What on earth is SIP trunking and how can it help my business?
- Is your business’ phone system still a box on the wall plugged in to one or multiple ISDN lines?
- Are you a sole trader who is facing the challenge of trying to get on with the job in hand whilst also answering calls?
- Is your operation comprised of multiple offices, home workers or warehouses?
- Do you need to upscale and downscale your operations to meet seasonal demand?
- Is your office your car?!
Then SIP trunking could really benefit your business.
To a business, phone systems are often a double edged sword. The downsides? The high cost of investing in the system itself upfront, the inflexibility of a box on the wall at a specific premises, the expense of one or more monthly line rentals for ISDN channels in order to take/make more than one call at a time, the list goes on. But the advantages of being able to present your business professionally, redirect callers depending on their need, and spread the load of incoming calls among staff mean that most businesses couldn’t do without one. Until now that is.
Many businesses are shedding the expense and geographical constraints of an ISDN driven hard phone system and enjoying the cost effective, multi-functional, flexible nature of SIP: an internet driven, ‘virtual’ phone system if you will.
In 2012 300,000 traditional ISDN channels were lost in the UK. In contrast, SIP trunking services are becoming increasingly popular – within the last 6 months of 2013 alone, there was an increase of 198,558 trunks. There are now more than one million SIP trunks in the UK. **
Here are just some of the many features and benefits of SIP Trunking:
- Savings of up to 50% in line rentals and up to 25% in call charges versus a traditional ISDN system: Save on costly line rental bills and internal call costs every month.
- Free internal calls, both within and between premises: Incorporate home office workers, road based sales reps and warehouses. Anybody, anywhere.
- Numbers are not attached to physical premises: so if a business or user relocates there is no longer a need to change their number or pay for call forwarding costs
- Phones system style benefits without the need for a physical system, plus greater choice and control over how and when calls are handled and delivered: IVR/Auto attendant menus with options to direct callers, voicemailboxes so that callers can leave messages during busy times, and out of hours time conditions to ensure that customers calls are still handled even after your business has closed for the day.
- Ability to increase or reduce the amount of numbers or users to suit business needs: e.g. at peak times or during seasonal periods. A proper strategy for the handling/routing of incoming calls via SIP can also remove the need for taking on additional staff during peak/seasonal times.
- Business continuity in the event of a disaster: e.g. fire/flood as SIP Trunks are not physically located at a site.
It is worth pointing out that these features are not just beneficial to medium or large sized operations. Any sole trader will tell you that they face a constant juggling act in attempting to carry out their daily tasks (i.e. get on with the job in hand) and also field all the incoming calls to their business (often to their mobile telephone).
SIP Trunking can provide the sole trader or smaller business with the ability to present a local, geographical number, deal with the incoming call via an IVR/Autoattendant with a customised greeting of two or more options, and reassure the caller that their enquiry will be dealt with promptly, without even answering the call. It also offers the ability to stipulate how calls are handled dependant on the nature of the enquiry and the time of day, allowing a system to be put in place for dealing with out of hours or emergency calls for example.
If you think that SIP sounds like something that might benefit you or your business, get in touch. We can have a no obligation chat with you about your current setup, what you would like to achieve, and how SIP can get you there.
SIP = Session Initiation Protocol (a type of protocol that initiates a session over the internet)
Protocol = The rules covering the exchange of messages between computers
** Source – www.illumeresearch.com