SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a protocol for directing and controlling communications which includes voice, video and data over the IP (Internet protocol). It provides the ability to deliver high-definition video and related call data along with call audio through a single channel as well as excellent flexibility and cost savings. It also offers other benefits such as rapid disaster recovery, unified communication platform and centralization of lines. According to the recent reports, about one third of among every 300 businesses has moved towards SIP Trunking and had saved 33 percent in costs.
The motivation for migrating towards SIP Trunking is the need for a complete IP environment – both wired and wireless. Business organizations are eager to grasp the advantages of unified communications. The move towards SIP Trunking empowers businesses with signalling tools necessary for establishing the connections associated with unified communications. SIP is more flexible because it works independently of the type of session or media used. As it’s an open standard several applications can be written to customize SIP uses. If your business has decided to migrate to SIP Trunking, there are several areas of best practices to consider which includes, network design, providers, deployment and security.
Proper planning ensures smooth SIP implementation
Perform detailed analysis including an equipment inventory at each site, noting how many trunks are installed. Then take an objective comparison of current PSTN expenditures and its future expenses. Consider the traffic volumes and patterns, call policies, support for new services and security implications, so that you can evaluate each issue and address areas of concerns. Due to the IP connectivity of a SIP Trunk, to ensure high security, you may have to deploy new firewalls or efficiently reuse existing ones. Long before the installation of SIP Trunks, be sure to work through the physical design of the SIP Trunk terminations.
Selecting the SIP Service Provider
In order to obtain quality of service, select a SIP service provider that owns the physical delivery mediums to your premises along with the service. If you select a provider other than your current PSTN provider, then ensure that you can transfer existing direct-inward-dialling (DID) numbers to the new provider and also determine how long the transfer will take. SIP Trunking features varies in terms of offerings and pricing. Evaluate the various options by doing proof-of-concept trials before deploying SIP Trunking in the business network.
Conduct a Pilot Trial Prior to Implementation
Apply the details learned during the planning and evaluation steps, to a real SIP Trunk installation. To see how SIP operates in your environment, you call install the SIP Trunk, configure the hardware and software and begin running test calls across the network. According to the requirements define a success criteria and the duration before starting the trial. Otherwise the trial may lack the clear objectives that can determine whether it’s a success or a failure. Be sure to create a clear test and a user training plan, gain stakeholder buy-in, and then execute it. After completing the pilot trial results, decide about the service migration based on accurate data points.
Launch the service
The important step in launching a new service is to train the user base that will join SIP Trunking services using the same methods used in pilot user community. Security concerns are also very important. If the network is very small a firewall or NAT device may be sufficient. Large networks may require a Layer 7 SBC (Session Border Controller) device with more protection, traffic control and configuration. The main security attack on SIP Trunks today is toll fraud attack and the best way to protect against it is to deploy toll fraud features on your SBC.
Today Small and medium sized enterprises can implement SIP Trunking to control costs and to obtain business efficiency. Evaluating offerings from SIP service providers and undergoing pilot trial can help you to compare and contrast the features needed for your business. SIP trunking telephony is becoming increasingly appealing to business of all sizes. The trend of migration to SIP technology is now questioning the long term viability of the toll network.