SIP phone service, or SIP trunks, are useful for medium to large businesses that are seeking inexpensive phone service. A SIP trunk line will allow a company to use the PBX they already own with SIP or VoIP phone service. SIP trunk lines are generally slightly cheaper than having a business hosted VoIP line. The benefit of having a SIP phone system is that you don't need to purchase a whole new phone system, rather you can just hook up the SIP trunk service provided to you by your SIP provider, and keep all the same phone hardware that you had before. This page lists SIP service providers in your area.
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) can be described as a system that serves the purpose of a traditional phone line, albeit on a virtual platform. It is mostly used in business settings. SIP virtually connects to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) through an internet connection. Trunking points back to the earlier days of the telephone when it was a means of facilitating shared communication for a large number of users. This is among the fundamental protocols, which are used by VoIP.
Traditionally, a physical line was required, besides circuits, to connect users to the PSTN. A SIP trunk eliminates the need for a physical connection because the virtual connection runs on the already available IP network. Since SIP works with the internet, users can get additional features, such as voice, video, and web internet services, within one business line.
VoIP and PBX have revolutionized the telecommunication sector such that voice communication is not limited to landlines and physical phone circuits alone. SIP currently supports a signaling language, which can facilitate not only voice but also instant messaging and other forms of data. It enhances flexibility, provides solutions to the challenges facing old systems and significantly cuts down on the costs that would have been incurred by the old systems.
For businesses, having a local presence is of utmost importance. However, this can prove to be a considerable challenge for the smaller businesses. Therefore, the smaller businesses can have a chance in terms of leveling the playing field by having a local presence just like the larger enterprises by exploiting SIP services.
How SIP Trunking Works
Existent IP networks are by default used to send unified communications over them. A standard telephone line is, therefore, not necessary when this is the case. Any other person with a phone operating on PSTN can speak to VoIP users and link up with a qualified PBX system.
Three facets are necessary for the operation of a SIP trunk. These include a SIP provider, a phone system that is SIP-enabled and a border element that allows an enterprise network to establish a connection with the PSTN. A firewall or a switch can work as the border element. With SIP trunking, any business is bound to have its telecom reach greatly boosted resulting in an easy transition.
The Benefits of SIP Trunking
For small to medium-sized business, appearing professional and big is important. They can easily achieve this by having several phone lines with routing systems in place. This makes businesses have the feel and look of the leading companies in the world. It also facilitates the ability of the businesses to maintain a local presence. Besides this, there are also many other benefits that come with using SIP trunking services.
The flexibility of a SIP allows users to add or remove any number of phone they may require. This eliminates the unnecessary costs incurred when users pay for lines that go unused and wait for the service providers to deal with the issue. Web portals make it possible for users to handle traffic securely and instantly design it to suit their needs.
Unfavorable weather conditions and heavy reliance on repair companies translates to using analog trunks being disastrous. With SIP trunking, the risk of catastrophe is significantly reduced, and calls are prioritized or rerouted through the appropriate network. For those who lack an on-premise PBX and do not necessarily need a SIP trunk, a hosted PBX provider can provide them with a fully hosted phone system.
With SIP trunking, the hardware is consolidated, translating to having fewer components to set up. In the long run, maintenance costs associated with replacing or adding to a phone system setup will be alleviated. The system can keep on expanding without requiring additional hardware because new devices are not necessarily going to be required.
The modern way of running businesses sometimes involves moving around to keep up with the competition. Businesses may require relocation of offices or employees. This usually comes with the need to change numbers, resulting in losing touch with some customers. Consequently, this leads to missing out on business opportunities, but with SIP, businesses can relocate and still maintain their initial phone number. If users are simply traveling or entirely shifting offices, a temporary link can be turned on to allow call forwarding, saving resources and most importantly keeping invaluable business opportunities.
With the current globalization trend in businesses, there is a great demand for technology that facilitates global interactions. Businesses, therefore, need to have the capacity to communicate on an international level, not just locally. Fortunately, SIP trunking makes a significant contribution in terms of making distance calling competitive.
The Value of SIP in Business Communication
Scalability is required whenever a company has plans of getting bigger. It entails growing with the right momentum without incurring extra costs. The old phone system required users to buy 24 lines to get a single new line. This resulted in a lot of lost revenue for companies during that time. However, with SIP trunking, such a situation is avoided. SIP trunking offers opportunities of scaling up without spending too much on unused items and technology.
Managing phones lines is one of the biggest challenges that businesses have to deal with. Traditional phones systems require companies to invest some time in hiring the right manager in the information technology department. The process takes months in some cases and at the same time adds an extra salary obligation to the company. However, taking up some SIP providers cancels out the need of having an IT manager onsite. They offer such services at their location with systems and the managers in place. It means the company gets all the benefits that come with automation, allowing them to worry less about system management.
Modern customers can be quite demanding when it comes to problem solving. Storms and outages can impede this process and result in loss of customers. SIPs have a solution for this concern, which is the use of satellite technology to ensure there are no downtimes. If one location is cut off, lines can easily be set to forward to a different location. This ensures a company’s customer service team is available at all times, translating to better company revenue.
Since SIP utilizes a single connection, companies using the service can cut down operation costs by up to 25 percent even before factoring in the calling rates. This is not a common occurrence in many of the other available connections. Regarding cost, SIP offers flexible options that most carriers do not offer such as the ability to place calls between different offices on a company’s VoIP system. The pricing and installation costs, as well as the call rate, go down for the company.
Traditional telephones rely on Primary Rate Interface (PRI), which allows larger enterprises to relay larger volumes of communication from a single location. Traditional telephone circuits also rely on T1 lines, resulting in higher calling fees. This is among the reasons SIP is better than PRI.
PRI also performs poorly in inclement weather. Wind, snow, sleet, and rain adversely affect the ability to place calls. SIP services, on the other hand, maintain connection and diverts calls as needed. This cements its place as a dynamic solution utilizing the internet to offer the best possible calling experience.
Comparing SIP Providers
Upon settling on the decision to employ the use of SIP trunking, a business needs to pay attention to choosing the right service provider. Several elements should be considered during this process. The network is the first thing that should be looked at.
Many providers are currently rebranding their competitors’ line as their own. It is, therefore, essential that a buyer finds out whether the providers are operating and hosting their line if the provider talks about having this service. If the provider is using an intermediary, the buyer purchasing the service is bound to face several challenges such as delayed troubleshooting and increased operational costs.
Security should also be the primary concern before purchasing a SIP service considering the presence of digital threats on the internet. Individuals with malicious intent can also target hardwired offline systems by running electric currents that disrupt telecommunications. This can then be used as a way of extorting money from the target to have their system returned to normalcy. Privacy may also be compromised due to outside access. Therefore, SIP providers that have strong security systems and measures should always be prioritized over those that do not, given that security threats are currently at an all-time high.
The ability to port numbers is another important element that should influence decision-making on choosing a service provider. Depending on where a business is situated, the need to change numbers may arise at any given point in time. This can prove to be an ominous task, especially if the business involved has an international presence. Nevertheless, this does not have to be the case. A provider that cares for its customers’ interests should have a porting solution that suits the needs of its customers. It should be noted that different regions might have varying policies regarding number porting.
Customer service is vital for any modern business’ success. It is, therefore, essential that before considering buying from a given provider, the provider has to prove that they have an efficient customer service available for their customers. If they exhibit signs of being nifty about servicing their customers, then the buyer has an excellent partner to work with. However, if the provider exhibits signs of poor customer service, the buyer should simply look the other way and find another option.
In any business, pricing is the ultimate test that any seller has to pass. Ultimately, having an excellent but expensive solution would not make economic sense. Before deciding to take up a SIP solution, the buyer needs to evaluate whether the solution fits all the needs of their business and allows them to get more value out of the solution than they invest in it. Research is vital when it comes to looking into all these elements, and it should be done thoroughly before making any serious decision.