SIP Trunking – Is it Right For Your Small Business?
One of the most compelling advantages of SIP trunks can be the worth. For large companies that handle a large amount of telephone calls every single day the low cost for mobile phone calls can mean a lot. Because SIP telephone calls often go through the internet, it greatly reduces overall costs both for domestic and international calls. So what exactly is a SIP service and how does one avail of it?
In order for a small business to avail of SIP trunking, they must have a hosted PBX service. The hosted service offers the small business on a phone system that must be deployed and connected to the Internet. Once this is done, a SIP trunks gateway will connect all phones that are connected to this service. This gateway is typically a server farm that offers IP-based services such as voice and video calling. This ensures that all calls are routed and managed centrally so that each phone can be assigned its own and usually much cheaper, line rental per month.
One of the most important features of SIP for small businesses is the Caller ID. This feature lets the small business identify who is calling them and at what number. They can also block specific callers from calling them. This is extremely useful if the caller is a customer or representative of a rival company and attempts to call during busy hours of the week.
Another feature is the Call Queuing system. This is used to control how many calls are allowed to be placed at a given time. This is usually controlled by the use of a queue system that can be setup within the phone system itself. It can also be used remotely via a toll-free number. Call queuing can be used in conjunction with VoIP or independently through a dedicated server.
Another feature is the auto attendant. This is a feature that will place calls automatically based on the schedule set by the user. This can be used for sales calls or for messages that need to be delivered to multiple recipients at the same time. The auto-attendant system can be set to make calls in either priority mode (lowest priority first), or priority plus mode (mixed mode).
IVR systems are also used for interactive voice response. IVR is a short message format that allows the users of a call to interact with the system itself. IVR’s can be integrated with voicemail to allow auto-responses to incoming calls. IVR’s can be used with conferencing and web-based email in order to allow customers and clients to interact with a live representative.
The last feature is application support. SIP trunks will handle most any application protocol, including Java, C, and WinINET. Most small businesses that use SIP can find all of their networking needs fulfilled through the use of SIP.
There are many benefits to utilizing a small business SIP trunk system. Calls can be directed to alternate extensions if necessary and the system will track all outgoing calls. Calls routed to alternate extensions can be minimized by using SIP routing. The service can also provide virtual meeting spaces, which eliminates travel expenses for employees who would otherwise need to travel to a face to face meeting. And, the most important benefit of all: no more long distance charges!
When selecting a SIP provider, it’s important to make sure they offer the functionality you need for your particular business. Many SIP providers offer virtual services to small businesses. This way you can test their systems before making a commitment to a long term contract. Some of these services can be used for free with a small business, while others require a small monthly payment.
When selecting a SIP provider, make sure they offer system integration. You’ll find this type of integration more common in larger companies who have offices in several locations. In these situations, each location’s phone system is tied into the central system. With SIP, you’ll be able to dial from any of the phone numbers represented by the SIP trunks. For example, a call coming from an office in California could be redirected to a call coming from a branch office in New York.
In conclusion, SIP is an excellent way to improve the way your small business operates. By implementing an efficient, integrated phone system using SIP trunking, you’ll be able to save money and cut overhead. While this technology may not be right for every small business, it has tremendous potential.