You’ve heard a lot about SIP trunks, and you think it might be time for your business to make the switch from a traditional phone line.
But what is a SIP trunk?
In a nutshell, a SIP trunk provider (Session Initiation Protocol) allows you to make and receive calls over the Internet as opposed to over a phone line. You can have as many different SIP channels (the equivalent of “phone lines”) with a single SIP trunk provider.
SIP trunk services can save your business some serious money especially on long-distance and international calls. It also makes calls clearer and less likely to get dropped, eliminates the need for expensive and space-consuming equipment, and provides a serious level of mobility for today’s professionals.
It’s no wonder that close to half of all companies now use SIP trunking in their office.
When you’re ready to upgrade your office phone system, you need to know what to look for in quality SIP trunking providers. Keep reading this post to find out what you need to have.
- Total Cost
SIP trunking is designed to help you save money — not spend even more than you are now.
Make sure you’re absolutely clear on not only what the price you’re being quoted actually includes, but also on the way the company approaches the billing cycle. Ask if you’ll need to pay extra for any equipment you may need, and how they determine the price of that equipment.
Take a close look at the “standard” services included in your initial contract, and make sure you’re truly being offered the necessary basics.
Finally, always make sure you know the cost and rules of ending your contract early.
You should never have to pay for features and equipment that you don’t yet need when you’re looking into SIP trunking services.
Instead, a quality SIP trunk company will allow you to scale/grow your SIP trunking needs as your business expands.
Are you able to change your phone number, or can you keep your old one? Will the services work with your existing software? Will you be able to add on IP access controls?
How will the pricing structure change as you add additional services?
- Additional Features
Any quality SIP trunking company will also allow you to pick and choose the additional features you’re interested in.
A good company should offer things like automatic voicemail, call forwarding, and maybe even a digital receptionist and appointment-scheduling capabilities.
Voicemail transcription, tools for conference calling, video calling, and call recording are other popular add-on features you should be sure to ask about.
- Proper Security Measures
Every year, more than 60% of small businesses fall victim to a hacker.
We know that you want to do everything to protect your clients’ sensitive information and, by extension, your own company’s reputation.
That’s why it’s so important to talk to your SIP trunk provider about the kinds of security measures they can offer you.
Ask if they encrypt your data and get to know the kinds of anti-malware and anti-virus software they have in place. Additionally, ask questions about overall server security and firewalls.
Remember that security also means running frequent backups of your data in the event of Internet/power loss or a data breach. You need to know how often the provider backs up your data, and how long it will take them to get things up and running again if there is an issue.
- Technical Support
Today’s SIP trunking providers should be able to provide you with 24/7 technical support.
This way, if you do encounter a problem with your system, you can rest easy knowing that assistance is just a quick call away. This support service should always be included in the initial price you’re quoted — never offered as an “add-on” service you must purchase separately.
Additionally, ask the provider about any employee training programs they provide so that everyone in your office can benefit from SIP services.
- A Strong Track Record of Success
Finally, before you make your decision about which SIP trunk provider to give your business to, make sure you take the time to learn more about their company history and their current clients.
How long have they been in the industry? What is their experience in working with companies similar to your own? Are they able to provide you with the proper amount of bandwidth you need to power all your office communication devices simultaneously?
Ask them about their guaranteed uptime, the kind of equipment they use, and how quickly they’re able to respond to problems.
Above all, never work with a company that refuses to provide you with client references — and make sure you read reviews on third-party websites, not just the company’s website testimonials.
You’re Ready to Find the Perfect SIP Trunk Provider
We hope this post has helped you to learn more about exactly what you should look for in a SIP trunk provider.
Always be certain to ask about scalability, support, security, and any additional features you might be interested in adding to your plan.
Above all, make sure you’re not getting locked into a contract that doesn’t really suit the current needs of your company.
Of course, remember that SIP trunking is just one of many ways you can improve communication with your clients and within your office.
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