SIP Trunking Benefits

Posted on: 2016-05-16 | Categories: SIP Trunking

SIP trunking doesn’t enjoy as much media coverage as hosted VoIP services but under the right circumstances, it can certainly be the better option for enterprises. Although it does require some investment to set up, SIP trunks provide many benefits.

Fierce competition in this segment has driven prices down from previous years and in many cases, it is only slightly more expensive than purchasing hosted VoIP services. At any rate, deploying SIP trunks is not very costly, especially when you consider the cost of purchasing business class ISDN or t1 lines.

Even as late as 2012, SIP trunks were not extensively used by enterprises. However these past couple of years have seen some significant changes in the market with regard to prices, providers and improved services. More enterprises are realizing that over the long-term, SIP trunking can generate better ROI than hosted services, especially for organizations that are growing rapidly or have really high call volume.

SIP trunks offer many advantages such as –

Lower call charges

Since SIP trunks are slightly more expensive to set up than hosted VoIP services, most people don’t expect that call charges can actually be lower with the former but it’s true. As a call volume increases, the cost per call drops substantially and SIP trunks start to make more sense than continually upgrading your subscription plan from the hosted services vendor. In other words, the more calls you make the cheaper each one becomes.

Another part of the savings equation is that the benefits accrue immediately even without upgrading hardware or the PBX system. Just replacing the current business trunks with SIP will provide immediate savings, not counting the additional non-monetary benefits.

Flexibility and scale

With traditional enterprise trunks, organizations are generally forced to choose a specific number of channels beforehand. This means they have to estimate their call volume correctly – or they end up paying for unused capacity. No business likes to underestimate and then struggle to keep up with the demand for service capacity. So generally, most organizations have unused capacity lying around that they still have to pay for.

With SIP trunks, channels can be added or eliminated as required by the business at any given time. In most cases, it requires nothing more than a call to the provider and some even offer web interfaces that allows clients to set the number of channels they need. Additionally businesses can choose to add as many channels as are required – there is no need to specify in bundles of 15 or 30 only. If your business wants to add 3 extra channels, you can do so.

Eliminate gateways

Since the SIP trunk connects the organization to the ITSP, there is no need to purchase and maintain a VoIP or PSTN gateway. If the business also has an IP PBX deployed, making and receiving phone calls becomes a seamless process. With all calls coming in through IP, there is no need for data conversion often resulting in better quality calls. With less moving parts in the overall system, it reduces the potential for bugs and problems as well. Troubleshooting, diagnosing, isolating and eliminating problems becomes much easier.

Maintain business continuity

With traditional business phone systems, relocating the office was a daunting prospect since the trunks would have to be redeployed. This would often be a frustrating and painfully long process, requiring several site visits – at the old and new locations – from technicians. Depending on the number of phones to be moved, it could also be extremely costly. In the meantime, employees have to make do with temporary replacements causing confusion to customers.

SIP trunks are not bound to a particular location, so moving the office and the phone system becomes comparatively easy. There is no need to call the carrier and have them divert phone calls, get a new phone number, change marketing materials and inform your customers. The business can continue to use the same numbers as before from the new location. In most cases the changeover is seamless and will not cause a break in business operations.

This benefit applies to emergency situations as well. If your office suffers from any sort of disaster – flood, fire, power outage etc. – you can quickly relocate employees & SIP trunks to another location and have them working for clients without a break.

Consolidate all communication

SIP trunks are capable of carrying more than just voice. This means that there is no need to maintain two separate networks for voice and other forms of media. Generally speaking, a single SIP trunk is often sufficient to serve the needs of any enterprise regardless of size (especially since channels can be added as required). In addition to that, the rapid growth of the business can be easily managed since all the required infrastructure is already in place. With older phone systems, increasing capacity usually meant upgrading hardware, purchasing more lines and renegotiating contracts with vendors. On the other hand, this process is quick and painless with SIP trunks.

Improve customer service

With SIP trunks, most calls will become local calls since they will be touching the PSTN only for small portions of the total distance. Along with eliminating long-distance charges, it offers convenience for customers since the organization can purchase local numbers in as many cities or states as they would like. This provides more options for customers to reach out, reducing the barriers for providing effective customer support and sales campaigns.

Typically organizations like to purchase and maintain certain ‘800’ numbers to make it easy for customers to call them. However they can be pretty expensive. With local numbers in multiple cities, these calls will be treated as local calls. They can be terminated on the local PSTN and then continue over the IP network.

These are just a few of the advantages provided by SIP trunking. Using SIP trunks can also lay the foundation for unified communications going forward, thus enabling higher productivity and collaboration between multiple teams, groups and offices. Over the long-term, they certainly pay for themselves and have a much lower Total Cost of Ownership when compared to hosted VoIP.