What is SIP Calling? The Complete Guide
Tell me: As a business owner, what do you always look for? To be ahead of your competitors and the first choice of your customers.
Right? Isn’t that your dream? But have you ever thought about how to accomplish such a dream without compromising quality?
Well, that’s possible only when you offer comparatively low-priced products, packaged together with excellent customer service—like Amazon.
Did you know Jeff Bezos, CEO of e-commerce giant Amazon, always experiments with new technologies to keep the cost of everything low and offer products at the cheapest rates possible?
You, too, can cut costs and increase the reliability of your business with the help of new technologies. One such technology that’s gaining traction from all business types and sizes is SIP calling. It’s increasingly becoming a popular way to minimize business phone costs while improving telecommunications. To those who are completely new to SIP, it’s difficult to understand how such a service can aid in cutting costs and growing business. That’s why we broke down the process of SIP calling to help you understand what it is, and how it can benefit your business.
What is SIP Calling?
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol, and it works with the Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system. SIP calling is the process of transmitting calls over an internet connection using various devices, like computers and smartphones.
To understand how SIP calling can transform your business for the better, you must first understand how it works.
How Does SIP Work?
Right now, your business is running on a traditional phone system, which consists of three parts:
- PBX (Private Branch Exchange): A telephone system used within an enterprise to make and receive calls.
- PRI (Primary Rate Interface):A physical line that carries calls from one end to the other.
- PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network): The world’s collection of various public telephone networks, like landlines and phones.
SIP removes the need for multiple phone lines and PRI lines. Your SIP service provider virtually installs the SIP trunk over your internet connection. It enables you to connect your PBX with PSTN via the internet, omitting the PRI lines. Basically, instead of using copper lines, SIP uses the internet to send voice calls.
Now, you may ask, “If this just a replacement of copper lines with virtual lines, then why should I switch to SIP at all?”
Well, SIP has tons of benefits that will save a fortune for your business. One primary benefit of SIP is reducing unnecessary spending on traditional phone systems equipment, like copper lines. At the same time, it improves your business’s efficiency to make multiple calls from anywhere, at any time, and on any communication channel, like internet-based calls and traditional phone calls.
There is more to the picture. But before we get to that, let’s clear up the differences between SIP and VoIP.
Difference Between SIP and VoIP
Due to the similar work of SIP and VoIP, people often use them interchangeably, considering both to be similar technologies with common services. However, SIP uses VoIP to carry your call traffic over an internet connection.
SIP is used to manage various communication modes, like voice calls and video calls. It establishes and terminates phone call connections, controls data transfers, and even allows you to make calls anywhere in the world using services like Facebook Messenger and Skype.
On the other hand, VoIP is simply the process of making calls over internet-connected devices.
Benefits of SIP Calling
There are many reasons why businesses are considering SIP calling as the future of communication. Some of the key reasons are listed below:
Count the number of ways you pay, directly or indirectly, for your communications system. This includes the cost of international calls, traditional phone system setup, hardware purchases, maintenance charges, multiple networks, etc.
SIP calling wipes out all these charges by offering you a virtual system on which to make and receive calls. According to Tech.co, businesses who switched to internet-based calling have claimed to save up to 40% on local calls and 90% on international calls.
Here are the different ways SIP calling saves you a big on communication costs:
- SIP eliminates the purchase of equipment because it works on a virtual system;
- SIP turns all calls (local and international) into local calls, resulting in massive savings for your business;
- SIP removes the need for multiple networks, instead offering one centralized network with multiple communication capabilities. Thus, reducing the hardware or maintenance costs to almost zero; and
- SIP cuts out the PSTN gateway, which results in the removal of multiple subscription fees.
SIP calling offers a higher return on your investment by and big savings compared to a traditional phone system. Its low-cost setup and elimination of hardware and maintenance requirements makes it the first choice of businesses.
Highly Scalable Option
With a growing business comes an increasing need of telephone lines. Waiting for these lines to be set up, installed, and readied for your business not only demands extra room for equipment but also drains your business financially.
With SIP calling, you don’t have to worry about an increase in future expenses as your business needs expand. A single SIP trunk holds an unlimited number of channels. A channel is equal to one incoming or outgoing call.
Because a single SIP trunk carries multiple channels, you don’t need an extra SIP trunk — no matter how many calls you make and receive at a time! New channels can be added to your existing SIP trunk at any time, within hours. No need to wait for and spend more money on physical installations or setups!
Traditional phone systems possess a static nature. You can’t make calls from a traditional phone line to someone who is only available through internet calling. And what about your remote employees? What if they are at a location where traditional calling is next to impossible? The same goes for your customers, too. If any of the contact modes (like instant messaging) are not available on traditional calls, then you can lose the client or some important information from your remote employee.
SIP calling converts your static business communications into flexible ones. It allows you to make calls to anyone with any device—no matter whether it’s an internet-connected device or a normal landline! Apart from that, here are more functions that SIP performs to aid you with offering excellent customer service:
- Identifies users’ location;
- Discover users’ availability;
- Dictates users’ information in real time;
- Reroutes calls if the particular employee is not available to receive the call;
- Enables video conferencing;
- Allows 911 emergency calls;
- Offers call forwarding and recording facilities; and
- Routes calls to different locations or operating centers based on your changing requirements.
Combine all these features, and your business is ready to reach new heights of communication with employees and customers.
When there is no physical infrastructure requirement, copper lines have been completely eliminated, and adding new channels has become a piece of cake, then what’s left to take care of?
Regarding the nitty-gritty care for your virtual system, SIP service providers can offer you some tools to constantly monitor your communications system and resolve any issues within minutes. Because the system works over the internet, many issues can be resolved on the internet itself.
Enjoy Better Voice Quality
Some business owners are afraid of switching to SIP calling because they worry about losing the sound quality they enjoy with traditional phone systems. If you are worried about this, let me tell you that today’s SIP services come with HD voice quality, extended frequency, and even twice the sample rate of telephonic audio. This means that instead of losing voice quality, you will enjoy better sound and understand clearly what the other person is saying. With SIP calling, you will rarely require the other person to repeat what they are saying.
Never Miss a Call, Client, or Data
Research says that the UK alone loses £90M worth of business each year due to missed phone calls. Another study found that each missed call results in an average loss of £1,200, which rises to £9,000 if your business is not available 24 hours a day.
With a traditional phone system, you can’t be available 24/7, as you can’t carry your office phone with you wherever you go. However, SIP calling makes your business available 24/7/365. You can make or receive calls at any time from any device, like your smartphone, desktop, or landline. No matter where your employees are, they will receive calls the moment they are needed. Even if some employees are not available at the time, SIP calling will reroute the call to an executive who can answer the call immediately.
All in all, whether it’s a remote employee who wants to share data with you or a client who wants to extend a relationship to your business, SIP will never keep you off the grid.
One Centralized Network for All Communication Channels
What does your day look like with traditional phone lines? Do you roam around the entire office in fear of missing calls from multiple communication channels? Does it affect your productivity levels?
Well, SIP calling will put an end to your struggles by giving you a unified communications system to make and receive calls from various channels through a centralized network.
Quick Disaster Recovery
Legacy phone systems are prone to disaster. A single damaged wire can lead to the breakdown of your entire communications system and take days to get it back on track. The matter worsens in cases of sudden accidents, like a fire. It will take ages to repair. Until then, your business will lose tons of profits and suffer financially when you must pay to repair the damage or replace the system.
On the contrary, since it is a part of the internet world, SIP is far more resilient than copper-wire-based telephone systems. It comes with virtually connected wires and minimal hardware requirements that are barely affected by disasters. Even if you face a network problem or a hardware issue, SIP will measure everything to ensure uninterrupted phone calls with the help of rerouting services.
Excellent User Experience
What matters in the end? Giving the best service to your current customers and potential new ones.
Right? Now, combine all the user-relevant amenities of SIP calling, like:
- 24/7/365 availability;
- Zero chances of missing a call;
- Call-forwarding facility;
- Diverse modes of communication, such as video, instant messaging, conferencing, etc.;
- The ability to add more channels within just a few hours during peak seasons;
- Real-time customer history data; and
- Unbeatable sound quality.
If these qualities don’t add up to excellent customer service, I don’t know what will!
Who is SIP Calling For?
According to study 18% of the 645 participating companies are currently using SIP trunking, while 34% are planning to adopt it within the upcoming two years. North America excels by converting 58% of PSTN trunks into SIP.
SIP calling is perfect for:
- Large Companies: If you are company with greater than 2,500 employees, SIP calling is a must when you consider the big expenses you incur from a traditional phone system. SIP saves you money on your communication costs by adding more to your end-profit.
- Medium-Sized Companies: You want to go from good to great? Offering affordable products with excellent customer service is the way to do it—which is possible only when you save money and invest what you saved back into your business growth. SIP calling can help you do it.
- Small Businesses/Startups: SIP calling is more necessary than ever for small businesses and startups. Its cost-effectiveness and flexible services save you from the ups and downs of new businesses and let you stay in communication on-the-go.
Can You Make SIP Calls via Android and iPhone?
Of course, you can! That’s what SIP calling is for—to enable calls from any device you desire. You just need a little configuration to your smartphone settings, and a VoIP app to prepare it for SIP calls. Let’s take a look at how to install SIP calls on your iPhone and/or Android smartphone:
Enabling SIP Calls on Android Devices
Generally, your SIP service provider offers the VoIP app for a flawless experience, as both go hand-in-hand.
Next, follow the below given steps to enable SIP calling on your Android devices:
- Download the VoIP app of your service provider from the Google Play store.
- Open the App.
- Login with the Extension Number, Company Number, and Password. (Get the credentials from your service provider.)
- Go to Settings -> Calls -> Calling Accounts -> SIP accounts. Enter your credentials here to get your devices ready for SIP calling!
Just four steps, and your Android devices are ready to make calls at any time and from anywhere!
Enabling SIP Calls on an iPhone
The process is a little different than Android:
- Download the SIP calling App of your service provider from the App store.
- Enter your credentials (Name, Number, and Password).
And you are done. It’s simple!
So, When Are You Switching to SIP Calling?
SIP calling continues to grow and thrive because it works on the internet, and almost all businesses are going digital. So, why not your communications system? Businesses are already marching towards cloud communications, and SIP calls are playing a crucial role. By embracing SIP services, you will accelerate your call centers, gain control over your phone numbers, and adopt 100% flexibility to face any sudden ups and downs—without affecting your business!
Pick up the phone and call your best SIP service provider. Or fill out an online form to start enjoying SIP services within a few hours. Get in touch to get a free quote.