Using A Sip Trunk Can Change Business Operations Instantly

0 Comments 14 January 2015

The Future is Today

Imagine receiving an instant message (IM) from your Paris office that a new design needs to be reviewed and approved by tomorrow. You launch a voice and video session and communicate with stunning clarity while reviewing sample pallets and quotes during a real-time application sharing session with your head buyer. Your system handles the communication flow seamlessly, with significantly broader capabilities and at a fraction of the cost of running your traditional telephone system. The future for your company is today, with VoIP and SIP trunking.

Evolution of the possibility

Traditional voice communication systems operate using an internal PBX system (private business exchange or private branch exchange), enabling internal and external call routing, call holds, forwarding, conferencing, extension management, and other common features of an integrated business phone system. These PBX systems traditionally communicate using a wire-based infrastructure through a public switched telephone network (PSTN), which inherently created limits on capabilities and expansion, while making businesses pay the costs related to buying fixed blocks of blocks of lines from the provider or paying gateway fees for the PSTN.

The Internet not only revolutionized data communication, but as bandwidth became more plentiful and connections more stable, voice communication over the Internet become the next significant cost-reducing frontier in business communications. These voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) systems, when combined with the traditional PBX system enabled businesses to add and combine voice, data, and video capabilities to their business communication processes. Systems with this capability are referred to as IP-PBX (Internet protocol, private business exchange).

Installation of a VoIP system required the investment in unique equipment, as well as, required the user to maintain connectivity through a public switched telephone network (PSTN). While technology at this stage reduced costs, the realization of further reductions would not be seen until the PSTN lines were replaced with a more cost effective option, and the business did not have to upgrade its PBX equipment during the transition.

Session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking eliminates the need for PSTN lines, and allows the business to keep their PBX system, a powerful cost-reducing combination whether a business is planning to initially implement a VoIP system or would like to enhance capabilities of their existing system while reducing costs related to their PSTN.

The trunk is a direct connection between our PBX system and your Internet telephone service provider (ITSP). Historically, the term “trunk” was used to represent the main bundle of lines between an internal PBX system (which manages the internal telephone extensions) and the public switched telephone network (PSTN). A SIP trunk still represents the connection from your internal PBX system, but the trunk links the Internet; a PSTN and all of its related costs are no longer needed.

What is SIP trunking?

Session initiation protocol (SIP) is a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) that enables communication to occur outside of your internal PBX system. In today’s business environment, many companies already utilize VoIP technology; however, it typically manages communications within the company’s internal network. SIP takes that capability further, by replacing the traditional PSTN line communication methodology with an Internet based solution.

How does SIP trunking expand communication capabilities?

The power of your internal communications network can now become available to users, customers, and vendors outside of your business by providing real-time communication. Work collaborations are handled real-time using multiple, current communications techniques such as video conferencing, instant messaging, voice conferencing, application sharing and virtual white boarding (the sharing of ideas on a single document). By eliminating a company’s reliance on a traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) within a VoIP system, and shifting to a SIP, the potential for gains in productivity are significantly enhanced.

A virtual office concept is also a reality with SIP. Expanding the variety of methods of communication enables employees, managers, customers, and vendors to be at home, work, or at an international location while video conferencing, instant messaging, emailing, collaborating on a blue print or reviewing a purchase order, and voice conferencing.

How does SIP trunking reduce costs?

Many companies already utilize an Internet telephone service provider in their VoIP systems, however, they are still incurring the costs for basic and primary rate interfaces, investments in PSTN gateways, and other costs related to the need to utilize a PSTN. These costs are eliminated with SIP. Bandwidth can be optimized because both voice and data are delivered in the same connection.

Line expansion can be right-sized to the business needs and not dictated by line-bundling cost packages utilized by PSTNs. SIP trunking allows for single line expansions, thereby creating significant cost savings during period of expansion or contraction of lines by eliminating the over-purchasing of capacity as is traditionally the case with PSTN line trunking programs.

The basic cost of SIP lines are significantly less than the costs of a PSTN trunk. Most SIP trunks include unlimited local calling and long distance calling.

The existing, installed IP-PBX systems can remain in place when an SIP trunk solution is adopted, eliminating the cost of expensive handset replacements, installation costs, retraining of staff on new the equipment, and costly business interruptions.

Many businesses report extremely fast return on investment in SIP trunking. A SIP solution does not require re-investing is handsets and PBX equipment. In addition, the return on investment is further felt through greater collaboration with employees, customers and vendors.

The implementation timeline is significantly shorter than a traditional PBX system swap-out. This allows minimal interruption to a business, and allows the savings to being instantly.

SIP trunking, next steps

To implement a SIP trunking solution, a business does not need new PBX equipment if the existing equipment is ip-PBX compatible. A business should check the PBX equipment specifications to determine if the equipment is compatible. In some cases, the PBX software may be out of date, or need to be upgraded to meet compatibility standards.

An Internet telephony service provider (ITSP) can provide you with SIP trunking. A company’s existing ITSP may already have SIP trunking capabilities.

A component of the SIP trunk connectivity flow is an enterprise border, which is the portion between the company’s PBX system and the SIP trunk. An enterprise border will require a capital outlay as part of the investment is a SIP trunk solution.

If a company does not have the internal expertise to configure and install an SIP trunk solution, then SIP service providers may be required to install, configure and test the system.

Implementation of Internet firewalls and security software are strongly advised for any business operation that utilizes the Internet for communication business transactions. Standard user authentication procedures, as well as, other recognized, standard Internet security procedures should be implemented in conjunction with the installation of a SIP trunk.

Originally posted 2014-08-04 08:27:45.

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