In previous Insight articles, we’ve discussed the dramatically improved communications VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) brings to small and medium-sized businesses. Whether or not your business has converted to a VoIP system, however, there is a technology you can add, with no capital investment, that can maximize the effectiveness of your business communication.
This technology is SIP trunking (Session Initiation Protocol trunking). It simplifies communication by connecting a number of devices into a single, cost-effective collection of services. These can include telephones, network servers, cell phones, video conferencing, instant messaging, and much more.
SIP trunking can run various applications at the same time to expand the availability and functionality of your business communications.
How SIP trunking saves you money.
Regardless of the type of telecom system your business is currently using, choosing to connect using SIP trunking for your data network — or even for your older PBX systems — can significantly improve communication and cut telecom costs.
SIP trunking eliminates the need for you to have physical technology to carry each type of communication you use in your business, regardless of the size of your business or the number of locations you have.
Here are the highlights of the advantages it provides:
- Generate more communications using the same bandwidth: With SIP, both voice and data traffic work together seamlessly. SIP determines the most efficient use of resources and allocates bandwidth where it’s needed most. This ensures both voice and data run smoothly while minimizing waste.
- Save with no-cost or low-cost long distance: SIP trunking can quickly give any size business a global telecom connection for little or no extra cost.
- Update your telecom capabilities, even if you use an existing PBX or
other older phone system: SIP trunking makes it possible to add advanced features to older telephone systems. By keeping your existing telephone numbers and dial plans, you can get the features of more modern systems, including the following:
- Local numbers, toll-free access, domestic and international long distance, as well as free inter-office calling
- A remote market number to gain a local presence in a market without having to establish a branch office – this can also eliminate the need for an 800 number
- E-911 service
- Directory listings and assistance
- Personal management tools
- WebFax service
- Toll-free conference calling
- Follow-me number that delivers valuable presence management functionality o Call forwarding
- Call screening
- Sequential or simultaneous ringing
- Group messaging
- Hunt groups
- Automated attendant
- Add new lines quickly, easily and cost-effectively: Unlike such telecom options as PRIs, which require the purchase of groups of lines at a time, SIP trunk lines can manage an average of two to three users and can be added individually.
- Serve employees working from home or on the road by making it easy for them to make and receive calls as if they were in the office.
- Improve productivity by eliminating dropped calls.
- Save money over the cost of a traditional analog system or Integrated Services for Digital Network (ISDN).
- Gain additional capacity when enlarging or relocating offices, or reducing capacity if staffing levels are flexible.
- Centralize phone lines and provide users with a single, flexible platform to host a variety of applications that support collaboration.
How SIP trunking reduces risk.
One big benefit of SIP trunking is how it can help keep your business going during natural or man-made disasters.
Every day your business is not in operation and cannot connect with clients and customers it loses money. It’s critical to have a solid plan for recovery in the event of a disaster. SIP trunking can help by providing you with a way to re-route your communication system to get your business up and running fast. Here’s how:
- If your business is forced to close an office in an emergency, calls can be automatically re-routed to another office or answering location. This allows your business to continue operating from any temporary location.
- SIP-supported IP PBX systems let you incorporate plug-and-play phones and programmability into your overall disaster recovery plan. This allows you to continue to conduct business and control communications with customers, associates and vendors.
- SIP trunking includes automatic re-routing that makes it invisible to customers that you are communicating with them from an alternate location.
- With SIP trunking, there is no single point of failure as there is with other telecom setups. SIP trunks direct incoming calls to specific Direct Inward Dialing (DID) telephone numbers. With this technology, an auto-attendant can be configured to let the caller reach the right person and incoming calls can be directed to that person at any location.
Traditional telecom circuitry is slowly going away. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has targeted 2018 as the year that IP replaces traditional circuit-switched telephony. This change may not take place that soon, but it will take place eventually.
By including SIP trunking in your business, you reduce your overhead and the impact disasters can have on your business.
Regardless of the telecom system you are using now, SIP trunking is the smart way you can advance its capabilities while, often dramatically, cutting costs. Ask us about adding SIP trunking to your system today.