15 January 2015
SIP trunking is becoming increasingly popular – find out why and what questions you should be asking your business phone service provider.
What your business phone service provider may not have told you is that ISDN technology is fast becoming outdated in the UK with businesses choosing ISDN less frequently. According to Ofcom ISDN channels are declining around 300,000 year-on-year. Your business must be ready to follow this trend, or face being beaten by your competitors who are evolving their telecoms systems.
While ISDN channels were popular throughout the 80s and 90s, technology has considerably advanced, directly impacting the way businesses can now operate. The integration of voice, data and the internet has forced companies to update their systems, enabling them to become flexible and adaptable. Businesses also need to compensate for the growth of remote working and changes in working policies – including BYOD and flexible working. With staff requesting to work from home, businesses need to ensure they are still able to maintain productivity and efficiency levels as if they are still in the office.
ISDN channels are fixed and inflexible. In order to become more efficient, agile and cost effective many businesses are migrating to SIP. In 2013, there were one million SIP trunks in operation in the UK. This is expected to rise to 3.3 million by 2018. SIP trunking offers many important benefits to businesses including:
› Greater flexibility – calls can be re-routed to an alternative location or device in case of an emergency
› Scalability – only pay for the lines you need. With SIP channels can be scaled up or down during seasonal periods to cater for a planned influx in calls
› Reduced call costs – with IP connectivity you can benefit from free internal calls without call forwarding costs and often, dependant on your provider, free calls to local UK destinations
› A single connection – achieve a higher quality of voice and data services through just one connection, reducing maintenance and cost
If your current ISDN provider does not offer SIP they may not be keeping up with important developments in the communications market. It’s therefore probably time for you to consider switching to a SIP provider who can offer you the best service and solutions.
When considering moving your estate to SIP there are a number of questions you can ask your provider:
› How long have they been providing SIP? What’s their market share and placement within the market?
› Do they own and operate their own dedicated infrastructure to support SIP trunking?
› Where are their contact centres based? Ask to see support SLAs. Is the support desk available 24/7?
› Is business continuity provided as part of the solution and if so, how is it built in? What level of control do they have over the core infrastructure? How do they ensure geographical resilience?
› How does their solution protect against hacking and call abuse?
› What cost savings can they offer compared with your existing ISDN bills?
› Is their SIP trunking service compatible with internal communications applications like Microsoft® Lync 2013™?
The right provider for you should be able to answer all these questions and more.
15 January 2015 | Cem Ahmet
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.