When choosing a Session Internet Protocol (SIP) trunking solution for VoIP communications, two main options are available. Single-solution SIP trunk offerings bundle the SIP trunks and the data circuit for a one-stop-shop experience. Over-the-top solutions, on the other hand, separate data streams from the network, offering content over the circuit while the carrier continues to provide the access to the Internet.
Which option should a business choose? Both options present advantages and drawbacks; in truth, the right solution for each organization will depend on its individual requirements.
Consider the following when selecting an SIP trunking solution.
For some organizations, having one call to make when issues arise is paramount. Implementing single-solution SIP trunking eliminates the finger-pointing and back and forth that can happen when multiple vendors are involved with a deployment.
However, moving to an over-the-top offering will mean embracing the idea of change and being willing to move on from current vendors—unless the current vendor is willing to offer services individually. Keep in mind, too, that though single-solution offerings give the appearance of one vendor controlling the entire network, the reality is that most communications ultimately involve other networks not under the vendor’s control.
Sometimes the stability and simplicity of working with one vendor is comfortable, but when a problem occurs that can’t be fixed in one area, having a single provider for all services might leave a company feeling stuck or forced to end its relationship with that provider. With over-the-top implementations, companies can terminate service with vendors where problems occur without affecting other services provided by different vendors.
With a single-solution provider, there is usually only one monthly bill to pay and monitor. In addition, working with a single-solution provider might yield discounts or beneficial bundled pricing structures.
However, shopping around for individual providers who offer both the data circuit as well as the SIP trunking setup can lead to competitive prices that could be better than single-solution options.
At times, a single-solution provider deployment will result in a higher-quality experience because the network and content are under the complete control of one provider. Compatibility issues associated with layering products from different vendors can be eliminated when one vendor is providing the entire solution.
On the other hand, a single-solution provider might be adequate at providing all services, but providers specialized in either the data piece or the SIP trunks might individually be superior to the combined offering due to their focus on just one piece of the puzzle. A generalist company, like a telephone company, may provide several adequate services but not excel in any particular area.
Theoretically, single-solution providers have some redundancies built into their network to guarantee a degree of resiliency that over-the-top providers may not be able to offer. However, the separate circuits that create redundancy in the networks are usually provided by the same vendor, which can weaken resiliency. OTT providers in theory could create stronger resiliency by deploying circuits and media from different providers.
Deciding whether to use a single-solution offering or an OTT offering can be difficult. What it comes down to are these two questions: What is most important to the business? Which solution will best help the business achieve that?