What do you look for when choosing a SIP provider?
Security, quality and pricing are key considerations, according to a recent survey.
We recently read a report from Software Advice, a free online resource for VoIP reviews, regarding considerations for selecting and implementing a SIP provider. What exactly is SIP, you ask?
SIP is an acronym for Session Initiation Protocol, which is basically a phone line or “trunking line” that allows Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) users to connect local and long-distance calls within a traditional phone network. When we blogged about SIP vs TDM in 2012, we compared SIP to the voice and data network on your smartphone and TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) as the voice-only, copper-wire network of your home phone. VoIP is the technology that allows users to converse over an internet phone line—Skype is the most common example. However, if a VoIP system user wants to make and receive calls from a TDM user (think home phone), SIP is required to make that call.
In 2012, we asked To SIP or Not to SIP? and outlined the benefits that were driving cautious IT decision makers to consider the technology, which included the ability to accommodate high-definition audio and video as well as cost savings and general modernization.
Now, in 2015, Software Advice recently conducted a survey of IT decision makers who have implemented SIP trunking in their organizations to learn more about their experiences.
The survey found the top reasons for selecting an SIP Provider are security, quality of support and pricing model.
SECURITY: Security was the number one criteria for selecting a SIP provider. According to the report, nearly one in four respondents say they selected their SIP provider based on the level of security provided. Two particular types of protocols mentioned were SRTP and TLS:
- SRTP or Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol allows for live encryption of audio streams. Not many providers offer this type of support, but this secure protocol is available if your business requires it.
- TLS or Transport-Layer Security is a widely used cryptographic security protocol that ensures forward secrecy.
QUALTIY OF SUPPORT: While security is the highest priority, a close second is quality support. High quality support can help a business recover quickly in the incident of a power or data center outage.
PRICING MODEL: This is a huge consideration for respondents, as the pricing model used has a direct effect on the telecom budget. Two types of pricing are generally offered:
- Port-Based Pricing is determined by anticipated peak volume
- User-Based Pricing is determined as a flat rate based on the number of users, regardless of call volume
So, how many IT decision makers have adopted SIP trunking?
When we wrote about SIP trunking in 2012, Frost & Sullivan had predicted a growth rate of 27% through 2016, as more and more companies saw the value in combining voice and data streams.
In today’s Software Advice report, 70% of IT decision makers have adopted SIP trunking. While traditional voice services are still alive and well, SIP is quickly gaining ground and is proving to be a technology that offers security, quality and affordability to the user.
Read Top Considerations for Selecting and Implementing a SIP Provider UserView | 2015 for more details on the findings.