Nov 14

Have no fear, the cloud is here!


Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the cloud!

That's right, the cloud. The cloud can be a hero for any business that leverages it - regardless of how. One popular way to embrace the cloud is by placing unified communications networks there. Having the ability to access office voice, email and other connections from remote locations can be a valuable boost to productivity.

But while the cloud has been found to be a powerful telecom asset, there are still those who are uncertain of whether or not to trust it. According to No Jitter contributor and ZK Research founder Zeus Kerravala, these are the kinds of attitudes that need to be cast aside.

Modern enterprises have to be willing to trust the cloud in order to take full advantage of it. More organizations are starting to realize that cloud is the way to go - whether they opt for off-site hosting or in-house upgrades.

Unified communications market growing globally
The cloud has made a massive impact on how professionals view communications. The name of the game is availability in modern business, and anything that can improve connectivity through a smartphone is considered as good as gold.

The importance of cloud communications is only being underscored by the market growth of mobile UC tools. According to a recent report from Research and Markets, the industry is worth $5.15 billion dollars, but that figure will increase to $17.38 billion by 2019. With more organizations making these upgrades, their competitors are realizing that they need to keep up. This is not only a business concern - employees are starting to require these assets.

"The growing need for gaining competitive advantage and the increase in demand for optimized workflows among organizations have significantly added to the rise in adoption of mobile unified communications and collaboration solutions," stated Research and Markets. "Furthermore, the increasing multi-purpose usage of smartphones and the emergence of virtual workforce have encouraged enterprises to integrate mobile devices with Unified Communication (UC) solutions."

Mobile, single source communications are starting to become a deal-breaker - both in terms of employee retention and success. Organizations in the present day have to be agile, and keeping phone networks confined to the physical workplace can ultimately be a hindrance.

...the hero we need
Cloud makes things possible. The consumerization of IT has allowed many professionals to think outside the box. Whether it's about flexible work schedules or keeping people on the road connected, unified communications in the cloud can be a game-changing tool.

Nov 14

Hold your breath and take the SIP trunking plunge


It should be no secret by now that VoIP is a valuable business asset. When it first appeared in the '90s, it was more of a novelty than anything else. Some companies may have invested in it, but for the most part people were satisfied using landline connections. But the technology behind VoIP has made leaps and bounds in the way of progress, leading to an explosion in popularity - namely with enterprises. According to industry expert Tak Sato, this is chiefly thanks to modern VoIP's ability to save an organization significantly on their communications bills.

"Before the Internet, telephones were connected to a web of wiring that crisscrossed nations and continents around the globe," Sato stated in the Westlake Bay Village Observer. "When calls were made from point A to point B every city, county, state and country between those two points added fees and tariffs that our telephone companies collected. Those fees and tariffs, especially on long distance and overseas calls respectively, made the 'per minute' cost of a phone call quite expensive."

But while VoIP is the ultimate asset for business phone systems, many people are still hesitant when considering this upgrade. Many legacy voice networks must remain in place for countless organizations, and moving to VoIP may seem complicated and ultimately futile. But all it takes is an understanding of how VoIP works and how it can be achieved through SIP trunking.

Overcoming resistance
VoIP telephony, SIP trunking... sometimes it seems like the acronyms never end. There may be an aversion and anxiety that comes along with trying to keep everything straight, but things are not as complicated as they seem. SIP trunking is simply the act of taking landline connections and re-routing them over the Internet. From there, VoIP can be achieved. According to No Jitter contributor Andrew Prokop, this has been happening for years - even if it has only recently gained steam as a potential answer to the status quo.

"If you call something that was invented in the 1990s new, then SIP is new," Prokop wrote. "That's not the way I see it, though. I call SIP battle tested and combat ready."

The fact of the matter is that VoIP will need to be in some way obtained for businesses of all sizes. There is an increasing need for things like single source communications software that can be accessed through smartphones, and failing to embrace change will lead to lost finances, operational time and employee satisfaction. SIP trunking is a way to meet these modern needs, and as such it shouldn't be shied away from.

Ready, set, VoIP!
A SIP phone system can be a game changer for any organization that uses it. While there are many instances where legacy systems are better abandoned or replaced with hosted services, this course of action is not for everyone. For those businesses that are tethered to their existing networks, a SIP trunk can be a saving grace for mobile-minded companies everywhere.

Nov 14

Need mobile communications? Consider SIP trunking


There is something distinctively different about today's workforce. Modern professionals love to use their mobile devices to reach their goals. Often, this makes legacy systems seem increasingly dated. Remote access to enterprise networks is fast becoming the new status quo for enterprises of all sizes. According to Business Review Australia contributor Paul Mulvenna, much of this transition has to do with the growing need for effective engagement.

"With market globalization increasing numbers of remote personnel and a majority of business professionals and clients constantly on the move, remaining competitive means these organizations need to increase contact engagement quickly and efficiently," Mulvenna stated. "This type of connectivity is essential to everyday business functions in order to perform at optimum efficiency and stand out amongst the competition. When minutes count, companies require a method of communication that is both fast and efficient anywhere, anytime, with anyone."

More organizations are turning to cloud-based mobile communications every day, namely when it comes to business phone systems. But not all companies can make the move from legacy systems to hosted cloud services. In these kinds of situations, it's advisable to implement SIP trunking. The SIP trunk process converts landline phone service into cloud-ready data, allowing it to become stand-alone VoIP or part of a single source communication application. For those companies that need next-level connections but must retain their current assets, SIP trunking may be the answer.

SIP trunking enables UC, VoIP possibilities
The definition of effective communications is changing. Calling someone in a business context is no longer just about reaching another party, but collaborating with them. VoIP is just the beginning - unified communications is the natural conclusion. But it might not be possible to obtain true UC without first exploring SIP trunking. If existing tools are bound by an incomplete return on investment, for example, then updates are going to be essential.

"SIP is crucial for enabling UC applications including presence and advanced features such as the ability to transfer a call from a mobile phone to a laptop-based soft phone without dropping it," wrote PC World contributor Paul Desmond. "SIP trunks provide the network foundation upon which your firm can deploy such applications."

SIP trunking on the rise
There has been an incredible explosion in the usage of SIP trunking among enterprises. More organizations are beginning to realize just what the technology is capable of.

"There is no denying the world is moving to IP, and SIP has become the de facto solution of choice for businesses for IP connections," stated Infonetics analyst Diane Meyers, according to Desmond. "In North America, slightly more than 20 percent of the installed business trunks are SIP trunking today, with significant upside opportunity."

As more mobile devices are used for enterprise purposes, there will need to be a push toward cloud-enabling technologies. Unified communication is becoming essential, and in many instances, SIP trunking will be the only way to enable it. In order to meet the demands of the modern workforce, SIP trunking may need to be sought out.