Resellers on SIP Trunking

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Resellers on SIP Trunking

I moderated a SIP trunking panel at Microcorp's event in Atlanta in Sept. of 2008. The result was that the carriers were pushing SIP Trunking as a cost savings replacement for PRI. There was no differentiation among the 4 carriers - whose names I will not print. So then I am at the IT Expo in Miami for the Reseller panel on SIP Trunking titled "The Service Provider Perspective" hoping for something different. It was different. I was bored to tears by the middle of the 3rd presenter.It was one commercial after another about the company and how they could save money.  It was a shame too, because it was a packed room with people eager for some meat. (Lots of notepads and pens poised).

I know I run negative, but wouldn't they have been better served to engage the audience? How about starting with a question: "Has anyone heard of BandTel? Can you tell me what you have heard?  Really. Well, that is somewhat roight but here's the rest of that story. ....  " Then one minute later: "Do you know where our sweet spot is to our resellers?"

There were four carriers up there. Not one talked about productivity, benefits, sweet spot, differentiation, or interoperability.

Productivity: If you are a Broadsoft based ITSP, your SIP trunk allows you to provide Broadsoft Anywhere and API-based software to your customer as a SIP overlay on the trunk. That is a huge deal.  It adds much value to a what a PRI can do for the customer PLUS it extends the life of the PBX while adding missing features as an overlay.

Benefits: the advantage of SIP and SIP endpoints like a softphone. A SIP trunk can extend the PBX to remote sites.

Differentiation: I'm not sure anyone in telecom with a VP of Marketing title understands that term or knows who Jack Trout is. (Trout and Al Reis wrote the book on Positioning in 1981).

Interoperability: PRI is a time tested standard and SIPconnect (SIP Trunk) is just a SIP Forum recommendation for a specification that contains numerous RFC's. This allows for various interpretations of the configuration. The IP-PBX interface must be checked for interoperability with the carrier's switch. Not every IP-PBX card can work with every SIP trunk unfortunately. There is also the necessity for high-quality Internet access for the SIP trunk to work reliably.

One other issue I have is that it is sold on price. The costs are much lower than PRI. There is still a port needed. there is still an access line needed unless it is all over going to be carried over the Internet, in which case, the quality will likely be sketchy. Even the long distance rates are cheaper, even though the costs to th ecarrier aren't much different from TDM LD rates.  Go figure.

The revenue side is mentioned because PRI is TDM and can fetch higher revenue than anything with IP in its name. IP means cheap, which means less revenue. Less top revenue for the service providers books, less ARPU, and less commissions for agent or sales guy selling SIP Trunking. All with the extra headaches of inter-op.

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