Avaya's Cloud Service division offers SIP service in a burstable, pay-only-for-what-you-use model. Is this a visionary low-overhead and high-availability way to provision SIP trunking in your communications network?
On a call with Avaya a few weeks ago, they told us that in order to empower developers to turn up and turn down applications using their CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) product quickly, they had purchased and integrated a SIP carrier into the platform.
The most interesting aspect of this carrier SIP service was that they sell it on a metered, per-minute basis. Meaning, you don't have to contract for fixed, standby SIP trunks to connect your communications application to the outside world. You pay for SIP channels and minutes only as you need and use them.
We then learned that this dynamic SIP service was available as a stand-alone offering (you didn’t have to be a developer to have a dynamic SIP account). Which begs the question; could our clients leverage Avaya's burstable (dynamic) SIP to gain greater bandwidth, network redundancy, and cost savings for their communications networks?
SIP trunks (channels) are a critical piece of communications infrastructure. You cannot make or take voice calls on your business phone or contact center system without them. A correctly-engineered communications system will contain a ratio of SIP channels to system users so employees and customers will not encounter the dreaded fast-busy signal. Maybe that ratio is 8:1 (1 SIP channel for every eight system end-points). Or maybe it’s 10:1. Whatever. The art of communications-network design is getting that ratio right.
Most systems are overbuilt and have too many SIP channels available. You pay for all those trunks regardless of whether you use them or not. You’re burning money when these resources are idle or unused. So if you need SIP, and the two ways SIP is currently sold favors the carrier, Avaya’s new pay-as-you-go pricing be a more efficient way to manage the phone calling demands of your business. It’s worth doing some analysis to find out.
Some companies have a drastically changing need for carrier services throughout the year. Operate a seasonal business, and the resources you need at peak could be a huge factor greater than the network you need off-season (we even have customers who completely shut down for periods of time every year). Launch a big marketing or advertising effort, and your call volume jumps significantly (for a while). So how do you manage a communications system for a business that may need a hundred lines of SIP access in July, but only one in January?
Most of our seasonal clients contract for all the lines they need for the peak, and simply leave them idle for the off-peak need (and amortize the cost across their annual budget). Others constantly turn up and turn down services trying to capture those savings; navigating the logistical minefield of contracts, minimums, and fluctuating pricing. Dynamic SIP solves for both problems.
With a dynamic SIP connection in place, your system can open channels for calls up to an almost unlimited quantity (bandwidth and provisioning permitting), anytime you need them. And if the service sits idle, the nominal costs are negligible.
Clients bring us challenges all the time that no existing cloud-based phone or contact-center system can solve. They may want a unique call-flow, need multiple systems to integrate with each other, or want contact center data managed in a very specific way. In most cases, to get the job done, we either contract with the professional services group from one of the major companies to modify or integrate their products to give the customer what they’re after, or work with a developer to design an application in a development environment like Twilio. Both approaches can be costly and tricky to execute well.
Avaya’s dynamic SIP sits inside a development environment. Because it’s designed as a service to help developers create new applications for communications systems, you get access to powerful new carrier-level features and services beyond traditional SIP. These services – carrier-level metadata and text capability at the trunk level, for example - means if your phones and underlying phone system are capable, you could add powerful new dimensions to your call-routing and system management.
It depends on your specific application and will take educated analysis, but yes, we believe that dynamic SIP is a vital new tool to help customers optimize their carrier networks. For customers paying for SIP channels that sit idle much of the time, or who buy channel/minutes bundles and have standard business usage, there is likely a cost saving. High-volume contact centers and clients with technical needs can gain access to rich carrier metadata and build amazing new workflows and applications. And clients with seasonal, or widely-varying SIP needs, can leverage the service to scale their voice networks up and down dynamically. Do any of these scenarios fit you?
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