The communications challenge for each business is as unique as the business itself. There is no longer a one-size-fits-all methodology that can be applied to any business model, let alone any business communications model – so it’s imperative that the modern business seeks out a flexible solution for its telecom needs.
Let’s be brutally honest here – legacy PSTN (public switched telephone network) networks are approaching their timely end. And in their place, way is made for the next generation of communications solutions. Many businesses are already deciding to migrate from their existing in-house PBX infrastructure to an IP-based solution – and SIP (session initiation protocol) trunking has proven to be the answer for many, and, with rising awareness of the technology, will prove to be the answer for many more to come.
The reason is simple – by replacing the traditional PSTN trunk with a SIP trunk, businesses are able to keep in place their existing PBX (private branch exchange), and still take advantage of all the new cloud-based IP apps and services that are on offer via the SIP trunk. It really is a win-win situation for many smart businesses that want to benefit from gaining access to new technology and applications as they become available, yet at the same time have to consider the cost of a complete office communications overhaul very carefully.
How Does SIP Trunking Work?
Great question, for if we are ever to be convinced about the benefits of anything, we must get to grips with exactly how it works, and why it’s good from a business perspective.
In the simple terms, SIP trunking essentially makes use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to enable the connection of a PBX to the internet.
What this means in effect is that the internet replaces the conventional PSTN trunk, with termination instead coming over a company’s public or private internet connection through a SIP provider. These SIP providers are often referred to as Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSPs).
Further Explanation: The Compound Split
I know that when I first tried to get my head around SIP trunking, what I really wanted was for someone to break this compound term in half and explain first the “SIP” and then the “trunk” so that they’d make more sense when put together – so I want to do that for you here, for I think it’s important to get to grips with the concept, for it’s then far easier to appreciate the value that it brings.
Let’s start with Session Initiation Protocol. SIP is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard for initiating interactive multimedia user sessions.
A “trunk” is simply a line or link that can carry many signals at once.
When you put these two things together, it’s far easier to conceive of the most significant business advantages of SIP trunking, i.e. its ability to combine data, voice and video in a single line, eliminating the need for separate physical media for each mode. The result is reduced overall cost and enhanced reliability for multimedia services.
5 Reasons To Use SIP Trunking For Business
Ok, so, at its core, the overarching benefit of SIP trunking is its ability to combine multimedia signals and data over a single line – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are indeed many reasons why businesses should start making use of SIP trunking, and here we’ve listed our top 5.
1. Reduced Costs
There are of course some variables when considering the costs of any service – i.e. your savings with SIP will depend on what you’re presently paying for your current service and the SIP trunk offer that you decide to replace it with. But, the efficiencies that you will gain by combing voice and data over the same network will equate to monetary savings undoubtedly.
In addition, whilst traditional PSTNs are sold in bundles or ‘increments’ – such as 4, 8, 16 or 24 channels – with SIP trunks, you can order the precise amount that you need, meaning, of course, that that’s all you pay for. If you’ve just got a small branch office that would only require, say, 3 sessions at a time, you simply order and pay for a trunk of that size specifically. Brilliant.
Which leads me neatly onto the second reason that SIP trunking is such a boost for business communications. SIP trunking is indeed very easily scalable. As your office or branch grows over time, you have the simple option of adding just as many additional circuits as you need to the SIP trunk, meaning that you can scale up and down as simply and as quickly as you like, and only ever pay for what you use.
You can also adjust the size of your SIP trunk to accommodate variations in bandwidth requirements, such as to deal with seasonal changes in call volumes. Not only can you dynamically vary the amount of bandwidth given to any application based on requirements at any time, but you can also easily route traffic depending on volumes.
4. Disaster Recovery
The benefits of having your telephony IP-based run deep. Indeed, disaster recovery is perhaps one of the most valuable features of your SIP system, for it means that no matter what happens, you will still be able to ensure business continuity, which of course is priceless.
SIP lines can be programmed so that if a user is out of the office, or an entire office is out of commission, the lines roll over to backup sites, or to devices anywhere on your network or at a backup facility. It’s all based on the business rules you set up, and allows for peace of mind in the event of any disaster.
5. It’s Easy To Manage And Supports Unified Communications
You don’t need to be a telecommunications expert to install and use SIP trunking. The best solutions provide an easy to use control panel and simple instructions for configuring your PBX.
And from here, you should be able to configure your unified communications as well, which indeed are becoming increasingly essential to the modern enterprise. Enabling presence, call transfers from mobiles to soft phones and other advanced features, SIP trunks provide the foundation that makes all this possible, all the while being as flexible, scalable, reliable and affordable as can be.