Hosted SIP Trunk and The Modern Business
What does your business look like today compared to last winter? If you are like the vast majority of companies, you likely have more employees working remotely than ever before. And if studies and predictions are correct, many of your remote workers will remain remote long after the threat of COVID-19 subsides.
Harvard Business School found that at least 16% of American workers will work at home at least two days per week as a result of COVID-19. A PwC survey discovered that 55% of employees would prefer to be remote at least three days a week once pandemic concerns recede. What does that mean for your infrastructure?
You will have to establish a communications network that supports remote workers and office workers alike in a hybrid environment, and that often means a hosted SIP trunk.
Enabling a hybrid workforce can be easier said than done for many organizations that rely on antiquated phone systems that can only handle voice calls across physical telephone lines. With your remote and in-office workers needing to communicate securely, your infrastructure will need to be more adaptive as it scales to meet changing business demands.
A hosted SIP trunk is one technology that is enabling organizations to embrace different ways of working with built-in flexibility that connects people no matter how they choose to work.
What Is SIP Trunking?
A hosted SIP trunking service allows you to combine traditional business landline telephone services that you are used to (and have already paid for) with more modern ways to communicate, such as videoconferencing, chat and mobile communications. Instead of relying on physical, on-premises wires, all communications are delivered over the Internet.
As a refresher, traditional business phone systems include a PBX and PRI(s) or a PRI(Primary Rate Interface). The PBX is simply the phone system you likely already use. It includes features such as voicemail, auto-attendant and user extensions. A PRI is a physical cable that supports up to 23 concurrent calls. If you need more than 23 separate lines or want failover assurance, you have to get a provider to run another PRI to extend your capacity.
PRI lines connect calls to and from your PBX to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), where they are routed to the destination telephone number. A PSTN is a traditional circuit-switched telephone network. These have been around since the beginning of time, practically, and they use underground copper wires.
While this setup works, it only supports voice communications and requires on-premises wiring and phones. It doesn’t support remote workers, a real problem given how many people now work from home.
All you need to enable unified communications over the Internet is a SIP-enabled private branch exchange (IP-PBX) solution. A SIP trunk utilizes both Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), replacing traditional business landlines or PRIs. With the use of a SIP trunk, an IP-enabled PBX bypasses the PRI lines and connects directly to the PSTN via the Internet. This route is more cost-effective and scales much easier and faster than PRI lines.
Related: The Differences Between SIP and VoIP
You can have your SIP based in the cloud or on-premises. A cloud-based, hosted SIP trunk means you don’t have to ever worry about your phone system going down due to a fire or other office hazards. Your SIP is safely in the cloud where there is little risk of it being damaged or destroyed. On the other hand, an on-premises SIP gives you a bit more control, but it comes at the risk of having an event shut down all communications.
Benefits of Hosted SIP Trunk
By expanding your business’s capabilities to support more ways of working, you are giving your employees everything they need to be productive and effective, both now and into the future. They are no longer limited to in-office landline phones but can engage with each other and third parties over video, on a mobile device, or a phone any time, anywhere in the world through an Internet connection.
Hosted SIP trunk gives you the cost savings, flexibility, features, and failover you want – without having to manage it internally. A cloud-hosted SIP trunk service is like handing the keys over to the experts and moving on with your day. You get to focus on your core business and let the network run in the background without you or your IT team dealing with it.
Hosted SIP trunking helps to future-proof a business’s network to be able to scale and pivot to changes with remote working. With SIP trunking you not only save money and increase your network’s flexibility, but your users have access to a wide variety of unified communications features.
Instead of being limited to voice only and having to use outside applications to support different ways of collaborating, they can have business voice plus a contact center with supervisor modes, skill-based routing, customer call-back, live monitoring, real-time presence and other advanced features.
On a single platform, your people can take advantage of audio and video conferencing with desktop sharing and whiteboards, messaging, social media and other capabilities, all of which are mobile-enabled for ultimate productivity and convenience. You get business analytics and the peace of mind that your business will never outgrow your phone system’s capacity.
With a hosted SIP trunk, you have the ability to add the exact number of SIP channels you actually need. You will typically pay a set price per channel per month. If you need to add more channels, you just need to pay for another channel. No telco company has to come out to install pricey new cables. And if you need to scale back, you simply remove those channels from your network.
This comes into play when you add new offices or branches, new employees, or users per event, such as with an “all hands on deck” meeting where you need all employees to phone in for a short time. Instead of paying for PRI circuits that you may not fully utilize, you pay only for what your business needs at any given time.
If you are a company ready to stop worrying about how you will support a diverse workforce, a hosted SIP trunk may be the way to go. Contact us to learn more about the technology and to understand what it takes to modernize your business to support new ways of working.