The Case for SIP

The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a core Internet signaling protocol that controls how a VoIP call – and more sophisticated sessions that may be built upon that call – is established, managed and terminated. As one of the keys for managing multimedia sessions, it is a vital tool for contact centers.

This interesting piece at Call Centre Helper – a UK site – asks experts how SIP has impacted data centers.  Dave Paulding, regional sales director for interactive intelligence for the UK, Middle East and Africa, cited low cost and reliability.

Tony Hesketh, director of solutions consulting for Aspect, also mentioned cost. He said that it also improves flexibility and resiliency. Hesketh added that SIP isn’t a panacea:

However, care must be taken not to overplay its ability to ‘transform’ contact centre operations because, at the end of the day, it’s simply an enabling technology.

Another advantage of SIP is ease in supporting remote workers and virtual centers, said William Gray, the managing director of Macfarlane. SIP-based equipment, he said, reduces space requirements and costs, while SIP trunking extends flexibility, resilience and also lowers cost. He added that it opens the door to significant network-based services that are difficult to replicate on a legacy time-division multiplexed (TDM) system.

Finally, SIP makes it possible to choose between a wide variety of hardware and software, said Charles Lee, a senior product marketing manager for Alcatel-Lucent. Perhaps more importantly, he said, is that SIP enables new services to be introduced, which is an order of magnitude better than simply performing existing tasks more cheaply.

Whatever the advantages, it is important to note that SIP is increasing in popularity. This week, a survey was released by CCMI’s Voice Report and BizTechReports on the prospects for SIP in the enterprise. Here is the press release and here is the study.

The bottom line is that they are both good. The organizations spoke with 138 executives and found that 56 percent will increase investments in SIP this year. Other findings: 74 percent see consolidation of telecom as a benefit of SIP, 58 percent will deploy SIP services to more locations and 60 percent report savings of 10 percent or more. Other findings: 64 percent of respondents are not using SIP now, 45 percent are concerned about the reliability of SIP trunking and 27 percent have issues/questions about SIP trunking reliability.

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