Asterisk SIP Trunk – What Are the Benefits?

Posted on: 2019-03-28 | Categories: SIP

The decision to use VoIP communication systems is the first you’ll make of many. The road to modern, digital enterprise tools is littered with smaller decisions you have to make for the business. For instance, should go for hosted VoIP or SIP trunking? Open source platforms or proprietary solutions? The decisions are apparently endless.

Suppose you’ve considered all the options and your requirements. You’ve come to the conclusion that SIP trunking is your best bet. Before you commit to one specific vendor – for anything – you should consider one important factor. The hardware you buy, the software you use, and the provider of your trunks should be compatible with each other.

You really don’t want to be in a situation where the expensive desk phones you bought won’t work with the telephony solution. Or the SIP trunk refuses to connect between mobile endpoints. Compatibility and interoperability are not just buzzwords. They’re essential if you want a seamless communication system.

SIP Trunking Compatibility

The SIP in SIP trunk stands for Session Initiation Protocol. Most providers use it for their trunking implementation. But a few do use other closed source protocols. Even among those that use SIP, they may have custom deployments that won’t work with any and every software out there. Some will even charge you or restrict you to a handful of preferred providers you can use with their trunks. It’s basically a way to hold your company hostage if you ever want to leave.

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure the trunks work with any standard SIP-based telephony software. The wider the selection, the better. A SIP trunk that works with open source protocols is the best. You’re almost guaranteed that it will work, should you decide to use another software. You can even switch out your SIP trunk vendor! You don’t have to waste the resources, time, and effort you put into developing your system.

Asterisk PBX Solutions

Why does the ability to work with open source solutions matter so much? Precisely because open source means you’re not locked in. You don’t have to pay anything to use them. As long as you have the knowledge or time to learn, open source implementations are very cost effective. It shows that the vendor has your best interests at heart. They’re looking to be your long term partner.

Asterisk is one such open source telephony platform that’s extremely popular in the VoIP world. First developed in 1999, it’s perhaps the most widely used VoIP PBX across the enterprise. Everyone from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses uses Asterisk.

In spite of all that, you may ask why use Asterisk with your SIP trunks? So here are some major benefits to using Asterisk in your company.

It’s Free

Well, maybe not completely. You still have to buy some hardware like a server to run it on. But the software itself? Free as air. There are no software licenses to buy. No long term use contracts. No need to pay new progressively higher fees each year. You can even get graphical user interfaces that work on top of Asterisk, so you don’t have to work with code if you don’t want to.

It’s Customizable

IP based phone systems are customizable to a great extent. You can integrate them with a whole host of systems like CRMs, databases, email etc. While closed source platforms also integrate with third-party tools, you’re at their mercy. Thought of a cool new way to use your VoIP system? Too bad, you’ve to wait for your vendor to offer a tool for it. With access to the source code, you can customize Asterisk to your heart’s content!

Documentation is Everything

There’s a wealth of information about Asterisk if you only start looking. Any open source project lives or dies by its users, devs, and administrators. From wikis to online forums to documentation, there’s no dearth of data on setting up Asterisk. If you run into a problem, chances are that someone somewhere has already solved it along the way. You just have to find it!

Get Pro Support

No time to spare for learning? Don’t worry. The company behind Asterisk – Digium – offers professional support services. It’s not the only company either. A number of third-party vendors and consultants will set up and deploy Asterisk for you. You still get the benefits of open source without getting into the trenches yourself.

Asterisk has been around in the VoIP world for a long time. Its longevity is one of its biggest strengths. You can build a custom solution that caters to your specific needs. Or buy a pre-built solution from a vendor. Either way, you’re getting one of the best telephony solutions to use with SIP trunking!