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What is SIP and SIP TRUNKING?

And the top three benefits for businesses

Since the pandemic, the landscape of business communications has changed. Many businesses with traditional voice technologies saw the value in modernizing communications, but considered it a lower operational priority. Then the pandemic happened, and these organizations found themselves unable to fully support communications with their customers and even their employees. While the worst of the pandemic is hopefully far behind us, it showed the critical need for future-proofed communications. This is a major benefit of SIP and SIP Trunking, among others that we’ll explore.

What Is SIP?

SIP means Session Initiation Protocol. It enables connectionless support for voice communication over the public internet. “Connectionless” means that there is no need to install extra hardware onsite, and it doesn’t require dedicated facilities out of a central office.

Contrast this with Primary Rate Interface (PRI), the traditional technology where voice is transmitted on physical lines and data is transmitted separately.  Maintaining two separate modes of transmission greatly increases costs, and especially because one involves miles of underground copper wires and above-ground phone lines, increases potential points of failure.

What Is SIP Trunking?

Think of SIP Trunks like the replacements for those physical copper and phone lines. A SIP Trunk connects a traditional on-premise PBX phone system to the internet using Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), and it can also transmit other data, such as video. A SIP provider delivers the SIP Trunking, and they essentially replace a traditional landline phone service provider

But not all SIP providers are created equal. At IPC Technologies, we often partner with IntelePeer. They are able to work with PBX phone systems from wide-ranging manufacturers. And perhaps more importantly, they are a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) provider. This means that their SIP service offers full inbound and outbound omnichannel communications capabilities.

To sum it up, SIP and SIP trunking enable organizations to jump from PBX phone systems to cutting-edge omnichannel communications without installing additional hardware.

The Top Three Benefits of SIP Trunking for Businesses

Together, the following three benefits can help to “future proof” communications: affordable pricing, modernized and upgradable capabilities, and extreme reliability. 

1. Savings

SIP enables far more efficient use of capabilities that equate to cost savings. First, PRI equipment can be expensive. The equipment will only get more expensive to maintain as it becomes more and more outdated. It can also be very easy to overpay on call plans. By eliminating the need to run voice and data separately, you can save up to 50% (and in some cases more) on a call plan.

Secondly, you can leverage the efficiency of broadband over hardware. When you need more capacity, you can just increase bandwidth, rather than provisioning additional circuits or installing new hardware. Lastly, because SIP enables the connection of IP and analog devices, you don’t have to replace your PBX gear.

2. Omnichannel Communications

When you add CPaaS to SIP Trunking, you have the building blocks for a unified communications platform. Take IntelePeer’s Atmosphere® Platform as an example. A business can go from a traditional PRI with PBX phone systems and have the following cloud-based, omnichannel capabilities—while still using their legacy equipment.

Voice/Messaging

Utilize voice, SMS, and social channels for inbound and outbound interactions

Engage

Easily create and manage omni-channel campaigns with pre-built templates

SmartFlows

Build integrated and automated omni-channel communication workflows

Insights

Make better business decisions with enriched customer interaction data

Integrations

Connect to business applications through APIs or drag-and-drop capabilities

The business benefits of omnichannel communications cannot be overstated. Customers expect to be able to interact with organizations on a variety of channels, and many prefer to avoid telephone conversations whenever possible. The ability to interact via SMS, social media, and other channels can greatly enhance the customer experience (CX). As we cover in this blog post, CX should be an organizational priority in and of itself.

3. Disaster Avoidance

“Disaster avoidance” may sound extreme, but it really means having proactive strategies to ensure that communications remain uninterrupted. SIP trunking technologies allow for these proactive measures, whereas PRI technologies do not. Because SIP is connectionless, it does not require dedicated facilities in the nearest central office.

A SIP provider like IntelePeer provides an infrastructure that is built to mitigate risk. The nearest data center to a customer serves as their primary data center and gateway trunk route. But this is backed up by a mirror image redundancy at a completely different location. 

If the SIP provider experiences a failure at the primary data center, the backup dynamically takes over. Because PRI technologies are connected, have separate transmissions for voice and data, and are dependent on aging physical equipment, proactive plans like these can’t be put into place.

Having an Expert Partner In SIP and SIP Trunking

As beneficial as SIP and SIP Trunking can be for bringing older communication setups into the future, having an expert partner on your side for planning and implementation is equally important. Choosing the right provider for your needs, solving compatibility problems between phone systems and SIP Trunking components, the proper setup for security, and service and price negotiation are just some of the issues that IPC Tech’s engineers are experts at solving. 

Are You Ready to Future-Proof Your Communications?

Contact IPC Tech to begin your transition to SIP, or reach out if you just need additional information.

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