What SIP Trunk Numbers Can I Use with In-House VoIP?Posted on: 2019-04-09 | Categories: SIP Trunking VoIP Technology
Are you considering an upgrade to your enterprise phone system with SIP trunks? You are not alone. Millions of business owners worldwide have already made the switch. But like most people, you’re not an expert when it comes to the underlying technology. So you may have a few concerns and questions.
Some of the most common questions that people ask revolve around phone numbers. Is a SIP number the same as your normal phone number? Can you continue to use your old numbers with your new SIP trunk? What kind of features can you get with SIP numbers?
SIP Versus Traditional Phone Numbers
For all practical purposes, SIP numbers are the same as the phone numbers you’re familiar with. Users don’t have to change their workflows or habits with SIP numbers. They follow the same 10 digit format as legacy numbers. The biggest difference between the two is the underlying technology of the system, not the format of functionality.
You can use all sorts of numbers with SIP trunking. Use one phone number as the main line with different channels. Then direct others to individual people or devices with Direct Inward Dialing (DID). You can also purchase toll-free numbers to make it easier for customers to contact your business.
In addition, SIP trunks can also work with virtual numbers. These numbers are unique to VoIP systems. They offer a lot of flexibility to businesses and you can use them in multiple ways.
Porting Numbers to Your SIP Trunk
Unless you are starting a new business from scratch, you likely have phone numbers that you been using for a long time. Your customers, employees, partners, and suppliers already use this number to contact you. Everyone is familiar with them. Naturally, you do not want to change and force people to use new numbers.
Fortunately, you can keep your phone numbers when you upgrade to your new SIP trunk. Most providers will allow you to port your numbers, provided they have availability in that particular region. Some vendors will charge a flat fee for all your numbers, others may charge individual prices, and a few will port them for free. The porting process may take anywhere from a few days to a week depending on the vendor and the complexity of your system.
Direct Inward Dialing is an invaluable feature for enterprises with their own PBX systems. In a traditional enterprise set up, a business would have one or more trunks connecting them to the provider. A group of numbers is assigned to the trunks. You can route the calls coming into the trunk to the appropriate extension with DID.
Can be DID numbers work with SIP trunks? Most certainly! Not only can you use DID as before but you can do so much more with them. You can connect numbers with different local area codes to your system. This way customers can reach the right person even if they are located in some other part of the country.
You can set up DID numbers to connect to individuals or groups. For instance, you may want to connect a DID number with the sales department. Incoming calls will ring all the phones within that group, allowing any free salesperson to answer it.
Quite a few businesses like to use toll-free numbers. They are distinct numbers with specific 3 digit codes. It allows people to contact a business without incurring long-distance charges. For example, a customer living in Texas can contact your California office for free with such numbers.
Quite a few SIP providers offer toll-free numbers for their clients. But what if your provider doesn’t offer them? You can purchase such numbers from others and connect it to your existing IP PBX system. You can forward these calls to any other number of your choice.
You can also use virtual numbers with your SIP trunk. These numbers are not connected to any physical location. You can forward incoming calls to any extension, device or office within your network. Virtual numbers are flexible because you don’t need to have a physical presence in the market where you purchase the numbers.
Suppose you have customers in a particular city but don’t yet have an office there. You can buy a virtual number with that specific area code. So you can give customers a familiar number to dial even without a physical presence. You can also use virtual numbers to keep track of marketing campaigns, combine physically separate departments, and even allow remote working for your employees. The possibilities are endless!
So there you have it. You can continue to use your old phone numbers and even get new ones with your SIP trunk. Grab a virtual number or two and get started with SIP trunking today!