If you are very familiar with the world of telecommunications the term “SIP trunking” should be familiar but for the rest of us it is just starting to show up as an alternative to phone service carriers. This could mean big things for your business because SIP trunks are now starting to be integrated into web and mobile applications. But before we dive into that, let’s start with the basics.

What is SIP?

SIP, aka Session Initiation Protocol, is a communications protocol for signaling and controlling multimedia communication sessions. The most common applications of SIP are in internet voice and video calls, as well as instant messaging all over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. This is the technology used for establishing a voice communication session over a data network. A perfect example of this is GoToMeeting.

What Is SIP Trunking?

A SIP Trunk provides the same service you get from a traditional phone line. The difference is, instead of being a physical wire, a SIP trunk is a “virtual” phone line which is provided by a SIP trunk provider (like Plivo or Twilio) and connects over a data network.

What is the business impact of SIP Trunking?

Because SIP trunks are virtual rather than physical, scaling and maintenance are much easier. SIP trunks can be easily adjusted with a change to the software configuration. So, not only do SIP trunks save businesses money in terms of maintenance, they also save time as there’s no need to spend weeks talking back and forth with phone companies and technicians every time a new line needs to be installed. SIP trunks also support multiple media formats beyond just voice, including video and instant messaging. Why does this matter? A few reasons…

  • Data consistency:If you’re collecting multiple data types from multiple people, chances are you’re going to have a mess of files sprawled across your computer at some point. Integrated data simplifies the process.
  • Streamlined costs:Companies pay for one service rather than separate voice and data plans.
  • Ease of use:It’s easier to train workers on one system rather than two or three or four and so on.

It is reasons like these that make SIP trunks perfect for integrating into your app. While the features on the various SIP trunking platforms differ, a trusted developer will be able to help you pick the one that’s best for you. In the hands of a skilled developer, you could use SIP trunking for more than just the functions outlined above. Our mobile developers have found that it also works great for push notifications and have been incorporating it into more and more of our apps. With the ever-evolving functionalities of SIP trunking, it will be interesting what else our developers can come up with.