What is SIP? We will make is easier. What is a phone line? You know what that is. A phone line is what your phone system connects to in order to make inbound and outbound phone calls. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. Telecom has lots of acronyms. None of them are really worth remembering. Remember, you own phone lines now but likely don’t know the acronyms (IFL, Megalink, PRI, Digital Voice T1). They all mean ‘phone line’.
SIP trunking is a different type of phone line that works over the Internet (or private network).
What is great about SIP?
SIP Trunking allows companies to only pay for the number of lines they need as opposed to getting locked in to excess analog lines or partially-used Voice T1s and PRIs. The savings are realized either by purchasing only the necessary number of channels, or by paying only for minutes used. This allows companies to make more efficient use of communications costs and reduce or eradicate wasted resources.
It is a great time to know some consultants.
We know most of them and most of them know us. Technology changes from time to time. Having a ‘wise guide’ is helpful. It keeps companies like your own from making mistakes or making the same mistake multiple times.
When we write this we visualize a medium sized corporation or organization with under 100 users thinking about budgets and the possibility of reducing them. Or perhaps the same in need of a new phone system investigating the ‘cloud’ based options that exist.
The topic of SIP is becoming an old one considering it is now 2016. It seems like it was just yesterday when vendors and phone companies communicated the risks of SIP. Forrester Research summed it up well a few years ago, with a polite nod that SIP Trunking Will Save You Money.
Phone lines have a lot in common with email. We all understand both. Email today is an ‘application’ over the internet or private network. We use a mail client (A client application on your computer) and a mail server (A server application either in your office or on/in someone’s cloud). It was only decades ago when mail was actually bundled into a private network that very few subscribed to (i.e.: military, large corporations or large universities).
Voice is the same. You have a phone (with the parallel being the email browser), and you have a phone system being a local appliance in your office or in someone’s cloud (just like email).
Seems simple – but it is here that having a ‘wise guide’ is helpful.
Who can help? There are a few.
The Community of Telecommunications Consultants (CTC) has 65 members and the CTCA has just merged into the Society of Communications Technology Consultants (SCTC) . There is also a network of non-affiliated independents that are also very good.
The net-net is yes, SIP is all that it is cracked up to be. Let’s face it, sometimes upgrading voice infrastructure including call center infrastructure is a lofty undertaking. It is there where outside help can come in handy.
Here are a couple of things to consider as you proceed down this path of considering what your two options are.
Option 1: Replace your phone lines with SIP Channels and use your current phone system
Option 2: Ditch it all. Start fresh. Move to the cloud and give everyone fancy new phones for their offices and work spaces.
If you run a call centre you likely have the sophistication to figure out SIP. If you don’t and you want to create a call centre within your organization (say between 5 – 20 agents) the options are endless. You can subscribe to diallers, hosted call centre agents and the entire call control end to end transaction, including your enterprise users, can be hosted by vendors like Frontier (and others) for a mere ‘fraction’ of what the ‘other guys’ charge.
So what’s the holdup?
Not everyone likes option 2. Some people don’t even like option 1. Many incumbent service providers (the guys you are working with now) are slow to respond, and when asked will provide less aggressive pricing. This is understandable because SIP trunks cannibalize their existing Voice line revenue and margins.
A cautionary tale.
If you want the new generation of SIP Channels to inter-operate with your old legacy phone system you may need to do some ‘tweaking’.
A few things.
Echo and DTMF – these are adjustable elements on your existing phone system not so much the SIP provider. The SIP provider can make some adjustments at their end but at that point you are ‘wagging the dog’. If you lack the comfort and ability to troubleshoot your end go right to option 2 – a full replacement.
Static – Not a VoIP issue. The quality, clarity and clean sound of VoIP actually accentuate things like a cheap old headset. If it did not bother you before it will bother you now.
Network Availability – Your SIP channels will depend on the quality and integrity of your internal network and Wide Area Networks (WAN) or Internet connection. If it goes down then so will your phone lines. A second connection will build a highly resilient connection.
If you want a good recommendation let us know. We will give you a few names to call for an objective opinion on those who can provide an objective opinion.
About Frontier Networks
Frontier Networks Inc. is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and provides Broadband Internet or MPLS, Voice lines or Cloud PBX (a replacement to old phone systems), cloud servers and colocation to Canadian Retail and Multi Site customers who demand world-wide coverage from a ‘new’ network. “We like to do traditional things in a non-traditional way”. Frontier has built a network that connects to other networks. Think of them like a large ‘backbone’ of interconnected networks. They connect to every phone company, cable company, wireless and hydro/utelco in Canada and the US through a series of well-connected Points of Presence (POPs). Simply put ‘we don’t suck’.
See more at: http://www.frontiernetworks.ca/blog