What Makes for a Reliable SIP Trunk Provider?Posted on: 2019-04-12 | Categories: SIP Trunking
Switching to new technology is not an easy decision for any business. You have to consider hardware and software costs as well as compatibility with existing systems. Not to mention the fact that you might have to train your employees on the new system.
Fortunately, the transition from the PSTN to VoIP is almost seamless for enterprises. Upgrading to VoIP will actually save you money, not cost more. Since it is based on Internet protocols, the phones can connect to other enterprise tools (email, CRM, voicemail) easily. Another advantage is that workflows don’t change for users. So you don’t have to spend a lot of time and effort on training employees.
Selecting the Right SIP Trunk Provider
From a business perspective, upgrading to SIP trunking is a no-brainer. But selecting the right SIP trunk providers is vital for the project to go smoothly. You don’t want to get stuck with the vendor that doesn’t meet your requirements. On the flip side, no one wants a service that is too expensive for their budget!
Your customers depend on you for reliable service. In turn, you depend on your phones to connect your customers to you. Therefore having a reliable vendor is crucial. But given the hundreds of providers in the market today, it’s hard to choose a single one. How do you evaluate vendors for reliability?
What Makes a SIP Trunk Provider Reliable?
There are a lot of factors that impact the reliability of service, specifically SIP trunking. Some factors are technical in nature, while others are more qualitative. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Commitment to Open Protocols
All SIP trunks are not created equal. Although based on the open source SIP protocol, some vendors use proprietary software as well. It means you can only use specific IP PBX software their SIP trunks.
Vendors who have shown a commitment to open protocols will not limit your options in the future. It means you can rely on them to support any platform of your choice. It also means you will have access to the best and latest features, as the vendor does not have to make any modifications to deliver them to you.
Security and QoS
Companies often don’t realize that connecting to the Internet makes their business vulnerable. There are many bad actors out there who are waiting to break into your systems. A SIP trunk connects you to the outside world. Without adequate security on your part as well as the SIP trunk provider, you are a soft target for hackers.
Quality of service is another thing that determines reliability. The best SIP providers will focus on minimizing aspects like jitter, latency, packet loss, etc. QoS settings quite often determine whether your call will complete and the quality of audio.
Redundant Networks and Failover Options
You rely on your phones to do business with your customers. What happens when they cannot reach you? You lose revenue, profits, and trust. There is no way to guarantee 100% reliability all the time. So you have to be prepared for problems, whether it is due to technical issues or natural disasters. Your SIP trunking vendors should have multiple data centers and failover options. That way, even when disaster strikes, your customers will be able to call you.
Simple and Straightforward Pricing Plans
A reliable SIP trunk vendor will have simple and straightforward pricing plans. There should be no hidden fees, unexpected charges, or contracts. You should be able to estimate your monthly charges and total costs at a glance.
Your vendor should also offer fraud monitoring to prevent unauthorized calls. VoIP fraud is very common nowadays. Why you need technical tools like firewalls, your provider should also offer service features like credit limits. For instance, the provider may stop traffic to your phones if a hacker starts making expensive calls that cross your monthly limits.
Customer and Technical Support
Most businesses focus on price and features when selecting a vendor. But customer service and technical support are very important aspects. When a problem affects your system, the vendor should respond quickly. They should offer multiple channels of communication (live chat, phone, email) so you can always reach them. They should have staff that is knowledgeable about both technical and business features. Otherwise, how can you rely on them to support your business?
Most reliable SIP trunk vendors will also have resources for you and your staff to access. These resources may include online forums, seminars, FAQs, manuals, etc. Using SIP trunks is straightforward but chances are you will run into problems along the way. Given the long history of SIP, someone out there probably has a solution to your issue!
You can evaluate SIP vendors on these factors to gauge whether they are reliable or not. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and clarify details. After all, your business depends on working phones.