony consolidation – they also often include conferencing, email, cloud contact centres, and other UCC applications. In fact, SIP trunking is now seen as key for integrating all voice, video and data communications within the enterprise, and between the enterprise and its customers and partners. In a similar vein, while the initial drivers for SIP trunking adoption were cutting network costs, simplifying dialling plans and reducing voice trunks, the benefits that enterprises today seek to achieve with SIP trunking are much more far-reaching. It’s therefore fair to say that SIP trunking has evolved from its humble voice-only beginnings to a business critical communications platform.

To make the most of SIP trunking and quickly reap the full efficiency and productivity benefits of UCC, enterprises need a single global SIP platform. A platform like this, underpinned by a global network, not only enables enterprises to generate immediate savings from on-net audio, but also ensures a seamless, consistent end-user experience worldwide – regardless of whether employees are collaborating over IM, video or any other way. That is why SIP trunking is increasingly seen as the foundation on which all successful UCC deployments are built.

Another trend gathering pace in enterprises is the use of hybrid UCC technologies, specifically harnessing both cloud and on-premise models for conferencing solutions. This means that there is a growing need to bridge the gap between these two deployments and bring them together onto a single platform, which will ensure a consistently high-quality user experience. SIP trunking not only acts as this platform, but also makes the geographic distance between the user and the conferencing platform disappear, thereby enabling a truly borderless collaboration experience.

The challenge that many service providers face, however, is how to cater for their customers’ increasingly global collaboration demands. Building technology capabilities in the US and Europe and the main business hubs of Asia may have been enough some 15 years ago, but not anymore. Businesses want to operate seamlessly and successfully across both developed markets and the high-growth economies of Africa, Middle East, South America and Asia. For example, U.S. foreign direct investment in India increased from $7.2 billion from 2005 to $28.3 billion in 2015. In fact, over a quarter of large US companies intend to invest in the country.

This drive for borderless growth means that service providers, system integrators and channel partners have the opportunity to help enterprises cope with the complexities that come with operating across different established and emerging markets. In tandem, enterprises increasingly want their SIP trunking solutions to come with the same flexibility and scalability as their pay-as-you-consume cloud applications. SIP trunking, and increasingly APIs for SIP trunking, are central to this.

However building a global, scalable SIP platform and UCC offering requires time, resources and subject matter expertise. That is precisely why Tata Communications is committed to growing a strong and rich partner ecosystem of like-minded enterprise solution providers. This gives them the global reach and technology expertise to address their customers’ rapidly evolving demands through a single platform – without the risk and investment involved in developing their own solutions from scratch.

Looking ahead, as the number of different video, voice, IM and other UCC platforms – such as Microsoft Office 365 Skype for Business and Teams, and Cisco Spark and WebEx – continues to grow in enterprises, adding a technology agnostic SIP trunking solution to their offering will enable service providers to navigate this maze with ease.

With more and more enterprises turning to different forms of UCC to boost productivity amongst their employees and drive organisation-wide efficiencies, there are huge opportunities for service providers to generate new revenue streams from SIP trunking. The key to unlocking the potential of this market and supporting customers’ international growth ambitions is finding the right partner with the technology capabilities spanning both developed and emerging markets.

Learn more about the benefits that SIP trunking can bring to enterprises.