SIP Trunks: The Pros and Cons
Companies that have traditional PBX (public exchange) phone service generally have two options when switching to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunks: using hosted VoIP services or connecting dire...
Companies that have traditional PBX (public exchange) phone service generally have two options when switching to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunks: using hosted VoIP services or connecting directly to the cloud with an on-premises IP-PBX phone service.
SIP trunks offer several advantages as well as disadvantages to an enterprise, depending on the company’s size, locations, and other factors. Taking your individual needs into account as well as the pros and cons of SIP trunking during the planning phase will minimize possible headaches as well as more capital expenditure later.
If your business has multiple locations, an SIP trunking system provides many advantages. By having one centralized system on a private network, you can much more easily manage your communications. It becomes must less complex and saves you money. You do not have to expend resources managing different systems at different locations.
You save money on hardware since SIP trunks cost less than traditional phone system connections. You also will have one bill, saving on expenses at your outlying offices.
Flexibility and optimization advantages
An SIP trunk lets you retain a lot of flexibility in calling. You pay the same rate no matter where you call to or call from using a company SIP trunking system.
You also can optimize your utilization of your IT bandwidth by using it for voice and data.
Technology and speed advantages
SIP trunks use the latest and greatest technology and can easily adapt or add upgrades as the technology improves.
Many large companies worry about speed too. SIP trunk calls process very quickly compared to PBX lines. The ringback and time-to-ring speeds are much greater with SIP trunks.
This also saves on bandwidth as you spend less time online per call. For mid-size to large enterprises, this can make a surprising difference.
SIP trunking and “other devices” disadvantage
Some devices, depending on your particular situation, still require PBX-style phones. These include elevators and some wired alarm systems. Old-style faxes with modems sometimes have problems with SIP trunking also.
If you rely on your own SIP trunking system and one single connection for all your locations, if it crashes you lose all your communications at all your offices everywhere.
You can mitigate this disadvantage somewhat by retaining your older PBX system, if you have one, as a backup but that backup may not be available at your other locations.
Emergency service disadvantage
This disadvantage has been a cause for concern for a number of years. If you choose to have your own SIP trunking or outsource to a VoIP service provider, ensuring that 911 or E911 service remains is a critical concern. Emergency services personnel using caller ID may not be able to find your location(s) in the event of an emergency.
Fortunately, most outsourced SIP trunking services have E911, and technology has improved to the point where this disadvantage should soon disappear.
Using SIP trunking for voice and data means that hackers only need access to one system to gain access to all your enterprise information, including personnel data. You’ll need to implement and maintain robust anti-virus and other measures to keep cyber criminals at bay.
There may be some instances where SIP trunking makes no sense. Small companies with legacy systems and perhaps one or two locations may find it easier and less costly not to switch.
However, as technology progresses and companies of all sizes move toward Unified Communications strategies to stay competitive, SIP trunking advantages appear to outweigh the disadvantages.
If your enterprise cannot afford to install a private SIP trunking system, then you have the option of outsourcing.