From the SIP Trunking Experts

March 31, 2015

Hybrid Solutions: The New Normal For VoIP, SIP Trunking?

By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer


Sometimes a protocol becomes so widely used that people begin to consider it a standard, even if no official regulatory body declared it so. As voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking become standard fixtures in offices as the key means of communication, so too do these fixtures develop some standards. For VoIP and SIP trunking alike, the new standard is likely to be what's known as the “hybrid model.”

Basis for this assertion comes from a recent report from Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert). Titled Analysis of the North American VoIP Access and SIP Trunking Services Market, the report spelled out several points about the VoIP and SIP market in general. Perhaps the most compelling point raised was the sheer size of the market, which earned $3.22 billion in 2014 alone. Moreover, it was on track to hit $10.29 billion just by 2020, which shows that VoIP and SIP are not only big markets in isolation, but are poised for big growth shortly.

But as this market grows, the report suggests, there's likely to be a new standard emerging for the deployment of VoIP and SIP trunking services: a hybrid model. Essentially, a hybrid model takes portions of the two primary ways to bring VoIP and SIP trunking to users—on-premise solutions that require much of the equipment to be bought and used by the business, and cloud-based solutions that require a subscription fee to a separate company that buys and uses the equipment—and puts them together to provide a whole solution. Since each solution has a certain amount of benefit and drawback, the combination of this model goes a long way toward improving the benefit and reducing the drawback.

Reports suggest that other cloud-based services, including hosted unified communications (UC) options, are likely to limit the growth that these two fields could offer. But according to Frost & Sullivan's Michael Brandenburg, who serves as a unified communications & collaboration industry analyst, the key to VoIP and SIP trunking gaining ground might lie in deployment. Faster migration, Brandenburg notes, will come from “simple, optimized deployments”, and better differentiation of products offered will in turn help fend off commoditization effects.

VoIP and SIP trunking have been an important part of the communications landscape for some time now, and with good reason. Both of these tools can often offer more features, and at lower cost, than traditional phone service thanks to the protocols used to transfer the signal. That's a point that likely makes a lot of businesses think twice about writing checks to the phone company, but there are many firms who'd prefer seeing that check routed elsewhere. Thus, the use of hybrid models—where some equipment is on site but other equipment is remote—will likely offer customers the best of both worlds.

If deployed rapidly and with minimal incident, plus a few services that can't be immediately found with competitors, VoIP and SIP trunking in a hybrid deployment model are likely to control the market. Only time will tell if these can take and hold the market, but it's a safe bet that these will be part of the field.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino