How Much Technical Expertise Do you Need for a SIP Trunk?Posted on: 2019-05-28 | Categories: SIP Trunking
If you’re interested in VoIP for your business, SIP trunking is a great option. As with any other technology, it is not the perfect solution for everyone. It has its own benefits and drawbacks. But with the right set up, SIP trunking could be the best investment you make for your business.
It’s no secret that phone systems can be very complicated. Dive headfirst into the world of telephony and you’re faced with a sea of acronyms and jargon. Does this mean you have to be a genius to set up your phone system? While it would no doubt help, you don’t have to be. As long as you understand the basics, you can make SIP trunks work for your organization.
The Basics of SIP Trunking
Let’s take a quick look at the basic components involved in SIP trunking. Here’s what you need for an enterprise phone system:
- IP PBX
- SIP trunk
- Internet connection
- Network equipment (router, SBC, etc)
When most people think of phone system, they’re actually referring to features like voicemail, call transfer, etc. You get these features through your PBX (Private Branch eXchange). PBX systems have been around for a long time. However, you need an IP enabled PBX for SIP trunking. Most modern systems support IP standards, so you don’t have to worry about it.
The SIP trunk is what connects your PBX to the ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider). It is not a physical line made of copper wires. It is a virtual connection. That means you can add and remove SIP trunks quickly, as and when you need them. You will have to configure your SIP trunk with the PBX you are using.
Traditional phone calls travel over the PSTN. VoIP calls use the Internet instead. That means you need a robust Internet connection with sufficient bandwidth to place calls. You probably have a high-speed data connection already. However, you will be putting additional traffic on the network when making calls. If each call requires x amount of bandwidth and you estimate 10 concurrent calls at a time, you will need 10x bandwidth.
Most offices will have routers, switches, modems, etc. as network infrastructure. There’s not much you need to know about this hardware. But you do have to configure QoS (Quality of Service) to prioritize voice traffic on the network. This means calls won’t be affected if someone starts downloading a large file or streaming video in the office.
Selecting the Right Provider
Once you understand the basic components of SIP trunking, you are better prepared to deploy it within your organization. However, selecting the right provider will go a long way to getting it right. Most reputed vendors will have installation guides for various popular PBX software. Even if your solution is not on the list, the vendor should be able to guide you through the configuration process.
Some providers even allow you to test the service to make sure you have everything right. Testing allows you to see if your network equipment suitable or needs to be upgraded/replaced. You can also see if the setup is working under real-world conditions or if it needs tweaking.
The Need for Technical Expertise
As you can see, you don’t have to be an expert to install and use SIP trunks. For a small business, set up and configuration is quite straightforward. But as your organization grows and expands, you might feel the need for bringing experts on board. It is one thing to manage a PBX system with two dozen extensions. What if your company grows to several hundred employees and a dozen offices across the country?
At some point, you will have to hire a professional or two to manage the phone system for you. While you could still do it all yourself, it makes more sense to delegate responsibilities. As a business owner or manager, you have more important tasks. Just like hiring an accountant, an IT pro for your phones makes sense as your priorities and needs change.
Business owners worry about the cost of hiring new personnel. Won’t this drive up the total cost of the system? It’s a legitimate concern. But what you need to remember is that SIP trunking can reduce your phone expenses by as much as 50% or more. Even if you have to hire an entire team to manage the system, it will be less expensive than the equivalent number of landlines and PRI lines.
While SIP trunks and IP PBX systems do require a bit of investment up front, they’ll keep working for years. The more you use the system, the lower your cost per call. So if you are considering SIP trunks for your business, go right ahead!