Businesses of all sizes are always looking to get more out of what they’re paying for.
For many companies, their next great opportunity to get great value could be right under their noses. Or more accurately, over their ears.
Phone lines have long been a major part of any business operation. But traditional phone lines are being phased out.
Many businesses are already transitioning to the new era of voice communication: SIP trunking. Over 45% of companies are already using SIP, and that number is increasing.
So what exactly is SIP, and why are traditional phone systems being abandoned for it? Read on for more information about SIP service, and why it’s so beneficial.
What Is SIP Service?
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol.
In essence, SIP uses the Internet as the medium for voice communication between two points.
This upgrade over traditional physical phone lines offers many benefits, which we’ll review shortly.
Traditional Phone Lines vs Voice over Internet
The traditional system of telephones is called the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
PSTN uses copper phone lines. It’s a circuit network, which requires a physical connection between sender and receiver.
Voice gets transferred through the telephone wires via an analog signal. Sound waves are translated into electronic pulses. The pulses travel through the wire and then expressed, sounding like speech.
In contrast, SIP takes advantage of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to make calls online.
Instead of analog electronic pulses, VoIP transfers information digitally. The info is converted to a binary format and then sent over the web. Using these data points, the destination’s device rebuilds the coded information for display.
What SIP Does
SIP is a method used to achieve VoIP.
Information comes in many forms from many sources. With so much potential variance, there needs to be a set of “ground rules” that dictate how the information is organized.
SIP does this. The protocol establishes common parameters for the exchange of information between two points.
SIP trunking thus allows information to cross platforms. A SIP system can receive a call from an analog device and keep the information compatible with digital formats.
So what advantages does a digital system like SIP have over the traditional analog phone lines?
1. Easier Maintenence
Imagine all the wires, cables, telephone sets, and other hardware needed for analog phone lines.
Often this equipment is hard to reach. Phone lines are usually buried underground or suspended mid-air through networks of poles.
Physical equipment deteriorates over time. Outdoor phone lines face the elements, and severe weather could cause damage.
All that hardware requires periodic maintenance and repair. And they aren’t easy repairs, either.
They’re time-consuming and require skilled professionals. Repairmen need to travel and often need specialized machinery.
In comparison, maintenance on SIP trunks is a breeze.
Besides computers and routers, almost everything involved with SIP is software-based. There’s no hardware that needs upkeep and deteriorates over time. Any maintenance needed happens remotely over the cloud.
SIP service makes it easy to scale your businesses’ phone usage up or down as needed.
Adding PSTN lines takes time and effort. It can take weeks to talk with technicians and get the equipment installed.
Business PSTN lines are often sold in bunches, meaning you’re forced to buy more lines than you need. And once you buy them, you may be stuck with them due to a lengthy contract.
With a digital SIP system, new channels can be can be added instantly.
SIP channels are bought one at a time, so you can exactly fit the needs of your company. If your business is growing or expecting an uptick in calls, you can safely meet demand without being wasteful.
If you no longer need the extra channels, removing them is easy. There are no long contracts and payments are monthly.
3. Big Data Integration
Big data is increasing in importance as businesses put more emphasis on making efficient decisions.
The digital nature of SIP service makes it easier to track details about your phone usage. If you’re a large company with a high volume of calls, integrated data is especially useful.
For example, call centers for non-profit foundations often give their callers a quota. You can track calls made, length of conversations, and other relevant details. This data can tell you who meets their quota, and further analysis might reveal trends that make your calls more effective.
Big data can also help companies make predictions. Maybe your business is seasonal and your phone lines receive increased volume during certain times of the year. Data from the previous year can show you when the best time is to add more channels, and how many you should add.
The big data benefits of SIP trunking can help make your business more efficient and effective.
Versatility is one of the inherent strengths of SIP. It allows you to do so much more than a traditional phone line.
For example, SIP channels can handle more than voice. Videos, images, and text can all come to your company through the same system that voice does. Imagine the convenience for your customers when they can contact your business via text message!
SIP also means you don’t need to stick to a certain area. If your business has a national outlook, you can set up virtual numbers with local area codes.
You can establish a local-like presence despite being remote. You also avoid the high cost of setting up a national 800 number.
The location-free nature of SIP also allows you to keep your phones working whatever the situation. If your business is moving to a new building, you can keep your channels open during the transition. Your whole system stays intact and is immediately usable in your new home.
5. Reduced Costs
SIP service gives you all these added benefits while reducing your costs.
Companies that switch to a SIP service save an estimated average of 20-60% on their phone service. One company reportedly trimmed their annual telecom expenses from $5.4 million to $945,000.
You can look to some of the previous benefits as factors in reduced cost.
Less hardware means less equipment you need to buy. It also means there are less maintenance and repair costs.
Scalability means you can add as many channels as you need for as long as you need. You’re not stuck wasting money on unneeded bundled lines or trapped in an expensive long-term contract.
On top of all that, rates for making calls throughout the world is simply cheaper through SIP services. Businesses that use SIP reduce the cost of local calls by 40% and international calls by 90%.
Regardless of the size of your business, you will love to save money. Switching to SIP is a great way to keep more cash in your bank on top of getting many other benefits.
Get Set with SIP
After seeing all the great benefits of SIP trunking, you’re probably ready to ditch the old lines and make the switch.
If you’re ready to make your business communications cheaper, easier, and all-around better, get started with SIP.US today.