SIP Trunking is becoming quite the buzz word on the web and in trade magazines.
Many carriers and application service providers offer them, but many have a different interpretation of what they are and how to use them, so let's start there.
SIP trunks (minus the Websters or Wikipedia definition) are essentially physical or virtual IP connections from carrier/provider to customer. In essence, they are the IP version of a traditional PRI T-1. You can certainly look at them as a T-1 replacement and the media is correct in saying they are cheaper in many cases, more flexible, and quicker to implement.
All of those are true in many cases.
The SIP part of SIP Trunk means that the trunk is going to be used to signal Voice over IP (VoIP) using the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) as its signaling of choice. The Trunk portion then is the connection, either physical or virtual.
SIP trunks connected to NICE's intelligent call routing platform assumes the customer has and existing VoIP infrastructure such as VoIP phones on desks or softphones and these customers simply need transport to the NICE cloud. In a SIP Trunk environment, there is no phone registration, no phone features offered (call waiting, call forwarding, E911 etc.) but instead the features exist at the customer's premise delivered in some other way. NICE is simply providing an IP transport.
In this way, SIP Trunks are akin to Intelligent T-1s where NICE provides only the T-1 transport, but no phone features as the assumption is that the customer PBX provides the phone features.
SIP Trunks can be connected to a customer IP PBX such as a Cisco Call Manager or to an IAD device that will handle the SIP to TDM conversion.
Full Service Hosted VoIP, on the other hand, offers the connection to the NICE cloud as well as features, phone registration and even a DID/phone number. In this regard, Full Service is a phone replacement.
NICE will actually sell customers a VoIP phone, the user license, add phone features, configure and support the phone and essentially take over the care and feeding of the connection and the end phone device.
This option is obviously best suited to customers who want to use VoIP signaling but do not have an existing VoIP infrastructure.
Again, NICE believes there is not a single best connection solution. We don't force anyone's hand when it comes to how to connect the customer phone gear to the intelligent call routing engine. Instead, we do our best to offer as many solutions as the customer has needs for in terms of connections options.
Our skilled Sales Engineers love to talk to customers and prospects about the many options and what makes sense for unique configurations.
Happy connecting . . .. .