You may have heard people say that landline phones are becoming obsolete. The statistics that back this up. According to recent data, the number of households that have landline phones installed as a communications system decreased by 60% over the last decade!
If inefficient phone systems can’t be tolerated at home, they’re less than intolerable in a fast-paced work environment.
If you’re looking for other options, you’re in luck- SIP trunking is an inexpensive, efficient, and competitive way to modernize your business phone system. Read on to learn some tips for using SIP trunks and improving your organization’s communications infrastructure.
1. Understand SIP Trunking
Before you can effectively implement Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), it’s crucial that you understand the basics of how it works. SIP trunks are the software that is used to make Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software work.
You know how Skype and Facebook Messenger allow you to make calls over WiFi? Well, those are VoIP software solutions that are initiated by SIP. SIP trunks connect to your calling devices using your pre-existing internet connection, eliminating the need for inefficient and expensive physical telephone lines.
2. Plan Your Budget
SIP is inexpensive to install and save you a fortune on maintenance and add-ons, but you’ll still need to plan your budget. Be sure to ask any vendors you consider about the initial and ongoing costs of the solution. You’ll typically pay a set monthly fee for unlimited calling to most of the US. There may be some add on features that are billed separately. If you make international calls, check out the rates for the countries you call most. Finally, be sure to consider taxes and regulatory fees, which will be added to your monthly charge.
3. Have the Right Number of Channels
You also are going to need to allocate resources so you can install the appropriate number of SIP channels. To keep things running smoothly in any business, you’ll need to know how many people are on the phone lines at the same time. If there are more people on the phones at once, you’re going to need more SIP channels to accommodate that need.
One SIP channel can handle one incoming or outgoing phone call. Most businesses require about three SIP channels for every ten employees, but that varies depending on the nature of the business.
4. Choose Your PBX Software
SIP trunks are compatible with IP-enabled PBX systems, so if you have a PBX that you’ve purchased in the last ten years or so, it is likely that you can simply swap your physical phone lines with SIP trunks without any additional equipment. (If your phone system is older, it can be made SIP compatible with an inexpensive device known as an ATA.) If you prefer to move to hosted VoIP, many of those solutions can also be configured for use with SIP trunks. This approach is known as BYOC (Bring Your Own Carrier) and it is becoming ever more popular for businesses that require outstanding call quality.
5. Setup QoS
Quality of Service or QoS is an internet router setting that prioritizes voice calls over other data traffic. It is an important factor in call quality, so you’ll want to be sure it is set up on your router. Most business-grade routers have QoS capabilities. If yours doesn’t, it makes sense to invest in one that does.
6. Monitor SIP Traffic
Any solution you consider should give you access to call data records. This information can help you ensure that you do have the right number of SIP channels for your business. You can see traffic spikes that might happen based on the day of week, time of day, or time of year. Not only will this help you access your SIP trunking needs, but it can also help with staffing, training, and customer service.
7. Think About Media Sharing and Conference Calling
SIP isn’t just good for making phone calls or video chatting with clients and other branches of business- it’s great for sharing media, too. You can send other phone lines and computer systems media like GIFs and PDFs so they get to their destination quickly and effectively. With add-ons, you’ll also be able to fax these people invoices and the like straight from your phone system.
8. Experiment With Add-Ons
There are lots of amazing add-ons that you can get with SIP that landline phones don’t offer. Consider whether your business could benefit from electronic faxing, business text messaging (SMS), or direct inward dial numbers.
9. Make Sure e911 is Setup
Traditional land-lines transmit location information to the public safety answering point so that emergency personnel can quickly respond to 911 calls. SIP trunks can also transmit this information, but because they are location-dependant, e911 needs to be setup. If employees are working remotely using SIP trunks, they will need to update the address to indicate their current location.
10. Know When to Get Support
You can easily troubleshoot most issues that come up with your SIP trunks, which is great because it saves you the hassle of calling the pros back in for maintenance. Still, there are times when professional support is necessary, and it’s important that you choose a vendor that will be there for you when this happens.
More Tips for Using SIP Trunks
While installing any new system in the office can be a challenge, you’ll get the best payoff when you install a system as efficient as SIP.
Now that you know the best tips for using SIP trunks, it’s time to get started with installing them. Click here to begin your SIP journey with us! We’ll help you implement the above pointers and ensure that your transition to SIP is a success.