Patton Electronics Co. announced recently that its SIP-Trunk auto-provisioning solution developed for Swisscom was selected by TMC as its 2015 Communications Solutions Product of the Year. The solution consists of Patton’s SmartNode 5300 Enterprise Session Border Router (ESBR) running on BroadWorks, a VoIP applications platform developed by Broadsoft.
Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Patton develops hardware for VoIP systems including gateways, session border controllers (SBC), routers, and integrated access devices (IAD).
In the whitepaper, Patton-Broadsoft Auto-Provisioning Solution for SIP Trunks Serving Customer-Chosen IP PBX, the company goes into greater detail about the problems that service providers like Swisscom face when offering SIP trunking services. In a heavily fragmented business communications market, customer premises equipment (CPE) can come in a seemingly countless number of configurations. As a consequence, it becomes unprofitable for a carrier to test each configuration, especially when it requires that a technician drive to the customer’s site.
The auto-provisioning capability that Patton alludes to in the whitepaper title allows a provider to test and troubleshoot using an automated process that reduces labor costs, and do so remotely, eliminating the costs of driving to make a service call. The system is also flexible enough to work with nearly any configuration, which avoids the need, in most cases, for testing and troubleshooting in the first place.
Another significant problem has to do with a lack of SIP service demarcation in many systems. The way most of them are setup, it is not easy to determine where the customer’s configuration ends and the provider’s begins. This poses a problem when identifying who the responsible party is when repairs are needed. A split management domain feature in the SmartNode 5300 makes the separation clear so that this is not an issue.
Without any means to address the complexity of different CPEs and the costs of ensuring compatibility with a provider’s network, reports like the one from Infonetics, which predict the SIP trunking services market to double between 2014 and 2018 are a double-edged sword: It’s nice to know that the SIP trunking business will be good, but it will come with lots of headaches.
Fortunately, Patton has developed a solution that greatly reduces interoperability issues, one that could be used by any operator. It’s not surprising the company won an award for it.