SIP trunking might be soaring in popularity, but that doesn’t stop the naysayers from grumbling in the wings! Here, we round up 7 of the most pervasive myths and misconceptions about this powerful communication system.
1. It Reduces Call Quality
This is one of the biggest fears surrounding SIP Trunking. No one wants to risk calls cutting out mid-conversation with a customer, or having to apologise for interference on the line. But if you system is set up and configured properly, this shouldn’t happen.
VOIP services are internet-based, so your call quality is only compromised if your connection is unstable. Generally speaking, SIP Trunking doesn’t need a huge bandwidth to function effectively – you’re looking at somewhere between 85 and 170 kbps for an average call. But it does need a reliable, uninterrupted connection.
The best way to guarantee call quality, especially if you’re a large company with a sizeable workforce and a high volume of calls, is to use a dedicated line or have a backup connection in place that you can switch onto if necessary. Obviously, if you’re penny-pinching by trying to make your calls, say, over public WiFi that you don’t control, you’re asking for problems!
2. The Kit is Expensive
A common assumption about SIP is that, if your old telephone system doesn’t support it, the outlay of upgrading your system will be too high to make it worth it. This just isn’t the case: all you need to do is to buy a Gateway that will support SIP protocol, and these are coming way down in price to around the £1000-£1200 mark. Hardly a massive cost, especially when you factor in the savings.
3. It’s Too Complicated to Set Up
Again, from a technical perspective, this just isn’t arduous. The main thing is to make sure that your PBX is SIP enabled, which most modern ones are. If you’re using a fairly dated system, you’ll need to buy an analog telephone adaptor (ATA) to bridge the gap. Again, these aren’t pricey.
If you’re unsure, take a look at your PBX. If it has a data jack or Ethernet jack, the likelihood is that you can use it with cloud SIP trunking without buying any extra kit. Then, you’ll just need to configure it as per your user manual.
4. It’s All About Voice Calls
The benefits of SIP trunking go well beyond simple voice calls. For starters, it doesn’t just apply to “landline” phones – it can also be used for endpoints like smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
But beyond that, the SIP protocol can be used extensively to support video communications and instant messaging systems too. In fact, you’ll get vastly more value out of your investment if you seek to apply it to as many different types of endpoint as possible.
5. It’s Risky
Like any communication system, SIP trunking isn’t absolutely 100% invincible when it comes to security issues. But is it more risky than any other method? Not if you’re using it right.
It’s an old cliché, but it holds true: the weakest links in any IT security system are the people that use it. Human error is by far your biggest security threat.
Make sure your passwords are strong and that you’re authenticating access based on IP address. Keep all software and firmware up to date and, where possible, use VPNs to create secure network connections. Any device you use that connects to the internet needs to be adequately protected, and you need to have internal security procedures in place that strengthen your security across the board.
When it comes to VOIP, simply introducing restricted access via SSH and using operating systems like IPTABLES will make a massive difference. If you take things a step further and start using Fail2ban or similar VOIP application security features, you’ll instantly shield yourself from just about any hack attack.
6. It Will Clash with Your Existing Systems
Okay – this one is a partly justified. Interoperability can be a stumbling block – but it very much depends on the vendor you choose to work with. The best on the market are working hard to ensure that they are fully compatible by developing commonly held best practices.
Good things to look out for when you’re choosing a provider include whether they support Asterisk and Polycom. Also bear in mind that vendors that run a large chunk of their operations through the cloud are likely to have fewer compatibility issues, although you do still need to think about clashes at the endpoint stage. In short, these are genuine issues to work through, but they are easily surmountable with the right approach.
7. It Won’t Save You Any Money
Wow. Now this one is just plain nuts. If you’re not making considerable savings by switching to SIP trunking, you’re doing something seriously wrong!
How does it save you money? Well there’s the outlay to begin with. Implementation and subscription costs are generally far lower than alternatives like PRI and BRI, especially if you’re going for a hosted solution with predictable (and scalable) monthly fees.
And then there’s the cost and efficiency savings to be made once you’ve upgraded your clunky old systems. For voice alone, SIP trunking can cut costs by around two-fifths, just by shifting calls online. Cost of ownership can be slashed further by scrapping PTSN gateways, PRI trunks and other intermediary service provider contracts.
Any leap into the unknown is going to bring reservations and encounter resistance, but for a mid-sized or large business, the benefits of switching to SIP trunking vastly outweigh the problems.
So, What Next?
Hopefully this post clears up some of the major myths or concerns you may have had. Saying that, we’re fully aware that buying SIP services doesn’t come without risks. So when it comes to selecting a SIP vendor, it’s important to choose the right features, technical specifications and to negotiate the right terms and pricing. If you’re looking to set up SIP Trunking within your business, and want to make sure you choose a vendor you can trust, just click here to arrange a Free Consultation.