SIP Service Providers offer SIP trunking services to enable direct connectivity betweenyour company’s phone system and your ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider), unleashing powerful capabilities that make your business communications more efficient, while providing opportunities to save big on your phone bills.
SIP Trunking Basics
Many people believe that SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking is the exact same thing as VoIP (Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol), but that’s not the case. SIP trunks work like an adapter, enabling VoIP calls to people outside of your company, beyond your internal network firewall.
SIP Trunking Benefits
SIP trunking takes enterprise communications to a whole new level, providing your business with services via the Internet that are extremely cheap and virtually free to use in many cases.
SIP trunking connects your enterprise phone equipment to the cloud, allowing your company to access the lower cost long-distance services that ITSPs offer, which by itself, can make your SIP trunk investment quickly pay off.
But it doesn’t end there, because SIP Trunking also helps your company reduce its phone expenses by eliminating the wide range of fees and taxes that traditional telecom companies charge their customers.
SIP Trunking also allows your business to do much more than place external voice calls over an IP network, carrying other types of communications, including instant messages, multimedia conferences, enhanced 911 (E911) emergency calls, user presence information and more, providing a real-time unified communications channel.
Many communications programs that business users are already familiar with, like Skype and iChat, work over SIP. Your business can get the same kind of functionality as what these popular apps offer, through your own SIP Trunk.
SIP Trunking also provides important benefits in terms of scalability, making it easy to manage high call volumes, buy purchasing additional SIP trunks one at a time on an as needed basis. This offers a major advantage over PRI solutions for on premise PBX systems, which require your business to increase call capacity by adding 23 channels at a time, which often goes far beyond your current calling needs, creating an extra expenditure.
Moreover, SIP trunking also provides another key advantage over PRI solutions, offering super-fast implementations that can be rolled out in as little as 24 hours, eliminating the need to wait weeks for an on-premise installer to upgrade your enterprise phone system.
SIP Trunking also eliminates the need for separate data and voice circuits at your business. In this regard, most companies use less than a quarter of their available Internet band width, leaving plenty of room to run voice communications over your existing broadband connection, without sacrificing call quality or reliability.
SIP Trunking Plans & Features
There’s a wide range of options, when it comes to the different plans and features that each SIP Service Provider offers, with no two providers’ offerings being exactly the same. For example, some companies offer Internet services, serving as both an ISP and SIP provider to your business.
Other companies offer different kinds of call quality and service level guarantees. And there are also some SIP providers who offer powerful diagnostic tools to help you troubleshoot and fix call quality issues on your own.
When it’s all said and done, your business needs to look at all of the different options that each SIP provider offers, to determine which company has the best combination of pricing, features and support, to meet the needs of your business.
SIP Trunking: Legacy Hardware vs. IP PBX Hardware
Your business can use SIP Trunking as an intermediate step towards an IP-PBX, by connecting your existing phone system to an ITSP. This provides your business with the benefit of free calls and lower phone costs that SIP Trunking offers, but you should also be aware that many of the unified communications features that SIP offers won’t work, without investing in an IP-PBX.
Likewise, to get the most out of SIP trunking, businesses using SIP Trunking with existing non-IP phone equipment, should consider migrating to an IP-PBX and IP Phones, when their current equipment becomes too expensive to repair and maintain.
On the other hand, if your business has already moved to an IP-PBX and IP Phones, your PBX system will seamlessly integrate with your SIP trunk in most cases, however, you should be aware that compatibility issues between your IP-PBX and SIP trunk can also potentially occur, because although there is a SIP standard, SIP trunking services are not always implemented in the same way, from one provider to the next.
One critical concern that must be addressed when using SIP trunking is security, since doing so requires your business to directly connect its phone system to the Internet, introducing the potential for hijacked communication services and IP threats similar to denial of service (DOS) attacks. Likewise, its import to ensure that your SIP service provider has implemented the proper security controls, including data encryption, 24/7 network monitoring, and fraud management services, to protect your business from any unnecessary losses, when using their SIP Trunking services.
All things considered, SIP trunking offers an exceptional opportunity for your business to save time and money, while improving communications across your entire enterprise.