Whether you’re looking at SIP trunking for the first time or you have already introduced SIP to your business, you’ll want to know what the future holds for SIP.
As a cloud technology, SIP is open to continuous improvement as connectivity, PBX and network technologies continue to develop. When enhancements are made at any level, you rightly expect for them to filter through to your existing environment.
SIP is futureproof
Ultimately SIP technology doesn’t need to change. A major benefit of SIP trunking is its adaptability. As SIP provides the vehicle for calls to be transmitted, whatever endpoint is connected either end will be supported.
SIP is already the preferred protocol to process voice, video and instant messaging sessions. As things like video continue to gain momentum in business communications, better codecs will be utilised to ensure video conferencing quality is not lost. If the associated bandwidth and network requirements are catered for, SIP will continue to be the communications protocol for business interactions.
According to Comms Business, 71% of all UK call traffic will be SIP by 2020. As businesses continue to dip their toe into cloud technology, SIP is often used as the natural first step. Recognition of key benefits like total scalability and vast cost savings are becoming harder and harder to ignore as CIOs and IT Managers start to drive digital transformation.
As the BT Openreach ISDN switch off nears, businesses will continue to react to the impending change. By 2025, BT Openreach has announced it will discontinue the ISDN network, in favour of SIP and cloud technologies as it’s natural replacement. Whether SIP is adopted via native SIP trunks, a media gateway or full cloud telephony, SIP will soon be the leading method of business connectivity.
One thing that has historically held back SIP adoption is bandwidth. As connectivity becomes faster and more secure, at an affordable price, the struggle for free bandwidth is removed. Businesses that utilised a 100MBps connection three years ago can now receive a 1GBps dedicated connection for a similar price.
As internet availability increases, so does the ability to scale up when your organisation grows. Be it permanently or seasonally, SIP allows you to add additional users and more concurrent calls as and when you need them.
This is drastically different to ISDN trunks of old. When a business was going through a period of growth, you may have required installation, lead times and costs of further ISDN or PSTN circuits. As you added additional lines to your telephony setup, expansion equipment or even a new, larger capacity PBX would have been required.
With SIP, if the bandwidth is available, a simple configuration change will cater for your new users efficiently and at minimal extra cost.
SIP can leverage cloud calling software built into a cloud platform to provide additional functionality that may not be available via your PBX. Rather than having to upgrade your PBX each time you require new functionality, your SIP platform may have this available.
Most SIP platforms also host cloud telephony solutions. A cloud telephony platform is more feature rich due to hosting the PBX functionality, as well as providing the telephone lines (SIP). By applying the required cloud PBX functionality at a platform level, you can utilise additional or ad hoc features without the need for an engineer coming to site to install a new piece of kit.
Cloud IVR, call queuing and area-based routing are just a few examples of the features that can be turned on and used before a call reaches your PBX. Often, businesses see SIP trunks as a hybrid model where they are not ready to replace their old style PBX but have identified a requirement for cloud functionality.
With the addition of cloud analytics and monitoring to most cloud PBX platforms, the future of SIP trunking could take the shape of artificial intelligence style predictions. A SIP platform holds all outgoing and incoming call data so knows when your busiest periods are. After time, a SIP platform has enough data to identify regular spikes in traffic.
By exploiting additional functionality available in cloud PBX platforms, intelligence could be applied to react to spiking and peak periods, making additional SIP channels available automatically. Rather than waiting until the end of the month to see how many calls you received, and having to order new SIP trunks, it could be possible to automatically make new channels available.
For a rare occasion where call volumes are majorly above expectation, thresholds could be set to limit the number of burstable trunks you scale up to.
Further automation could be leveraged for disaster recovery scenarios. SIP already has the functionality to recognise if a location is disrupted due to a power cut or network failure. If a call cannot get through to the required destination, the SIP platform will automatically route to the backup destination. This could be an alternative office, a mobile or even a rented recovery site.
If the scenario is intermittent, calls can be set to ring for a set amount of time then perform call forwarding no answer. If staff have remained in the building whilst the problem is remedied, you may want the call to be attempted at its original destination if you pay an out-of-hours service to take calls.
As cloud technology matures, more functionality is likely to be made available via cloud telephony and SIP platforms. The best way to leverage cloud functionality without complete overhaul of your telecoms setup is to utilise SIP as your first step.
To learn what features and functionality you could be making the most of today, book a call with one of our SIP experts or take a look at the SIP packages we currently have available.