SIP Trunking and hosted PBX services offer businesses two primary advantages: cost efficiency and extensive features. Yet, with different functionalities and features, it isn’t always easy to distinguish the service best fit for users’ needs. In order to determine the best available solution, users need to account for two factors: their essential needs and the size of their business.

That being said, users should look at these factors as being interrelated. Businesses need their service to perform a certain way. As such, the size of your business helps better determine which system is better able to fit those needs. Inversely, size doesn’t limit users’ options.That being said, hosted PBX are generally better suited for smaller companies with twenty employees or fewer, while SIP Trunking solutions are typically better for larger businesses; however, this is not the end all, be all. Both systems are geared towards different users.

SIP Trunking is well suited for experienced users, or users with a working knowledge of the hardware/technology. Inversely, hosted PBX is better suited for new users, or less experienced users. While this doesn’t mean that larger businesses can’t utilize hosted PBX or vice versa, it does indicate the general level of knowledge needed to maximize the efficiency of the system.

Hosted PBX’s operability presents users with greater cost efficiency—i.e. no hardware is required, no IT staff needed. Instead, an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) fits users with a service while they manage and maintain hardware offsite. This is great for smaller business who lack the space, funds, and time to purchase, operate, and maintain hardware. Inversely, SIP Trunking typically requires more initial startup cost as hardware and staff is needed.

Smaller businesses lack the staff and space to dedicate to maintaining and managing hardware. With a hosted PBX service, all equipment is managed off site. As such, an ITSP manages and maintains hardware to fit users with VoIP service. In doing so, the ITSP is involved with every facet of the service as all system information is “controlled, stored, and administered by the ITSP” at their facility. As such, this limits flexibility and customization. Users are locked in with a single VoIP provider, which manages and provides the service. Inversely, SIP Trunking allows businesses to manage their own systems. In doing so, users have complete control over all the processes of their system—i.e. configuration, provisioning, etc.; therefore, SIP Trunking users can easily reconfigure their IP-PBX to move to a new carrier.

Aside from rigid confines, hosted PBX also uses more bandwidth than SIP Trunking solutions. With SIP Trunking, the system utilizes IP-PBX—which communicated with all end points from an IP network. Opposite this, hosted PBX does NOT utilize an IP-PBX; therefore, it uses more bandwidth. Typically, SIP Trunks require approximately 80 kbps per call, while hosted PBX typically uses around 90 kbps per call.

The factors above are essentials that should be considered. Each is interrelated with the size of the business. For example, with bandwidth, if a user has a large business, they will need more bandwidth. As such, user’s should look for a solution that effectively utilizes bandwidth—i.e. SIP Trunking. Otherwise, they could end up paying more for bandwidth. Additionally, customization/configuration/flexibility is all important to size. If a company is expanding they’ll need more flexibility.

It’s cardinal that users know and understand their needs before choosing a solution; however, users should be aware that the size of their business can affect their needs. That being said, the pros and cons cannot be properly weighed until the user denotes the size of their business.

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