Is legacy PBX holding you back? How SIP can help

The post-pandemic office will likely look a whole lot different than it did at the start of 2020. So if your legacy PBX wasn’t serving you pre-pandemic, it might be time to start thinking about SIP trunking or hybrid SIP/PRI for the future of work.

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SIP trunking

We’ve all been there: you’re on a video call, and the person talking suddenly freezes mid-sentence or their audio cuts out. Or, even worse, that frozen person is you.

This can be potentially embarrassing, but also frustrating for employees in virtual meetings and conferences. But it’s all too common these days in our virtual WFH world.

In the ‘before’ times, there was already a movement away from legacy PBX technology. But the pandemic has made this much more urgent. With many employees working from home, those legacy PBX systems aren’t that useful.

But looking ahead to a post-pandemic world, companies will likely take a more hybrid approach to their office space, with workers combining their time in the office with WFH. In some cases, employees may make a permanent switch to remote work. And while no one can predict the future, it’s highly likely that the post-pandemic office will look a whole lot different than it did at the start of 2020.

So if your legacy PBX wasn’t serving you pre-pandemic, it’s certainly not going to serve you coming out of it.

Why SIP, why now?

It’s easy to see why companies stick with their legacy PBX. Most replace their phone system every seven to 10 years, so it’s not something the C-suite (or anyone else) pays much attention to the rest of the time. And, of course, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

It might not be broke, but the technology has evolved — and is capable of so much more than phone calls. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), for example, can be used for VoIP communications, but it also supports multimedia communications such as video conferencing, SMS messaging and data transmission.

SIP trunking

Drops in call quality are typically the result of packet loss when using VoIP. SIP trunking helps with this, since it allows for direct end-to-end connections (via an Internet connection to the service provider, rather than copper wires), reducing the likelihood of packet loss. So not only does it enable unified communications, but it also improves the quality of those communications.

There’s also the option of hosted PBX solutions, where the SIP trunking equipment is hosted by a service provider, eliminating the need for traditional phone infrastructure. Hosted solutions don’t require on-premise hardware, so there’s lower overhead and maintenance costs, as well as savings on long-distance and international outbound calling.

From voice to unified communications

SIP allows companies to support unified communications, deploy quickly to new locations when needed and increase flexibility for a remote, mobile or hybrid workforce.

And IT pros can easily maintain network service quality and performance with built-in failover and re-routing options (for example, SIP pooling automatically shares SIP sessions between all call locations) — a must in our current COVID landscape.

Companies can leverage their existing bandwidth from data networks, while maintaining voice prioritization (in other words, voice calls won’t have the jitters or lag time). Businesses with multiple offices can also benefit by centralizing voice connections to any one or two data center locations, helping reduce costs.

It’s also possible to choose a hybrid solution that integrates legacy PRI infrastructure with SIP trunking, which could be ideal for companies with limited bandwidth. In this case, they can use their legacy system for local calls and SIP for long-distance calls and multimedia communications.

If your legacy PBX hasn’t evolved with the times, then you’re missing out — both on functionality and potential savings.

For a limited time, Allstream is offering a special rate on its SIP PRI solution. Allstream also offers cross-border SIP and a 100% uptime guarantee. Find out more about SIP trunking solutions and benefits here.

Images: RLT_Images/iStock; elenabs/iStock

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