Many businesses are modernizing their communications with SIP trunking, a flexible technology that enables voice over IP (VoIP) communications for legacy phone systems and cloud-based PBX solutions alike. By tapping the benefits of SIP trunking, your company can lay the foundation for enhanced collaboration and productivity.
That said, there are a few requirements every organization must have in place to ensure a successful implementation. Here's a look at how SIP trunking can help you achieve your business goals, along with some pointers on how to set your company up for SIP success.
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The Benefits of SIP Trunking
SIP trunking can give your business an edge. You can use SIP trunking to keep capital expenditures in check, adding internet-based communications capabilities to a legacy phone system without having to make a costly upfront investment. If you choose to upgrade older voice and data systems at the same time you implement SIP trunking or even later on down the road, you can further maximize your total cost of ownership while future-proofing your business communications.
By leveraging SIP trunking's cloud features, you can ensure better day-to-day productivity and reliability, as well as improved business continuity over the long term. SIP also gives you increased flexibility in your deployment, allowing you to cost-effectively scale your operations. For example, you can pay only for the call paths you need with SIP instead of being forced to install (and pay for) an entire primary rate interface (PRI) on a permanent basis. If you decide to open a new branch location, this kind of technological and financial agility can prove especially valuable.
SIP trunking can help your business cost-effectively modernize its communications, creating a strong foundation for future digital transformation enhancements.
4 Requirements for SIP Trunking Success
To make sure your business is fully prepared for SIP trunking, you'll want to address these four requirements prior to implementation:
1. Robust network infrastructure
Once you implement SIP trunking, your voice and video communications will use the same network as your data transmissions. Since this dynamic will place increased demands on your network infrastructure, it's essential to properly prioritize network support for these new communications services — especially if you have multiple locations.
SD-WAN technology can help you implement quality of service (QoS) settings everywhere you operate, making sure that mission-critical voice and video calls receive high-priority treatment. What's more, SD-WAN empowers you to make more effective use of your existing data connections, even automatically switching to a backup connection in the event the primary circuit goes down.
While evaluating your network infrastructure to ensure it's SIP-ready, make sure your existing network hardware, from your router and switches to your wireless network infrastructure, allows you to configure QoS settings and supports your new SIP environment. It should also provide the throughput necessary, ideally gigabit connectivity, to enable both SIP and voice data connections.
2. Adequate bandwidth
To make the most of SIP trunking, you'll also need to have adequate bandwidth. Take a moment to review your current data connection, whether that's fiber, T1, or something similar, and determine whether it will be able to support the additional requirements of voice and video calling in a SIP environment.
For example, analyze your existing call volume to make sure you have enough bandwidth to enable that same call volume — or a bit more, if you're planning to grow your operations — in addition to the services already traveling across your network. You may also want to ask your SIP trunk provider about the codec they use to enable voice transmissions and how much bandwidth it consumes per call. Depending on the type, it can use anywhere from 8 to 64 Kbps of bandwidth alone, not including any additional bandwidth for IP overhead.
Reliability is essential for your business communications, so make sure to analyze your internet service provider's service level agreement (SLA) and the performance guarantees it provides. If you have multiple locations, this step will be even more critical to your success.
3. A SIP-compatible PBX
Although many legacy phone systems are compatible with SIP trunking, you'll need to confirm that your PBX is compatible with SIP. In some cases, you may need to upgrade your existing PBX with a SIP card that enables the integration. Software updates may also be required to ensure compatibility with SIP trunks. In other circumstances, you may decide that switching to a full cloud-based communications solution is the right path for your company.
4. VoIP-compatible phones
If you've been using traditional phones up until this point, then you'll also need to upgrade them or replace them with VoIP-compatible phones. Some legacy phones can be upgraded with VoIP adapters that convert voice communications into data packets for SIP trunking use. If you plan on using VoIP phones, you'll need to ensure that your data switches have the Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability necessary to provide power to the phones.
SIP trunking can help your business cost-effectively modernize its communications, creating a strong foundation for future digital transformation enhancements. Careful planning is required, however, to get the most value from your SIP solution. By addressing these four requirements before implementing SIP trunks, your business will be ideally positioned for SIP success.