SIP, or Session Information Protocol, is a protocol that IP networks use for various types of communication. It works for video, audio, messaging, and more, transforming the way modern businesses communicate with employees and customers.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) developed this protocol because IP communications have changed and have different needs than before. With the advent of new media and different kinds of mobile devices, this new protocol helps things run smoother.
Although it’s not the only IP communications protocol, it’s the most popular one. Before you can decide whether or not this protocol is right for your company, it’s helpful to get a few questions answered about what makes SIP different.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about Session Information Protocol, so you can make the best decision for your business.
How Does SIP Work?
This system is an application layer protocol, meaning that it works separately from the transport layer. It’s a very flexible protocol and can be used in tandem with systems like Transmission Control Protocol and User Datagram Protocol.
This means that the Session Initiation Protocol will initiate the session (hence the name), but another system like Transmission Control Protocol will actually transmit the data.
In short, Session Initiation Protocol works on top of these other IP networks, controlling the initiation, duration, and end of the communication session while other networks do the other necessary work.
What are the Features?
One of the great things about this system is how easily it works with various different devices, applications, browsers, and other variables. Today, many business interactions are conducted on mobile devices, and it’s important to be able to communicate across different devices without problems.
All of these modern devices usually have an internet connection, which is what allows this protocol to work with all of them. From transferring files to sending texts to traditional voice calls, SIP can handle it all.
Why Use SIP Trunking?
This is a great choice for businesses with multiple phone lines.
As you expand your company, more phone lines become necessary. With traditional technology, you would need a different phone number for each line. This option is costly.
It also poses challenges for your office space and requires time to install each new line.
With Session Initiation Protocol Trunking, you can avoid all the extra costs while having the same benefits of multiple phone lines. Trunking uses your existing phone system, but routes calls through the internet instead, so you don’t need to get multiple lines.
How Much Does it Cost?
To get this system, you’ll pay a small fee each month, instead of paying to install and maintain different phone lines. This is a great choice for smaller, growing businesses that need to be money-savvy while they expand.
You’ll know exactly what your bill will be each month with this system, instead of potentially getting multiple or growing monthly bills. And, it will be easy to use messaging, video, or other features as part of your communications system.
What Happens to Audio Quality?
Making this change won’t negatively affect your audio quality at all. With the right provider, these calls will sound exactly like traditional phone calls. Your customers won’t know the difference!
Is it Difficult to Set Up?
Putting this protocol in place is actually very easy.
With a great Session Initiation Protocol Trunking vendor, the process is streamlined and smooth. Your vendor should provide excellent documentation, have a good customer support team on staff, and provide a good administration system.
In short, you don’t need telecommunications expertise to get started. A good vendor will provide that for you.
How Long Does Installation Take?
It will be just a matter of weeks before your new system is up and fully operational. Check with your vendor to see how long they anticipate installation will take.
If they offer a network readiness test that takes a couple more days, take them up on it. This is a way to make sure your network connection is strong enough to have all your calls come through clearly. A network readiness test can save you time and worry down the road.
What Are the Set-Up Costs?
Chances are good that you have an existing Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system that you can use with this new protocol.
In recent years, almost every PBX system sold has been compatible with IP systems. If yours isn’t, you can make it compatible using a secondary device, so you don’t have to get a new PBX system.
Installing Session Initiation Protocol does require a router, but the business router you already use will most likely work. You can check with your vendor about any additional installation fees they might charge.
Even if there are extra fees for installation, or if you need a new router or PBX system, you’ll still save money in the long run by not paying for additional phone lines. The up-front costs are smaller and more predictable than the long-term charges of adding and maintaining new lines.
How Many Lines Should I Change?
SIP is the way of the future, so it makes sense to go ahead and transfer all of your lines. Traditional phone lines are costly and can’t provide nearly as much flexibility.
Instead, Session Initiation Protocol allows you to conceivably run as many calls as you need through the internet, while seamlessly integrating video, instant messaging, and other capabilities. There’s no need to hang onto traditional phone lines as they are costly and far less versatile.
In the future of business communications, all roads point to SIP Trunking. This solution offers so many communication options at a low cost, without the need to wait for new lines to be installed.
You’ll provide customers and clients with the best service possible using this protocol while saving money for your company. With the right vendor, the installation and set-up process is simple.
Ready to start upgrading your business communications? Learn more about getting started here.
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