SIP and VoIP

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

SIP and VoIP

The SIP School recently released their SIP Survey 2012 which summarizes the opinions and experiences of more than 400 industry professionals. It is an excellent update on the growth and importance of SIP Trunks to service providers as a revenue source and to businesses as a better way to communicate. However, I was discussing the survey with another industry professional and his comments were only on the problems identified in the survey and not on the value add of SIP. And that misses the point of the SIP School and the reason businesses are migrating to SIP.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is less than SIP but brings some important basics to the table. With VoIP a business can begin to experience convergence or the sharing of bandwidth between voice and data. Additionally, the capability to have multiple voice channels on the same broadband access allows for improved utilization of that broadband. Of course, there are configuration concerns, data versus voice prioritization, bandwidth requirements, etc. The need to analyze and properly configure the broadband cannot be over stated. Moreover, analyzing the broadband usage must be done periodically as user behavior changes over time. Adding employees increases both the utilization of both voice and data. Expanding a call center can dramatically increase voice requirements. Furthermore, the business demand to support data activity connecting backend systems and various applications gives only a partial view of the data requirements. One must also consider the video streaming from archived webinars or YouTube and quite frankly any and all streaming services; audio or video. Yet none of this has to do with SIP.

The fact that a call using Internet protocol experiences noise, jitter, latency or any number of other problems has nothing to do with SIP. In fact, SIP or Session Initiation Protocol can be used to identify and work around some of the problems innate to VoIP. SIP is real time session management and with this comes the ability to allow applications to perform various actions or task during a call that may be unique to the caller, recipient, location or other condition or parameter. Consequently, the addition of SIP strengthens applications such as Unified Communications, Video Conferencing, softphones, real time delivery of information during a call such as GPS tracking, presence updates, etc.

Yes, implementing SIP can require the expertise of an IT professional, telecom provider and IP PBX equipment installer. But with proper interoperability testing (IOT) and certification many of the installation/turn up issues can be avoided. Broadvox has dedicated personnel to perform IOT and with each successfully completed test, a document is produced that includes all of the configuration settings to set up a clear voice call for the now certified IP PBX or IAD (Internet Access Device). SIP is a very simple protocol and requires a minimal investment of time to understand the protocol, the equipment and the service provider.

Broadvox supports the effort of the SIP School to train and educate a growing community of users about SIP.  Most of our SIP engineers, channel managers and sales personnel have taken the SIP School training programs. As more members of the IP ecosystem are exposed to SIP and understand its value juxtaposed to VoIP, fewer issues will be experienced during the implementation of a SIP Trunk. And that is the true future for SIP.

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