What Matters Most in a SIP Trunk Provider?

Posted by Natalie DeCario on Feb 19, 2015 2:04:56 PM
Natalie DeCario

Five days… 30 questions… 208 unique responses… Software Advice, a fantastic telecom software reviewer, is at it again! Over the past few months we’ve been working closely with Software Advice to bring you the best research in the VoIP industry. We’ve posted articles ranging from Free Communications Apps, to Switching to VoIP, to Telecommunications Search Trends and each article is full of data that is designed to help our readers become more informed and more empowered decision makers.

In today’s post we’re going to explore SIP trunking and what people consider before selecting and implementing a new provider. For the full article, please click here.

Let me first start by explaining what that is and why it’s important for a business. SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is an Internet-based service that connects local and long-distance calls to and from traditional phone networks. To put this more simply, if you’re using a service like Skype to talk to people then they must also be using a VoIP Service. But if the person you’re trying to reach is still using the traditional phone system, then you’re going to need a SIP trunk provider to connect the calls. As an added bonus of switching to SIP trunks, you’ll probably see about a 50% savings!

Now that we got the basics out of the way, let’s dig down into this research a little more! It seems to be that from the sample of this study, most respondents were basing their decisions to switch to a SIP trunk on three things: security, support, and pricing model.

Security and Support 

Security is a big factor when it comes to selecting a SIP Provider. In the study, 23% of respondents ranked it as the highest priority, while 22% ranked quality of support as the next most important. There are two main types of security features that can encrypt conversations or even the actual SIP messages. Those are secure real-time transport protocol (SRTP) and Transport-layer security (TLS). Using features such as these can keep your confidential information secure as well as help to prevent denial-of-service (DOS) attacks. And we all know how detrimental those things are to a business!

Take a look at this chart to see some other deciding factors in choosing a SIP provider.

Top Reasons for Selecting a SIP Provider

Pricing Model 

Price is always going to be a deciding factor no matter what decision you need to make, so why should this be any different? From their research, they found quite a few different pricing models that people are starting to adopt. Port-based and user-based were two models that really stuck out. If a company pays on a port-based system, they’re paying from an estimation of what their business needs. A user-based model would mean the company pays a flat fee every month for each user on the trunk. With this model, the users can make and receive as many calls as they’d like because they are only paying one flat fee. Some other pricing factors that come into play are toll-free numbers, DIDs (direct inward dial), and even E911.

For a more complete list of all the different pricing models and their popularity included in this study, please see the chart below.

SIP Provider Pricing Models

Here’s how SIP Trunking sits today

This is a technology that is gaining popularity fast. Companies are seeing how cost effective and reliable this service is and it’s only a matter of time before we see even more growth. That brings me to my last point which is where trunking is situated today.

Adoption Rates

As mentioned throughout the Software Advice article, their survey sample was made up of IT decision makers who have more knowledge of SIP technology. However, of that survey sample, 69% say they have already implemented a SIP trunk system and 24% have not.

One point to notice is that of the respondents, there was a large number of small businesses. It makes you think that because of the less complex networks, SIP trunks make for a much wiser alternative. Something very interesting to back up this claim that SIP trunks are more popular with small (less complex) businesses is that only 10% of enterprises in North America have made the complete migration to SIP trunks.  They’re working their way through the migrations mostly because of the insane cost savings. Companies in the U.S. who migrate to trunks are estimated to reduce their costs by 30%-50%. Looking at this from a global level, we can expect to see savings from 15%-25%. It’s reliable quality for a great price, who would pass that up?

Satisfied with Audio Quality

This piece of the survey had some really interesting data to further prove that SIP trunks are the way to go. According to the Software Advice research, 96% of their respondents are satisfied with the quality of calls they’re getting.

The chart below breaks it down into the different degrees of satisfaction that people claim to have.

Satisfaction with Audio Quality

Effectively Prioritize Voice Traffic

Prioritizing voice traffic is another important feature associated with SIP trunking. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, trunks easily connect two callers over the internet as well as connecting someone using the internet with someone using a traditional phone system. Companies using SIP trunks need to realize that their calls are going to be going over the internet and will be taking up some bandwidth that is either shared by or combined with their regular internet connection. If voice isn’t getting enough bandwidth, then calls can be dropped or issues in quality could become more prevalent.

To help make sure voice traffic is getting enough attention, quality of service (QoS) technology can help with prioritization. It was nice to see that the respondents in this survey had this under control because 80% of them reported having effective voice traffic prioritization always or often and only 1% said they rarely have it all prioritized.

 

Conclusion

To summarize this entire study, I’d have to say that SIP trunking is a technology that offers many benefits to organizations of all sizes and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Not only is it secure, has great support, and offers different pricing models, but it provides great quality. After all, email hasn’t taken over everything (yet) so people still rely on excellent audio quality through their phone calls and other communication services like Skype.

There is a great deal more to learn about in the original study, so make sure you go and check it out! In the meantime, if you don’t want to miss a thing that goes on with VoIP Innovations then please subscribe to our blog and get our posts delivered right to your inbox!

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Tags: SIP Trunks, Phone System, Entrepreneurship

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