Communications technology has exploded in recent years, offering collaborative tools that include voice as well as integrated tools with video conferencing, messaging and other features that are all accessed through a single application. When choosing a communications solution, you’ll frequently hear two terms: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking.
While both are protocols, VoIP and SIP trunking aren’t direct alternatives to each other. They are related, but don’t serve exactly the same function. In other words, it’s not a matter of whether you choose VoIP or SIP trunking.
In a legacy phone system, the service was defined by phone lines running through a trunking service called T1 lines to an on-premise private branch exchange (PBX). Time division multiplexing (TDM) ran over a circuit-switched network.
Today’s communications solutions utilize VoIP to access a dial tone through an internet connection. Meanwhile, SIP trunking is the successor to the T1 lines that support enterprise telephony.
While VoIP is dedicated solely to voice transmissions, SIP trunking is the protocol for initiating any type of data transmission for communications, including voice, video conferencing and messaging.
SIP trunks are different from traditional PBX trunks because they carry so many varieties of packet types. They are designed for use in the data network and their flexibility is more enhanced than that of PBX trunks, as well as being a more worthwhile approach in terms of cost. Voice can also be included in this channel for more efficiency and cost savings.
In addition, once the enterprise has added VoIP to SIP trunking, they are equipped for end-to-end communications capabilities and have the options to expand by adding unified communications.
It’s important to understand that SIP trunking is the physical connection to carry data packets over the network, while PBX trunks support only voice. It is possible to route VoIP over PBX trunks, but in order to take full advantage of the range of communication and collaboration tools now available, SIP trunking in combination with VoIP offers the greatest flexibility.
These technologies, when implemented to support unified communications, provide an avenue for improving the customer experience. Enterprises determining priorities for their digital transformation initiatives often find that upgrading communications technology delivers a big impact through convenient tools for customers that also improve productivity among employees.
These solutions allow customers to communicate with the company in their preferred format and switch between formats while equipping customer service agents with integrated, detailed information about past interactions.
For more information about SIP trunking and VoIP and to determine which technologies will help you meet your communications goals, contact us at Cory Communications.