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Understanding the power of SIP trunking

How to harness it to take your business to the next level

How can a communications protocol elevate your business? Consider the impact of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications, and its ability to lower costs and offer powerful new business applications.

These two benefits alone are accelerating the adoption of IP-based technology, also known as the convergence of voice and data, on a global level regardless of the size of company. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) raises the bar of IP by adding intelligence to business processes, and providing both users and IT departments with greater control over their communications.

SIP trunking typically allows businesses that have Internet Protocol-Private Branch Exchanges (IP-PBXs) to combine their voice and data services onto a SIP-based trunk, rather than use primary rate interface (PRI), T-1 or other types of Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM) links. In more simple terms, SIP supports any form of real-time communication regardless of whether the content is voice, video, instant messaging, or a collaboration application. Additionally, SIP enables users to inform others of their status, their availability, and how they can be contacted before a communication is even initiated.

Many SMBs have made the transition to VoIP; however, most are only using it for communication on the LAN. In this scenario, VoIP is only being used as a one-to-one replacement for traditional telephony. These businesses realize a sound return on investment by lowering administrative costs, as well as costs associated with calls made within the company.

SIP trunking, on the other hand, provides a greater return because it takes VoIP a step further. For instance, full potential for IP communications can be realized only when communication is taken outside of an organization’s LAN. SIP trunks thus eliminate the need for local PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) gateways, costly BRIs (Basic Rate Interfaces) or PRIs (Primary Rate Interfaces). Furthermore, it directly operates with existing IP-PBXs so there is no need for additional hardware.

SIP trunking also offers a number of unique features that have a direct correlation on improving a company’s productivity. These features include:

· Enhanced 911 service

· Disaster recovery

· 411 firectory assistance

· Interactive User Portal for setup and MAC's

· Multiple Location Interoperability

· Long distance bundles available, as well as a la carte as needed

· 800 number

The SMB marketplace has started to really embrace SIP trunking, because it will dramatically increase their profitability and give them a competitive advantage.

Until now, most companies would have purchased a PRI, or multiple access lines and a data connection. SIP lets them converge their traffic onto a single line. Outdated technology, inefficient networks, and a down economy are driving SMBs in this direction — customers have excess bandwidth on their data networks, and they want to see how they can best utilize or reduce it.

Essentially, SIP makes employees more productive, business processes more efficient, and customers more satisfied. In today’s business world there are many communication channels, but with little or no integration between them. This presents a guessing game for users and a problem for management. SIP transforms communications into a single integrated tool, determining how calls are handled and the manner in which they are routed.

Communication is the lifeline of every company, and SIP gives users complete control. Soon. SIP will become a more popular and meaningful acronym than VoIP.

-Submitted by Dale Stein. Stein is CEO of Voice Smart Networks, Southern California’s leading data and voice company. Voice Smart Networks explains the value of SIP on small to mid-sized businesses. For more information call 619-857-4638, or by email at dales@teamvsn.com.

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