The workplace environment we are all familiar with has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Video conferencing and chats have become the backbone of team member communication and collaboration. The need to provide a high-quality experience for customers is an integral aspect of the customer experience.
This change and new demand have opened doors to new opportunities to revisit your current communication systems and find one that better suits your needs. With the growing popularity of SIP trunking and cloud-based communications, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of vendors who offer SIP services.
The fact is, many SIP trunking providers can lower your phone bill and telecom services by over 50%. This is why many businesses are making the switch to SIP. When looking at your SIP trunking options, the first thing you might be inclined to look at is pricing; however, that doesn’t mean you should always aim for the cheapest option on the table.
Not all providers are the same. Now that the market is becoming more saturated, keep in mind that not every provider provides all the services and features that will ensure the switch is beneficial for your business.
To ensure you invest in the best service for your business, you’ll want to understand what each SIP provider can deliver and what sets one apart from another. Here are a few areas to explore as you evaluate SIP trunking providers.
All SIP Trunking Providers are not Created Equally
There are several important factors to consider before you partner with a SIP trunking provider. Here are a few important ones:
SIP trunking delivers both voice and data over one connection. By doing this, SIP trunking significantly optimizes bandwidth utilization and enhances the productivity of the network. You don’t need to become a SIP expert to understand the minute details of how it works, but it’s important to choose a provider with an infrastructure that can meet your needs and protect you from service interruptions.
The best practice is to utilize a Tier 1 network with gateways in several disparate locations. Ensuring your SIP vendor meets these requirements will minimize your risk that a single data center failure will impact your ability to make and receive calls. All SIP trunking providers should meet this standard, but not all do, so it’s important to ask.
Related: PBX and SIP: Learn the Basics
Another big difference in SIP providers relates to connectivity. Some SIP trunking vendors require that you purchase Internet connectivity from them. This is a profitable line of business for these companies, but it limits the buyer’s ability to shop for the best price and the best service for their particular needs and location. Choosing a vendor that gives you the choice of high-speed Internet connectivity puts you in the best position to maximize savings and performance.
One of the main reasons for choosing the SIP approach over traditional telephone lines is the flexibility it offers. Business can be difficult to predict, so you want to be able to add or cancel channels as needed. This means you need a SIP trunking provider that not only allows you to add or remove lines without any long-term contract or obligation but also one that offers simple self-service tools that make it easy for you to make changes on the fly as the needs of your business evolve.
You are likely considering SIP trunking as a way to reduce telecommunications costs. This can make it tempting to choose the SIP vendor with the lowest per-channel price. But, it’s important to understand both the per-channel cost and the other possible fees, including setup, toll-free service fees, extra charges for direct inward dialing (DID), and porting costs.
International calling is another area to consider if it is a requirement for your business. It’s best to do business with a SIP vendor that is upfront about all fees, contract obligations and support offered. Two vendors with the same per trunk cost may turn out to have very different bottom-line costs, so look carefully.
Just as there is a wide range of SIP trunking providers in the market, there is also a wide range of IP-PBX options. You’ll need to select a SIP solution that is compatible with the PBX of your choice. Two of the most popular open-source PBX solutions are Asterisk and FreeSwitch. Unfortunately, many SIP trunking providers can not support these solutions, so it is an important area to consider during your vendor search.
You don’t likely implement SIP trunking services every day, but some vendors assume that you know the ins and outs of implementation and can do it alone. This may be a common attitude, but it isn’t universal. Look for a SIP solutions provider that will assist with set up and be there for ongoing support as needed.
Choose a Provider That Actually Makes Your Life Easier
All SIP trunking providers are not created equally. Voice communications are important to your business, so it is wise to take the time to understand what each vendor has to offer and make the selection that makes the most sense for your business.
The lowest cost option might be the one you favor at first glance, but it might not meet your needs. As you begin your search for a trusted provider, you’ll want to weigh all the pros and cons.
Consider what kind of support you need and how hands-on you need your provider to be. Ask yourself: are you okay with signing a long-term contract or switching your PBX solution to meet the needs of the SIP provider? When you take your time and do your research, you’ll be able to save yourself time and money in the long run.
If you’re ready to experience SIP trunking firsthand, you can always count on SIP.US. We provide SIP trunking services that our customers can benefit from, not the other way around. You’ll never need to worry about hidden fees or long-term contracts. If you’re ready to learn more, get started today.