The 3 Golden Rules of SIP trunking – Tips for Success

Posted on: 2016-12-30 | Categories: SIP

Though SIP trunking and hosted VoIP are both fast growing segments within the industry, hosted VoIP has hogged much of the spotlight in terms of media attention. There are many companies who never even considered SIP trunking before upgrading to hosted VoIP services from their existing legacy systems.

But that situation is slowly changing as more organizations are discovering the benefits of SIP trunking. Hosted VoIP services may very well be the best fit for your business but it is prudent to consider all the options before coming to a decision. Companies are also finding SIP trunks to be a viable alternative since vendors are now offering services that are comparable – in terms of ease-of-use – to hosted VoIP.

If you’ve already settled on SIP trunks as the best choice, you are no doubt excited about the world of possibilities and benefits it offers. However there are three key things you should keep in mind before you jump headfirst into implementing SIP trunking. These are not rules in the usual sense but rather important ideas you shouldn’t overlook when it comes to SIP trunks.

Rule – Consider All Costs

This rule applies to both hosted VoIP services as well as SIP trunking but is perhaps a tad more relevant here. Organizations often find it easy to estimate the costs with hosted services since there are not many variables to consider. Quite a few vendors also offer personalized quotes and estimates that can serve as a rough guideline. Hosted VoIP services also offer limited customization so there is not much room for unexpected costs.

On the other hand SIP trunking deployments are unique to each company. Even if two organizations are roughly the same size and operate in the same industry, their individual SIP trunking networks can be considerably different. You have to keep track of more variables when it comes to SIP trunk deployment – centralized versus decentralized systems, whether you add Unified Communication tools or not, the number and location of your offices etc. All these factors will influence the total amount you can expect to pay for the system.

There may also be hidden costs that crop up quite unexpectedly during deployment, costs that you had not considered when coming up with a budget. Some line items may end up costing more than expected. You may have thought that you don’t need a particular appliance only to find out that it is absolutely necessary for your particular system. While you may not be able to anticipate specific incidents, you should be prepared for unexpected or higher than expected costs.

Rule – Plan for Contingencies

Organizations that prefer SIP trunking usually have more complex needs and requirements than the average business. It is probably one of the reasons why they picked SIP trunks instead of hosted VoIP services. Because of this, deploying SIP trunks often turns out to be a huge project. Even if it is not very expensive in terms of money, it takes a lot of time and effort during the planning and designing stage. Planning is crucial when it comes to deploying your SIP trunks but no plan comes with a 100% guarantee.

Unexpected developments can cause delays or increase the total cost of implementation. You should have a contingency plan to deal with any minor or major issues along the way. Suppose you have ordered equipment from a supplier and the shipment is lost or damaged on the way. This can have a domino effect and delay other phases of deployment. What if one of your vendors suddenly declares bankruptcy and shuts down? What if you’re hit with a snowstorm or other natural disaster in the midst of deployment? Such scenarios may be remote possibilities but it can certainly happen. So always have a plan B!

Rule – Think of the Future

SIP trunks represent a long term investment for your company. The more you use it, the lower your per call costs. The longer you have the system, higher is your return on investment. You will be designing all other parts of your network around the SIP trunks. So make sure all equipment is compatible and interoperable. You don’t want to have to scrap your hardware because it has quickly become obsolete or is otherwise incompatible with future upgrades.

Think about what else you want to use your SIP trunking system for. Do you want to implement unified communication tools on top of it? You may not be thinking of it right now but you should leave yourself room to upgrade 5 or 10 years down the line. The same applies to growth and expansion. Whatever hardware, software and system you purchase today to be able to accommodate changes in the future. You want to buy something and then find out it doesn’t have any extra capacity. With these rules in mind, you should have no trouble with your system – now or in the future.