KP360 Blog – What You Need to Know About SIP Trunking & Hosted PBX
You’ve got questions, KP’s got answers. Kevin Peyton is, on the surface, the Vice President of Sales at VirtualPBX, but digging a little deeper reveals so much more. An expert in everything from hosted telecom to competitive roller-skating (seriously) and everything between, Kevin fields whatever we throw at him, so we thought we’d let you have a shot. The gauntlet has been thrown, welcome to KP360!
SIP Trunking & Hosted PBX: What You Need to Know
First of all, what is the world is SIP Trunking and how is it different than VoIP?
In many ways, SIP Trunking provides the same type of service experience that you can expect from standard VoIP plans, and before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s in many ways very much the same. The key differences don’t arise until you dig deep into the actual architecture of a business’ phone system. SIP Trunking provides a path on which companies with an on-premise telephone system can access the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network, and basically where all telephone calls need to go to in order to be placed or received) in a sort of hybrid of both on-site and hosted PBX technologies. Investing in an on-site PBX, that only handles the configuration of the telephone system for the employees in the office, to access the PSTN, they then need to leverage an expensive Primary Rate Interface (PRI) to digitally access the PTSN. Or, they can bypass the need to add to their costs by using SIP Trunking that will perform the same tasks through hosted PBX technology. Either way, all of this also indicates that SIP Trunking is typically used by larger organizations that have the need and resources to invest in large, on-site telephone platforms and therefore generally not the concern of smaller organizations.
You’re losing me, so SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX are the same thing?
In the sense that both are cloud-based telephone technologies, yes, they are very much the same. However, whereas a standard VoIP plan like Dash will handle both the company’s extensions and general configuration in addition to providing digital access to the PSTN, SIP Trunking is for organizations that have the on-site configuration settled but still want to route calls over the internet to save money. Previously, the only way to do that was with the aforementioned PRI, but I compare that to analog telephone adapters in that you can marry some analog systems (an on-site PBX, for example) to digital networks (cloud-based telephone traffic) with an adapter, but you will probably lose some functionality in the process. SIP Trunking is technology with the same cloud-based DNA as any hosted PBX, but it’s designed specifically to be the bridge from an on-site system to the cloud that is totally lossless in terms of sound quality and brings the flexibility that users expect from a hosted system.
Okay, that makes sense. But why then would a business choose SIP Trunking over a VoIP system like Dash?
We’re seeing that new businesses adopt end-to-end hosted PBX systems like Dash at far higher rates than they do an on-site PBX option. This is the right choice for most companies with the freedom to select a system without any encumbrances of having invested already in an on-site PBX or if they’re ending a current service agreement and can switch to VoIP without any hassle. SIP Trunking is the equivalent to other companies that desire the cost savings of leveraging the cloud along with all of the flexibility that comes with a hosted PBX, but that have already invested in an on-premises PBX, as well. Therefore, the question of whether to choose Dash or SIP Trunking is less about functionality and more about the existing telephone system that any particular company is already using. If it’s a proprietary, physical system, they should look into SIP Trunking, otherwise, Dash is most likely right for them.
Are there any downsides to using SIP Trunking to combine on-site and cloud-based communications?
Definitly. Just like with all telecom solutions, there are pros and cons associated with SIP Trunking. Primarily, there will always remain the fact that by relying on physical hardware for a portion of the overall telephone functionality, that hardware will eventually require costly maintenance and hardware replacements or updates. Additionally, by introducing a hosted voice element into a business that has traditionally been exclusively relying on copper-wires for their voice traffic, that also puts a new burden on the network the business uses. Both of these issues are easily addressed in that the hardware can be amortized as the investment depreciates until such time that a SIP Trunking system can be transitioned fully into an end-to-end hosted PBX solution. Also, the network requirements for any hosted platform can be quickly diagnosed and optimized with services like a Network Health Check or VPN for VoIP Service which is unlike any other service available in that it can actually be used by any business anywhere, regardless of who their telecom provider is.
Is there anything else anyone would need to know about SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX
Ha, well there is always more to know about the topic of hosted telecommunications but I’d suggest the most important takeaways are these.
- SIP Trunking isn’t outside of the world of hosted PBX, it’s just a cost-effective method to bridge physical PBX systems to the cloud.
- Switching to SIP Trunking typically means that businesses need to find a telecom partner with the ability to diagnose network thresholds for optimum performance.
- SIP Trunking is also mostly ideal for larger companies and can be most cost-effective at a greater scale.
The most important thing to remember, though, is like all telecom questions, the idea that one-size will always fit all is way off base. I always recommend that people looking to switch to a new telephone system for their business connect with experts in the field to work with them in assessing their true needs and the most value-packed route to address them.
Get Your Own Assessment
You can begin your own journey into leveraging SIP Trunking or Dash VoIP for your business today with a free, no-obligation business communications assessment today. Simply contact our telephony experts and we’ll make an appointment to help illuminate all of the options that make the most sense for you, your business, and your budget! And as always, remember to give us your thoughts on the KP360 blog on Twitter or Facebook, and we always welcome your questions for the next installment in the all-new KP360 blog!