Communications is the glue that holds your business together. So, what do you do if this glue seems to be falling apart? You find yourself the best SIP providers around.
SIP — or Session Initiation Protocol — trunking is escalating in popularity in the business communications world. And for good reason.
It is a proven way to save dollars on long-distance and local calls by replacing traditional phone lines or Primary Rate Interface — PRI — lines.
But there are a lot of SIP companies around. So, how do you know which ones are the best SIP providers?
We’ve compiled a guide for helping you to select the best SIP providers and start saving some money.
Let’s get started!
Why SIP Trunking Services?
SIP trunking providers can help your business to link your private branch exchange — also known as your PBX — to the large public switched telephone network, or PSTN, using Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.
The PSTN is basically the existing large landline telephone system, and your PBX is your company’s own telephone system. Meanwhile, VoIP refers to phone service provided over the internet.
Why would you want to utilize VoIP to connect the PTSN and your PBX? Because you’ll experience the following benefits:
- You can determine the user’s location
- You can choose a call session’s end-user system
- You can learn about the user’s availability
- You can determine the end-user system’s capability
- You can establish call sessions
- You can manage call sessions, which includes determining when to transfer or end a call
In other words, SIP trunking serves a vital role in helping your company to communicate both externally and internally via VoIP technology.
Best SIP Providers Offer Scalability
So, what do you look for in the best SIP providers?
One of the most important things is scalability. This basically means the SIP solution will grow with your company as your company grows.
For instance, the best SIP providers can easily take away lines or add lines as needed to match your company’s needs. Look for a business that can do this in a day’s or two days’ time.
Another important trait of a quality SIP provider is that it uses a carrier network that is at tier 1.
Tier 1 carriers have direct network connections to all of the networks they use, including the internet, for delivering data and voice services.
What does this mean for you? You can enjoy strong voice signal as well as a trusty-dusty, top-performing network.
Steer clear of SIP providers that use intermediate carriers instead of their tier 1 counterparts. These intermediate carriers are not as reliable, particularly when a network failure occurs.
And that means you could miss calls from customers. Ouch.
You can’t afford a solution that isn’t reliable. Not if you want to remain competitive in today’s business world.
Reliability is only a piece of the SIP provider puzzle. You also need to make sure that your particular PBX will receive adequate support from a potential provider.
This is particularly critical if your company is using a Key system or legacy PBX in tandem with an analog telephone adapter.
Not every provider will support a legacy system.
Nor will everyone support Asterisk or other complementary PBX solutions.
So, choose carefully.
It’s not enough to receive a brand-new SIP solution. You also need quality support to come with it.
Once you’ve subscribed to your SIP service, will you be treated like a new beau? Or will you be shoved to the side like a taken-for-granted spouse?
When your service is being installed, ask about the type of support you’ll receive going forward.
In some cases, you’ll either sink or swim based on your own efforts.
But with other companies, the SIP provider can configure your company’s SIP trunks on your behalf if it can access your PBX. And you can rely on the provider to help you 24-7.
With the best SIP providers, you should not have issues with uptime, call quality or reliability.
However, if issues crop up, you can rest assured that your needs will be met immediately, no matter the time of day.
If you like free stuff, you’re not alone.
The best SIP providers know this and thus offer free trials.
So, insist on one. The trial doesn’t necessarily have to be a long one, but you do need to make sure that your potential SIP solution matches your internet connection and equipment.
Plus, you’ll be able to tell from the complimentary trial how easy or hard the process of setting up and using the SIP solution will be.
The best SIP providers will also avoid forcing you to do something you don’t want to do.
After all, you’re its new beau, right? Your feelings take priority.
That means if you don’t want to buy internet bandwidth from your SIP provider, you shouldn’t have to.
Unfortunately, some SIP vendors insist on this, which prevents you from choosing the optimal service and at the best value near you.
Pick a provider that allows you to pick your bandwidth freely.
In addition, avoid companies that require you to sign a contract that is long term.
Your company’s needs might change with time, so a commitment that is long-term may not work for you tomorrow even if it works for you today.
You should be able to decrease or increase your SIP channel count as needed. And canceling your SIP service if it does not satisfy you shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth, either.
In other words, breaking up shouldn’t be hard to do.
Toll Fraud Protection
One of the scariest concepts for any business owner is international toll fraud.
This form of fraud occurs when a company’s phone system ends up being hacked. Then, the hacker makes a large number of phone calls at the international premium rate.
It’s a problem that costs consumers and businesses billions of dollars each year.
For this reason, pick a provider whose infrastructure is automated to safeguard your clients against this type of fraud.
The best SIP providers can easily tell you what security measures are taken to keep such security breaches from happening.
How We Can Help
We offer an SIP solution that allows you to save money by getting rid of your PRI lines.
Contact us to find out more about how we can improve your communications by giving you the reliability and flexibility you need.