If your company has been muddling through with a legacy phone system, your employees are probably getting frustrated. You’re probably having a lot of maintenance issues and dealing with a lack of reliability. It’s understandable to stick with a system that’s familiar. Switching to a more modern phone system is a major commitment, and many companies resist making major investments that can cause serious disruption, even if it’s only short-term.

SIP calling offers a way forward into the cloud without completely ripping up a traditional phone system. Making the switch to SIP calling is the path of least resistance, and it can bring your costs down. On top of that, your employees will gain a more dependable phone system that includes a whole new world of functionality, including instant messaging, call analytics and more.

What Is SIP Calling?

Session Initiation Protocol allows traditional voice calls to be made over the Internet through a main phone line called a SIP trunk. The term SIP Trunking refers to how a SIP system collects all of the phone lines and a PBX to create a single trunk of connectivity that provides both outbound and inbound calling.

When talking about SIP calling, it’s easy to confuse it with VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, a broad term for phone calls made over the Internet. VoIP is associated with service providers that facilitate voice calls using digital signals over the Internet. SIP differs from VoIP in that it is a protocol, not a service. Companies that use SIP calling might also use a VoIP provider to send and receive calls. That being said, VoIP can be a standalone service that does not require SIP Calling.

How Does SIP Calling Work?

When you first hear about SIP calling, it can seem like a complex phone system that’s hard to wrap your head around. However, it’s actually an elegant way to bring a legacy phone system up to date.

A legacy business phone system is made up of three different parts:

  • A private branch exchange, or PBX, is an internal phone system that handles an organization’s phone calls. If you’ve ever had to dial ‘9’ to get an outside line at your job, then you’ve used a PBX.
  • A primary rate interface, or PRI, is a phone line that connects an organization to the public telephone network.
  • The public switched telephone network, or PSTN, sends calls from an organization to their destination.

This type of legacy system requires a lot of work. There’s wiring and phones to install. There’s also a lot of maintenance, and updating a legacy system can be time-consuming. However, many organizations have made significant investments in their PBX, and they aren’t ready to just throw away a system that still has value.

A SIP Trunk eliminates a lot of this work by connecting a PBX to PSTN, eliminating the PRI lines. After the SIP trunk is installed, an organization can set up a SIP address. In the same way an email address allows you to send and receive text messages, a SIP address allows your company to send and receive voice communications. Many online providers offer free SIP addresses, and these are independent of their associated phone numbers.

Many small businesses are switching to SIP calling because they can pretty much do it themselves. SIP isn’t a service, so there’s no need to contact a provider. There’s also no need to connect to a phone company.

The result of switching to SIP Calling is a phone system that adds the functionality of a cloud-based system but without ripping up a legacy phone system and starting from scratch. Companies that switch to SIP can add call forwarding, voicemail, auto attendants and a lot more.

Unified Communications Benefits of SIP Calling

For modern companies, the best part about switching to SIP Calling is that they can integrate the phone system with all kinds of communications and business intelligence software. Through the use of Internet-based calling, companies can streamline communications and collect data they weren’t able to gather before. Instant messaging, video conferencing, phone calls, and other communication channels can all be combined into one platform, accessible through a unified single dashboard. This allows frontline employees and team leaders to exchange information in real-time, eliminating unnecessary back and forth.

Unified communications is quickly becoming the standard in many industries. Companies can use SIP Calling to stay current and meet the ever-growing expectations of modern customers. It also helps to meet the modern expectations of employees. In the aftermath of COVID, modern desk-based workers expect to be able to do some of their work remotely. Being able to offer that option to your employees will increase job engagement and reduce turnover.

Benefits of SIP Calling for Businesses

There are many benefits to a business adopting SIP calling, but there also might be a few issues for consideration. Below is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of SIP Calling for businesses.

Saves Money

First and foremost, switching to SIP Calling can save a company a lot of money compared to sticking with a legacy phone system. Because a SIP calling system is based in the cloud, it significantly reduces installation and maintenance costs. Switching to an internet-based system also eliminates any charges associated with per-minute, long distance or international calling. SIP calling is also more dependable than legacy phone communications, and the reduction in downtime translates into savings.

Greater Scalability

When it comes to business, growth is a good problem to have. However, there are necessary costs associated with scaling up, and there are costs that can be avoided. Companies looking to expand a legacy phone system must install new lines and hardware. This requires installation costs and more space. Adding to a legacy system also means additional upkeep, greater vulnerability to breakdowns and higher maintenance costs.

Because SIP calling connects a PBX to the Internet, it is much less reliant on physical wiring and equipment. This makes scaling up a business phone system much easier to do. It also facilitates the scaling up of employees who can quickly start using their own new phone line.

Better Call Quality

Call quality isn’t an issue when you are making plans for Thanksgiving dinner or watching the Big Game. However, it is an issue when you are conducting important business transactions. Legacy phone lines are vulnerable to power outages and bad weather disruptions. In fact, strong winds can actually ruin a phone connection and make it more difficult to communicate with customers.

SIP calling offers much clearer audio for our business transactions. Also, there’s no risk of disruptions because calls are made over the Internet. If there is an Internet outage in the area, calls can be easily rerouted with little to no disruption.

Happier Employees and Customers

Another key benefit of SIP Calling is ease of use. After making the switch, employees need very little training directly related to SIP Calling, and most people can get the hang of it after a single day of use. There are only a few basics to learn, and new users can activate their accounts in just a few minutes. A SIP calling system is also built on top of a legacy PBX, which can mean very few adjustments for employees.

SIP calling also helps a company streamline its business communications, making employees’ jobs easier. Research has shown that happier employees translate to better customer service and, therefore, happier customers. For example, customer support employees can easily switch from voice calling to text messages to other functions, all on the same platform.

Works With a Wide Range of Devices

With a legacy PBX system, employees could only make calls from their desk or cordless phones. With SIP calling, employees aren’t tied to such a limited set of devices. A phone system based on the Internet allows employees to make calls from desk phones, mobile phones, or their computers through a softphone application. Many VoIP providers offer softphone software and applications as part of their standard business communications package.

Greater Flexibility

In addition to being accessed through many different devices, SIP Calling only needs a stable Internet connection and a strong network connection in order to function properly. This simplicity gives your employees much more flexibility, allowing them to work remotely. Employees can take care of their responsibilities anywhere they can find an Internet connection, and they can also better adjust their work-life balance thanks to this flexibility.

Some Minor Technical Considerations

While SIP calling offers many benefits for companies, employees and customers, there are a few technical issues that might be concerning in certain situations.

One main concern is the fact that SIP Calling is a relatively new protocol that is still growing and changing. This is an issue with many new technologies, and it can be difficult to predict how the protocol might evolve or shift over time. Additionally, the number of SIP calling experts out there is somewhat limited compared to experts for other communications protocols. For companies that only need basic functionality, this won’t be an issue. However, the technical nuances of SIP Calling might be a concern for some companies, particularly those in the software development and IT industries. There are also training resources out there that companies can use to educate their IT staff on the technical aspects of SIP calling.

Speaking of software companies, businesses looking to develop apps that incorporate SIP Calling may find integration a bit difficult. Most established SIP platforms can be integrated with other established programs. However, integrations can be challenging with such a new protocol, especially with other emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality. It is reasonable to expect better integration options soon.

Let Our Experts Answer All Your Questions About SIP Calling

At Taylored Systems, our experts have many years of experience working with all kinds of business phone systems, including VoIP services and SIP Calling. Hopefully, we have provided some good answers to the question “What is SIP Calling?” and we are more than happy to provide more in-depth information to you and your team.

Our experts are also very knowledgeable when it comes to VoIP services. We can explain how VoIP services provide all of the necessities of our modern business communication platform, including unlimited calling, voicemail and call analytics. We can walk your team through the relatively simple installation and assist with the setup of advanced features, such as the use of softphones and mobile apps.

In addition to assisting with SIP Calling and VoIP services, we can also help your company with other modern business communications solutions. We can help you set up a contact center that manages all of your inbound calls with functions like call routing and queue management. We can help your company establish a unified communications solution that puts all of your customer-facing operations under one umbrella.

We always back up all of our services with first-in-class support. Having been in business for more than four decades, we’ve built our reputation on taking care of our clients, not just selling them a service or product and walking away. 

Whether your company is a small startup looking for a simple voice solution or an established company looking for a complex and comprehensive communication strategy, our experts will deliver the service your company needs.  Contact us today for a consultation or have a few questions answered. Taylored Systems is here to help!