SIP trunking is becoming the go-to choice for business communications. It’s low cost, ease of use and flexibility are attractive to companies of all sizes. Connecting to a SIP trunk is not a terribly complex endeavor and many vendors provide the support and tools to make it hassle free. However, not all SIP services are the same and your telephone system is a critical part of your business technology infrastructure, so it is important to be sure you understand certain key considerations before you connect to a SIP trunk. Here are a few things you want to be sure you know.
Does the service utilize a Tier-1 redundant network?
Voice service disruption can mean lost opportunities or increased costs for your business. To ensure that you get the reliability and performance you need, be sure the service you select operates using only Tier-1 upstream providers with redundant networks to route the SIP traffic.
Can You Easily Administer Your SIP Trunks?
One reason clients choose SIP is to minimize the effort of telecommunications maintenance and administration for their IT team. Therefore, it is important to be sure that the SIP solution you select can be administered with self-service tools that are easy-to-use and available from anywhere.
What are the Internet bandwidth requirements and policies?
Because your voice calls with be traversing the Internet, you want to be sure that you have enough bandwidth to support the number of expected concurrent calls. You also want to understand the policies of the vendor. Some vendors require that you purchase Internet connectivity from them, while others, like SIP.US, let clients select the bandwidth that provides the best quality and value in their area.
What is being done to protect you against toll fraud?
Toll fraud is an increasingly prevalent problem in the entire telecommunications industry as malicious actors invent new ways of stealing money from business, often through unauthorized international calling. Ask any vendor you consider to verify that they have automated systems in place to detect toll fraud and protect their SIP trunks.
What are the contract terms and cancellation policies?
Every provider is different, so before you connect to a SIP trunk, be sure understand under which conditions you can cancel and the term of any obligation.
Does the vendor offer telemarketing support?
Is your PBX supported?
It is critical to make sure that your PBX will work with the service you select before you connect to a SIP trunk. Some vendors do not support open source, so if you use one of these, you’ll want to verify that it will work. If you are using a legacy analog PBX, you’ll need to be sure that the service will work with an ATA (analog telephone adapter) and that the particular one you select will be supported.
Does the service meet your international calling needs?
If you need international DIDs, make sure the vendor can provide them and be sure to understand the rates and terms. If your DIDs will all be local, but you make a lot of international calls, be certain you understand the rates and any limitations.
Does your router support QoS?
Quality of Service or QoS is a router setting that allows you to prioritize voice traffic over data traffic when they travel over the same network. This is important in ensuring excellent voice quality. Most business class routers support QoS, but it should be verified and configured you connect to a SIP trunk.
None of these considerations is technically complex and every reputable SIP trunking vendor should be able to answer each question quickly and clearly. Getting the answers before you connect to a SIP trunk will make your transition as easy as possible and you’ll be able to start enjoying the advantages of SIP right away.