SIP Trunking Not so Hot?

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SIP Trunking Not so Hot?

ITEXPO logoA couple days ago I wrote an article titled SIP Trunking is Hot! where I wrote about the SIP trunking session sponsored by Ingate, which was very heavily attended (75). A few hours later I noticed SmithonVoIP blogger Garrett Smith write a blog entry called No One Wants SIP Trunking. It was obvious to me he must have seen my blog post which was pro-SIP trunking and he was taking a counterpoint.

Before I even clicked through on my RSS reader to Garrett's article, I pondered why Garrett would take such a counterpoint. I know for a fact that there is a lot of interest in SIP trunking. A thought popped in my head that Garrett works for VoIP Supply which sells IP-PBXs and perhaps SIP trunking with hosted PBX functionality 'could' be a threat to VoIP Supply's business. Thus, perhaps Garrett was trying to downplay the importance of SIP trunking. But I know Garrett and I've never known him to have a hidden agenda in any of his writings. He speaks his mind and calls it the way he sees it, just like me.

So then I click through and read his article. The gist is that Garrett isn't anti-SIP trunking - just that he doesn't like the name or how it is marketing. Garrett explains:
Why do service providers and the industry at large insist on calling a phone line delivered over an IP network a “SIP Trunk”?

Customers do not want SIP trunks, they want business phone lines delivered via IP.

It is funny that no one outside of the industry knows what the heck a SIP trunk is, yet every company that provides IP based business phone lines continues to use this nomenclature.
Businesses do not know what a SIP trunk is and honestly they really do not care. They are not looking for SIP trunks.
What they are looking for is reliability, quality and low cost telephone service. The transport mechanism is secondary.

Garrett does have a point to a certain extent. Many customers don't care what SIP is and just want inexpensive calling rates over an IP connection. That said, there is huge interest in the VAR, reseller, and interconnect channel to learn about SIP trunking, the complexities, the QoS concerns & how to address them, who are the major players, SIP-aware hardware/firewalls, etc. My guess is the SIP Trunking Workshop sponsored by Ingate had a huge number of VARS/resellers/interconnects attending. I'm sure there were customers as well.

I ran into Dan York, formerly of Mitel and now with Voxeo told him about Garrett's post and I asked his opinion on SIP trunking. Dan was very high on SIP trunking and pointed out that the last ITEXPO's SIP Trunking session was also jammed packed. Update: Also just noticed Greg interviewed several VoIP players in his SIP Trunking Sessions Strikes a Chord post. Greg also seemed to notice like I did that SIP trunking is a very hot topic at ITEXPO. Greg writes, "I had the chance to speak with Olle Westerberg CEO, Ingate, Steve Johnson, president of Ingate, Anne Coulombe, who handles SIP product marketing for Avaya’s Solutions Marketing Division, Sean Rivers, channel account manager at, and Joel Maloff, the newly installed director of marketing at Bandtel." Go check out his blog for more details.

Garrett's blog title, "No One Wants SIP Trunking" isn't exactly true, since like I said there is huge interest in the channel. I do agree with him though that many customers don't care. That said, I'm glad TMC's educational conferences are at the very "top" -- training & educating the IP communications channel (VARS/resellers/interconnects) on SIP trunking. That knowledge will eventually "trickle down" to the customer when the channel explains to the customer the benefits of SIP trunking. Of course, the customer may simply filter out the technical details and focus on the bottom line. Maybe for the next ITEXPO we'll call it the "SIP/IP Trunking Workshop." Clear enough for ya Garrett?

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