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Should you deploy SIP trunking or hosted telephony?

How do you decide between SIP trunking and hosted telephony? Expert Michael Brandenburg explains how organizations can determine if SIP trunking or hosted telephony can meet their needs.

At a basic level, any decision between leveraging SIP trunking or hosted telephony services will have as much to do with the lifecycle of existing telephony platforms as it does with the specific benefits of each offering. In other words, the ability to move off the existing platform will dictate the way forward for many businesses.

For example, if your organization has recently invested in an on-premises, IP-based PBX or unified communications (UC) service, it will likely make more sense to augment that solution with SIP trunking services over traditional digital trunking services in terms of cost and capabilities. Conversely, if your existing PBX platform is nearing end of life, organizations have the opportunity to consider either an on-premises or hosted platform as a replacement. For many businesses, migrating to a hosted telephony service might be a viable and cost-effective alternative to purchasing and deploying all the new hardware, software and licenses for a new, on-premises UC platform. Other organizations will find that on-premises platforms are still the best fit for them, offering a greater level of customization, control and integration with other on-premises applications than hosted solutions.

However, the choice of SIP trunking or hosted telephony services is not an either/or decision. Increasingly, distributed enterprises are choosing hybrid deployments. In a hybrid deployment, a mix of SIP trunking and hosted services is used to match the needs of specific users or locations. While SIP trunks might be used to connect on-premises UC platforms at a larger office or contact center, the same organization could leverage hosted telephony services for remote users or smaller branch locations. In well-designed hybrid architectures, businesses can take advantage of the right set of services to meet their specific needs while maintaining a consistent set of dial plans, extension dialing and least-cost routing throughout their organization.

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