Nationwide Service Business Slims Phone Bills with SIP Trunks

One of the best established names in session border controller (SBC) solutions, Acme Packet yesterday announced that a major enterprise client will be making the switch to SIP trunking.

ServiceMaster and its TruGreen lawn care brand will be converting 63 offices to SIP trunking. The company will use Acme Packet Net-Net SBCs to centralize call routing from its corporate headquarters in Memphis, Tenn. using the SIP trunking capabilities of an unnamed service provider. TruGreen will continue to use its legacy PBX equipment.

“What we are seeing over the past nine months is a lot of interest from very distributed organizations to do trunk consolidation,” said Michael Leo, director of enterprise and contact center solutions marketing at nine-year-old Acme Packet. “Many of their locations are over-trunked. They are spending a lot of money on trunks they are not utilizing.”

Enterprises have been buying into SIP trunking to ease the financial strain, but these deals have largely flown under the radar. Conversions are taking place mainly in the financial sector, Leo said, which typically plays infrastructure investments close to the vest.

Eventually Acme Packet will support 225 of TruGreen’s 268 locations. TruGreen took six to nine months to come to the decision on the SIP trunking migration, a move whose cost was not disclosed, said Acme Packet VP of enterprise product management Jim Donovan.

“This is a perfect example of a company that did the due diligence and saw that a centralized trunking model would be the right move to make,” Donovan said. In addition to potential cost savings through consolidation and lower rates, SIP trunking makes it possible to access such advanced services as presence and unified communications. It also creates the backbone upon which an enterprise can build as sophisticated solutions continue to emerge.

Donovan estimates most rollouts will see ROI in 12 to 18 months.

If the pace of enterprise adoption is in fact picking up, certainly the economy is playing a role in executive decision making. “The downturn in the economy has focused a lot of interest in all areas of business where economies and efficiencies can be garnered,” Leo said.

At the same time, service providers have made headway in addressing concerns among potential consumers.

Enterprise users have been skittish over the notion that SIP trunking would not have sufficient footprint to cover their disparate locations. Service providers have been advancing steadily in their efforts to expand their geographic reach, Donovan said.

Providers also have made some headway is making more uniform a pricing landscape that has been wildly inconsistent, Leo said.

“In the next 6 to 12 months some more consistency and more availability will start to show” and enterprise usage will steadily gain momentum, Leo said.

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