The Journey of a Business Phone System: How MSPs Can Guide Their Business Clients from TDM to SIP to Hosted PBX

Apr 10, 2024

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Advancing technology brings simplicity, savings and smarter communications to today’s mobile and digital worlds.

Do you have clients depending on older telephone systems still humming along? If so, you’re not alone. Legacy equipment often continues to deliver voice services to many businesses. In those cases, it’s likely that your client’s private branch exchange (PBX) still makes and takes phone calls, records voice messages and handles the basics like transferring, forwarding or holding calls. There’s comfort in what’s familiar.

Those clients are currently missing out on new and better working methods. And they don’t realize that their competitors are establishing competitive advantages in both cost and function. 

“Basic” Isn’t Basic Anymore

Communication habits have changed dramatically in recent years. Phone calling continues to make sense for some types of inquiries, but today’s mobile and digital business environment calls for more modern options.

Text messaging isn’t just for communication with friends and family. Its popularity has bled into the business space as well. More and more, businesses are using this method of communication to reach out to customers – and vice versa.

Texting is just the tip of the iceberg. Today’s distributed workforces increasingly need video and instant messaging, mobile apps, CRM integration, and many other features.

As an MSP, convincing your clients to take their systems into the world of IP and on to advanced features is easier than you might think. Here’s some messaging and positioning to help come along.

Step 1: Simplify & Save with SIP

Moving from TDM to session-initiated protocol (SIP) Trunking can deliver instant savings for your clients, and it’s simple to enable. Most modern private branch exchange (PBX) systems are already SIP-enabled, so no system or network upgrade is necessary. And if your client has an older PBX, a low-cost IP gateway or adapter will get them rolling. Business clients of Reinvent Telecom partners are saving up to 50% using SIP Trunking in place of traditional and costly TDM trunks.

Step 2: Capitalize on Convergence

Once you’ve convinced your client that transmitting voice and data over the same bandwidth using SIP Trunking will save them resources and money, you can open their eyes to various other essential business advantages with converging communications. 

Consolidating voice and data communications over an IP network offers considerable advantages for any business environment:

  • Small Office: Small offices gain capabilities that give them greater flexibility and responsiveness, like web-based remote programming and voicemail-to-email inbox.
  • Multi-site Organization: Unify locations as a single system, with automatic failover from one system to another.
  • Call Center: Better customer experiences can be facilitated by directing calls to the appropriate staff members, regardless of location, and integrating non-voice channels like email or webchat.
  • Remote or Mobile Workforce: Set up simultaneous ringing or call forwarding of office phone calls to remote offices and mobile devices.
  • Collaborative Teams: High-quality web and video conferencing can facilitate greater collaboration among remote employees.

Step 3: Get Ahead with Hosted PBX

Hosted PBX services, often called hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), bring your customers into the world of cutting-edge communications and collaboration. The call control platform – or PBX – is moved off-site into a hosted PBX provider’s (or hosted VoIP provider’s) data center. Your client gets the same enterprise VoIP features without purchasing, maintaining and operating their own PBX hardware and software. The hosted provider manages it all.

When your client asks, “What is hosted PBX?” or “Why is hosted VoIP better than an in-house VoIP-based phone system?”, explain that having telephone system equipment located off-site in a service provider’s data center has significant advantages, including:

  • Peace of Mind: One big takeaway from the pandemic is that business interruptions can happen quickly. It’s not just superbugs. Power failures, natural disasters, cyberattacks and more can disrupt business operations. Hosted PBX services are designed for reliability, redundancy and disaster recovery. Automatic failover to redundant servers ensures that communications continue during a network outage or an office closure. Staff members can work from home or any location.
  • Cost Advantages: Since hosted services are delivered on a subscription basis, they provide accounting advantages as telephone expenses are shifted from a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to an operation expenditure (OPEX) basis. Also, hosted services can be easily scaled to accommodate seasonal or high-growth businesses, eliminating the need for expensive up-front equipment purchases to accommodate future expansion needs.
  • Enhanced Productivity & Competitive Advantages: Hosted PBX providers manage infrastructure, which frees up precious IT resources for higher-value activities. They also facilitate greater team collaboration and customer experiences, now the chief competitive battlefront.

The Benefits of Moving Your Clients from TDM to SIP Trunking

SIP Trunking reduces communications expenses, adds flexibility, security, and resiliency, and opens the door to converged UCaaS.

Clients bringing their offices back to life after the events of the pandemic and facing the tumultuous economic environment in 2024 are extraordinarily cost-conscious. Many companies are struggling with smaller revenue streams in 2024 as cost-cutting and belt-tightening measures from consumers continue. Some businesses are adjusting to the need to run offices and work-from-home (WFH) options simultaneously in a hybrid setup.

Against this complicated backdrop, SIP Trunking remainsa simple and effective way for your clients to cut communications costs. If you haven’t looked at SIP Trunking in a while, you should. If you’ve never looked at it, now is the time to check it out.

What is SIP Trunking?

Session Initiation Protocol, or SIP, establishes a voice communication session over a data network like the Internet. A SIP Trunk or grouping of SIP trunk channels replaces physical analog, T1 or PRI (TDM telecom) phone lines with a virtual connection that routes voice traffic to the public telephone network over your existing Internet connection.

Importantly, SIP handles more than just voice calls. SIP combines and sends all of your client’s business communications – voice and data – over the Internet together. This consolidation brings substantial savings. You’re eliminating legacy hard-wired phone lines, circuit boxes and the related charges for these, and instead, your clients pay only a monthly service fee to route all of their traffic via the Internet.

In other words, SIP Trunking helps to move your client’s infrastructure more into the digital realm in which we operate. Voice remains essential, but more and more, people communicate in data-driven ways like instant messaging, web chat and video.

Saving with SIP

SIP delivers savings on several fronts, some more obvious than others, but there are other significant advantages for your clients.

First, let’s look at cost-savings opportunities:

  • Leverage Your Existing PBX: Since most modern PBX systems are already SIP-enabled, clients can often get an immediate return on investment from SIP deployments. No system or network upgrade is necessary to enable SIP Trunking. Clients with legacy PBXs can still reap the benefits—they just need an IP gateway or adapter.
  • Consolidate Monthly Costs: A flat monthly rate for SIP Trunking service eliminates paying for multiple phone lines. Consolidating voice and data connections eliminates paying numerous vendors and invoices, too.
  • Lower Local & Long-Distance Rates: A predictable monthly fee for SIP Trunk service delivers unlimited local and long-distance calling to your clients. And, inter-office calling among their employees is free over the Internet.
  • POTS Lines Replacement: Many businesses still operate on plain old telephone service (POTS) lines, which most companies know as traditional landlines. With FCC approval to drop support for POTS lines, many businesses may not realize they’re potentially paying hundreds of dollars per line for outdated technologies. SIP trunks replace your clients’ aging and analog POTS lines at a lower price, while offering the enhanced capabilities and functionality we’ve outlined below.

Through SIP Trunking, your customers gain:

  • Scalable Capacity: No more waiting for weeks or months to install or disconnect a traditional PSTN line or trunk. Since SIP Trunking uses a virtual connection, you can add or remove SIP channels for your clients (or they can do it themselves) quickly and easily through a simple user interface. This scalability significantly benefits seasonal businesses, companies running temporary marketing campaigns, or growing companies needing to add capacity.
  • Business Continuity: Continuity is vital to your clients in the wake of the pandemic. SIP Trunking can be configured to reroute traffic to another location, a mobile number, an answering service, or even to voicemail in case of power loss or Internet failure.
  • Local Presence: Clients can obtain local phone numbers for any city, state or country where they don’t have a physical office but want to establish a virtual local presence. Calls to these numbers route over the Internet, which means no long-distance charges for your clients or their callers.
  • Unified Communications (UC): Stay relevant and competitive with the latest collaborative capabilities and technologies. SIP Trunking supports higher-bandwidth, converged UC applications like video calling, desktop sharing and web conferencing to boost employee productivity and customer engagement.

SIP: A Stepping Stone to UC

Replacing TDM lines with SIP Trunking service also can be the first step on your client’s journey into the advanced world of IP. And when your clients are ready, we can help you to help them take that next step to the cloud with a hybrid or fully hosted SIP PBX located off-site in one of our data centers. Reinvent’s comprehensive portfolio of SIP Trunking services and hosted PBX and UCaaS solutions can help your clients develop the communications power they need to collaborate and deliver superior customer experiences.

We’d love to show you how to leverage SIP Trunking to build stronger relationships with your customers by helping them cut costs, increase efficiencies and collaborate better.

The Journey Starts with You

As a Reinvent Telecom partner, you can help your customers transition from TDM to SIP to Hosted PBX while building your business. Our SIP Trunking service delivers high-quality communication connections plus over-the-top (OTT) value-added features like analytics, call recording, unlimited calling, business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.

In addition to SIP Trunking, we deliver the tech and support you need to provide world-class hosted PBX, UCaaS, CCaaS, business messaging, virtual fax and Microsoft Teams calling enablement solutions. We’d love to show you how we can help you own your future.