Our pachyderm friends might not be the best source for business advice, but they do know how to communicate. One communications technology that humans have embraced in recent years is called a SIP Trunk. Rather than exploring what SIP Trunking is, let’s focus on what SIP Trunking does.
But first, here’s some technical jargon you should know: A SIP trunk replaces traditional POTS (plain old telephone service) lines and T1 connections to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Back in the old days, if you wanted a phone, you had to get a line run to your business from the phone company. A SIP Trunk eliminates the physical connection to the phone company. With SIP Trunking there are no wires to maintain the connection. Instead of physical wires or hardware, a SIP Trunk is a “virtual” phone line that’s provided by your SIP trunk provider using your private data or internet connection.
So, in lieu of connecting your phone system to the PSTN directly, a SIP trunk delivers your voice call to your SIP Trunking provider via your internet connection. From here, the SIP Trunking provider delivers your voice call to any phone on multiple networks (i.e. the PSTN, mobile, internet, international). This seems like we’re just adding a middle man, right? Keep reading to find out why this method saves money, grants more flexibility, provides better business continuity and makes international and interstate calling easier. Moreover, this technology allows you to utilize your internet connection to the fullest while eliminating that costly phone bill you've been getting from "the phone company". Why not make the most of a resource you’re already paying for?
There are many ways SIP can save you money. The simplest way SIP can save you money is by cutting the cost of the call paths. The installation of call paths is more affordable because you aren’t forced to buy the physical lines.
The greater flexibility SIP provides can also translate into a higher level of savings. With SIP, you only pay for the number of call paths you need, as opposed to being locked into a specific number of analog lines or a PRI under contract. For example, let’s say you find that your business requires a higher number of simultaneous calls (a.k.a., “concurrent calls”) at certain times of year. With a T1 connection, it is often the case that your provider obligates you to add excessive (and potentially costly) lines in fixed increments of 24 lines, with a contract AND it takes 30 days in most cases to deliver them! If you have a SIP trunk, you can increase the number of lines to precisely what you need, and depending on the provider this can sometimes be done in hours! As you can see, this gives you measurable flexibility to scale up or down in real time.
Another benefit of SIP is the assurance that your business has the opportunity to grow geographically and survive emergencies. Keep in mind, that unlike an analog line or T1 connection, a SIP trunk is not bound to a specific location. This provides several benefits that were between impossible and very expensive as little as 7 years ago: if you move your office you can keep your telephone number, and if you want to add local phone numbers in markets that are outside of your traditional local calling area, a SIP Trunk service will allow you to add in any area of coverage for JUST THE COST OF THE PHONE NUMBER... typically a couple of bucks. With a SIP Trunk service, in a time of emergency you can direct your business calls to nearly anywhere you have a solid internet connection by logging into your account and changing where you want the calls directed, or make a simple request to your SIP Trunking provider. This is crucial, because every business should have a disaster preparedness plan.
Finally, the ability to make more affordable calls on an international scale is also a major benefit of SIP Trunking because the FCC and regulatory fees don’t apply to SIP trunking or Voice-Over-IP (VoIP). This allows businesses to dip their toe in the international waters by fielding calls internationally and making calls that terminate internationally without the major financial burden that have accompanied these activities previously.