As the need for new trends in business communication continues to increases, more and more companies are planning to move towards SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking in the coming future saving an average of 33 percent in costs. SIP trunking offers business organizations easier infrastructure integration and management along with almost infinite scalability. SIP adoption in increasing day by day and more than 50% of SMBs are using or evaluating SIP trunking today. SIP trunking offers various benefits to the business and at the same time it’s not a technology without challenges. Both the service providers and the business organization need to be sure about the reliability of SIP trunking and any issues should be resolved before it affects the quality of communication with customers.
The need of migration to SIP Trunks
Moving on with traditional telephone wires which consists of a physical trunk with plenty of wires is not a viable solution for modern business communication needs. With this system adding new connections were a complicated task which was costly and time-consuming. It provides only very few additional features which were expensive to afford by SMBs. But with the advent of SIP trunking, it replaced physical connections with virtual ones using an IP network that can provide varied features that ranges from a phone call to a multi-media conference. The enterprises can easily tie the business applications together; can create a mobile workforce and agents and can use a single network connection for various services like conferencing, instant messaging, data sharing and many more. The technological benefits as well as significant cost savings are greatly attracting enterprises towards SIP trunking.
Pros of SIP Trunking Migration
Some significant advantages of SIP trunking for business enterprises:
- Increases ROI
SIP Trunking requires very low upfront costs. Once installed, it starts reducing the costs immediately along with maintaining all the features that customers have with their local PBX.
- Increases Productivity
It can increase productivity by uniting multiple branches located at different locations and mobile workers together.
SIP Trunking offers a stable connection. At the time of power outages or any other disaster, all the incoming calls will be automatically rerouted to another preselected office or group of telephones or anywhere based on the business rules.
SIP trunking frees an enterprise from expensive infrastructure and ‘buying for future‘expenditures. Set up what you need for today, SIP trunking has the ability to grow along with your business. Only pay for what is required and enable excess capacity when and where needed.
- Unified Communications
SIP trunking creates a gateway to create a unified communication system based on IP that can bring together voice, data, instant messaging, presence, application sharing, conferencing and many more.
- Call Cost Reduction
Most companies documented that they had an average savings of about 30% to 60% by the use of SIP trunking. Single connection for voice and data lines and free long distance calls as any call becomes a local call with SIP trunking.
- Provides fast growth across geographic boundaries
SIP trunks can connect distantly located braches of the enterprise to expand its geographic voice and data system.
- User Satisfaction
It has an easy-to-use communication interface for IT managers and employee users.
SIP trunking is a cost effective and efficient solution for small to medium sized businesses, to grow quickly without big capital expenses. SIP trunking providers can enhance a long term relationship and drive valuable revenues from their subscribers.
Challenges of SIP Trunking
Since it’s a still maturing technology, as with all other technologies, SIP trunking is also not free from issues which include quality of service, integrating old and new infrastructures, appropriate scaling and in creating a secure environment. The concerns include:
- Quality of Service
The right quality checking is necessary to maintain superior voice quality. Latency and jitter that happens to data applications can be destructive to video, audio and real-time applications.
- Availability of Service
It depends on the region and carrier service availability.
There are still concerns about interoperability between service providers and IP PBX vendors. Issues with interoperability can result in calls not connecting properly or low voice quality that are often very difficult to diagnose.
SIP trunking implementation, management and troubleshooting requires vendor engineers well trained in SIP configurations. Enterprises are struggling to train their own employees or fin qualified consultants or vendor engineers.
SIP Trunking works in an IP based environment, so the phone systems will be vulnerable to IP-based attacks like denial-of-service attacks via the SIP trunk which are much more difficult to launch against TDM trunks. It may get affected by the same issues as IP data connections like hacking, eavesdropping and connection hijacking. You have more potential problems to consider and, as a result more safeguards to implement. The use of SIP firewalls, Session Border Controllers (SBCs), Intrusion Detection Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS), and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) devices can provide the required level of inspection, detection and prevention.
- Need for voice compression
Bandwidth costs for uncompressed SIP trunks can exceed that of TDM PSTN trunks because of the additional overhead required for SIP compared with TDM.
Because of the attractive benefits offered by SIP trunking it has been widely accepted by enterprises all over the world. At the same time, as it’s an evolving technology enterprises need to be aware of the problems and challenges of SIP Trunking migration. Testing and monitoring of the SIP trunking installation can help both service provider and the enterprise which results in a high quality customer experience.