Implementing SIP Trunking – 3 easy steps

Posted on: 2016-11-15 | Categories: SIP

Nowadays it is not uncommon to see enterprises that are opting for SIP trunking instead of purchasing hosted VoIP services from an external vendor. Quite a few organizations – regardless of size or industry – are seeing the value of SIP trunks. Hosted VoIP services certainly have their advantages but businesses are slowly realizing that SIP trunking is also a viable alternative, especially over the long term.

The bottom line is that SIP trunking and VoIP hosted services are not competitors but rather organizations should select the solution that best serves their needs. One of the most pervasive and misguided assumptions that many people have about SIP trunking options is that they are difficult to deploy or implement. While it is true that SIP trunking deployments can be more complex than hosted VoIP, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

The specific SIP implementation and type of hardware or software you need will naturally depend on the individual characteristics peculiar to your business. Some businesses will need only a few channels in a simple configuration while others may require multiple SIP trunks in different office locations with comprehensive business continuity planning. As we can see, SIP trunking systems can be pretty simple or very complex.

Implementing SIP Trunking in 3 Easy Steps

Each SIP trunking deployment is unique to that company but implementation usually consists of the following 3 steps – know your business needs, plan for migration and final implementation. For a small company with minimal requirements, these steps may not take more than a few hours or days. Larger organizations often need several weeks to plan and deploy effectively.

Know What Your Business Needs

Most managers assume this refers to features or pricing but it goes deeper than that. The advantages presented by SIP trunks are more than just lower cost or new features. They can fundamentally change your business processes and streamline operations. So you are actually wasting tons of potential in your phone system if you just replace your existing phone lines with SIP trunks on a one to one basis.

You should know how your business currently operates and the various workflows affected by voice communications. Find out how each department uses the phone system on a typical day, as well as any unusual circumstances that you should account for. Once you have mapped how calls flow throughout the company, you will be able to spot areas where SIP trunks and their new functionality can help. This may be in the form of improving productivity, minimizing user frustration or reducing the time necessary for completing certain transactions.

Apart from this, you should also assess the state of the company’s existing network to determine if it can support additional voice traffic. You may also need to upgrade or purchase new equipment that is capable of operating with the SIP protocol. In some cases, this may be no more than buying a few IP desk phones.

Plan Your Migration to the New System

Upgrading to new technology is never an easy thing, even if it takes only a few hours. People need to adapt and become familiar with new workflows. You will need to configure the new systems, make changes to settings and integrate it with your existing systems. When it comes to VoIP you should consider aspects like traffic flows, peak demand and utilized capacity. You need to look at call policies, security measures as well as bandwidth capacity.

You should also keep one issue in mind which is the difference between PSTN and VoIP. VoIP is susceptible to the same security vulnerabilities as other Internet technologies since it is based on IP protocols. So you should implement effective security measures to guard against data theft, account misuse and toll fraud.

Another vital aspect to remember is backup and emergency management. If your internet goes down for any reason, then your phones will too. So you should be prepared for both minor and major interruptions, natural disasters, hardware failures and anything else that may disrupt your phones.

Deploy SIP Trunks

The third step is the actual implementation of SIP trunks. Moving over to a new system can be a  complicated transition, it is not as simple as flicking a switch. There will be a transition time where both systems may be in use at the same time before transferring over to the new system. You should ensure that the project goes according to budget and on time.

During the early stages, there may be some adjustments to be made. Like configuring settings for certain departments or groups of users. Some settings will be user configurable while others need administrator access. You will also need to optimize routers and related equipment to improve QoS. The time needed for each of the above steps will vary according to the complexity of the implementation but it won’t be time consuming for most organizations.