Graham Francis : The SIP School
Graham Francis
| The SIP Blog is just that; with opinion and analysis on all things SIP in the world of VoIP

The Unique role of the Service Provider with a SmartHome

  As last week's blog described, a SmartHome is a complicated place today.  A service provider could tie all of these different...

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The SmartHome, The Service Provider, and Connectivity

The SmartHome market is important for consumers for many reasons - energy savings, additional security and improved quality of life to name...

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Part 3 of Pros and Cons of Hosted vs. CPE Phone Systems

In part 2 of this series I discussed price. Now let’s wrap up this series and talk about Unified Communications, features and...

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How to Prepare for The Future of Work

The future of work continues to change and the predictions of mass joblessness as a result of AI and robotic automation have...

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Pros and Cons of Hosted vs. On Premise Phone Systems (Part 2)

In Part 1 we discussed some of the considerations that would affect a cloud vs on-premise solution. Now I’d like to start...

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Pros and Cons of Hosted vs. On Premise Phone Systems

Purchasing communications infrastructure equipment for your business, whether it’s data routers, SBCs or phone communication systems is difficult.  There are many vendor...

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Making Sense of Blockchain and Nothing Can Be Hidden in it?

The Bitfury Group and First Block Capital, on January 11, 2018, announced they had invested in Emercoin and would support the ground-breaking...

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The SIP School's new SIP Training site - goes Live!

June 4, 2009

At last I can get back to the blog. 

We've spent the last month or so working really hard on getting The SIP School's web site redesigned and out there.  Thanks to Jquery and Themeroller it's out there quicker than first anticipated and we all love it.  We'd also like your comments on the site @

Ok then, it's the top site for SIP training and certification and it looks like this...

We've got the best SIP training available that's interactive and engaging for the student along with the SSCA™ certification program backed by Panasonic, Mitel, Ingate and more... 

Other site features include...

  • Free Selling SIP module

  • Free SIP and Unified Communications module
  • Free Lan/Wan - DHCP module
  • Wiki and Directory where companies can post their product details for FREE!
  • Discussion groups
  • Video library of SIP releated clips from Youtube
  • Twitter updates via @MrSIP

So, even if you don't need our training we'd really appretiate it if you could take a minute to visit the site and let us know what you think.


Mitel 'endorse' The SIP School

March 24, 2009

Here's one were really proud of ....

Mitel 'endorse' The SIP School™

Birmingham, West Midlands, Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Birmingham based reseller; Vocale has gained another major endorsement for its SIP training and certification service and this time it's from Mitel Ltd.  Anshu Prasad from the Mitel 'SIP center of excellence' in Kanata, Canada says "Further to the successful introduction of The SIP School 'Mitel Style' and SSCA™ certification program into the Mitel Networks education curriculum, the Mitel 'SIP Center of Excellence' is pleased to announce that it fully supports and endorses The SIP School and the SSCA™ as its program of choice for SIP training and certification for its own technical staff, channel partners and clients."


SIP and Skype, the Wedding's on!

March 24, 2009

Well, what an interesting turn of events.  Skype has announced Skype for SIP (click here to join the beta)... What can it do for you?  Ok, I 'lifted' this from the Skype site, but it lays it out neatly...

With Skype For SIP, your business can:

  • Receive and manage inbound calls from the 405 million Skype users worldwide on SIP-enabled PBX systems, connecting the company website to the PBX system using Skype click-to-call buttons

  • Place calls via Skype to landlines and mobile phones worldwide from any connected SIP-enabled PBX, saving your business money with Skype's low rates

  • Purchase Skype online numbers to receive calls to the corporate PBX from landlines or mobile phones

  • Manage Skype calls using your existing hardware and system applications such as call routing, conferencing, phone menus, voicemail and call recording and logging - no additional downloads or training are required

Tom Keating wrote about a solution that allows outbound calls to the Skype community here, and this can be built on to make outgoing calls if PBX / Phone manufacturers can build the logic into their own products (more on this later as I'm going to try something out in the lab 1st - maybe with a Mitel PBX and the 3CX software based PBX)..

Now, a couple of things...

Firstly, this service will only support G.729 to start with?  Why not G.711 at least? and what about HD Audio?

Understanding SIP at UC Expo 09

March 13, 2009

An interesting day at the Unified Communications Expo in London, Olympia on 12th March (I kept away from day 1 on the 11th).  I spent most of it wandering around looking at other seminars and also talking to people about SIP ~ especially if they have any training requirements for their technical staff and what I found was that overall, people are still confused about SIP and even unsure if it's something they need training on at all..!  This confuses me as a lot of products on display rely on SIP and please don't tell me that everything works ok yet!  Or maybe it does as long as customers stay 'locked-in' to one supplier that has only tested SIP on their own kit and not looking to honor the principles of SIP by opening up networks and solutions so that the customer has more choice...  If this is so, they may as well carry on using their own proprietary protocols. But SIP is not going away, it IS being built into all PBX's and IP Phones and when you add SIP Trunking into the equation - it's a protocol that has got to be understood properly.

Anyway, our Seminar (in the VoIP business theatre sponsored by Siemens) on 'Understanding SIP' seemed to go down well to a packed house.  The main points I tried to get across in the seminar were:

1.       SIP is an evolving protocol so make sure suppliers can support what they sell.

SIP and Skype, will it ever be a happy union?

February 19, 2009

So in one corner we have Skype, use it for free to call anyone in the world as long as they also have Skype.  A great product, great features and it just works!  In the other corner we have SIP.  SIP is pretty much taking over the world of 'business telecoms' with most manufacturers' kit being supplied with a SIP stack inside.  Along with hundreds of providers of SIP trunking services SIP is really starting to make way headway though there is a lot of room left for growth.  I'm expecting 2009 to be a big year for SIP trunking as people look for ways to save money.

Now as Skype uses a 'version' of Jabber for its protocol there obviously exists these 'two worlds' of VoIP and it's an ideal (or dream, if you like) that they both play nice with each other.  This means that there are plenty of people and companies out there trying to work out how to do this.  On the mobile side of things, check out Fring which allows you to use one device to manage SIP, MSN and Skype accounts as well as a few more.  Not quite 'integration' but nice anyway.  Also, Asterisk are looking for Beta testers to help in the development of their 'Asterisk to Skype' product - click here to apply.  And you really do have to check out Opensky from the people at Gizmo5.  We'll be testing this soon and will report back on our findings but it looks pretty simple and with full details posted to get you started it could be a winner and the simplest way (at the moment) to dial a Skype device using a SIP account.

More for you.... NCH software has a great product that allow companies to make Skype to SIP and SIP to Skype calls easily and why not check out the SIPtoSIS gateway product at SipToSis

So it seems like there are a lot of products becoming available which will hopefully pave the way for PBX manufacturers to build this kind of gateway functionality into their systems - It would be interesting to see if any are brave enough (apart from Digium/Asterisk) to do this.

And don't forget to check out Tom Keatings blog entry regarding a SIP/Skype phone on the way later this year, click here for the entry.   Oh, how nice it would be to have a simple contacts list that when hitting a name to call, the phone can happily switch between stacks and get on with it, possible choosing the best / cheapest option as well if the contact has both a SIP and Skype account.

So will SIP and Skype ever be a happy union?  Maybe, maybe not - but it shouldn't stop them from at least being good neighbors.

Why pay to Advertise?

February 12, 2009

A recent post by Dan York on his excellent 'Disruptive Telephony' blog site informs people about a new SIP application directory service from the folks at Free World dialup called SIPtoSIP.   When I checked it out it's clear that your must register and pay before you get the option to place your ad... oh dear!

Why would you do that? especially when the SIP Wiki that is run by The SIP School is absolutely free and can hold any kind of advertising media that you want - Text, Photos, Video, Widgets etc. etc.

So don't pay to display your SIP applications and services, get onto the 'Interactive Directory' at the Wiki...

Hope to see you there soon

Come and see us at Olympia

January 29, 2009

Panasonic choose The SIP School

January 27, 2009

Hi there, thought I'd post our latest Press release on the blog as we are obviously pleased to gain approval from a company the size of Panasonic.

Birmingham, West Midlands, UK, 27 January, 2009

Birmingham based reseller; Vocale Ltd is gaining momentum as the provider of the global standard in SIP Training and certification on receiving the official stamp of approval from Panasonic Europe.  Panasonic's Manager at the European Technical Support Centre - Paul Gorrigan says "I can fully endorse 'The SIP School' and the SSCA™ certification program as a means of filling the skills gap created in our sales channel due to the introduction of our next generation products".


Graham Francis, Managing director at Vocale Ltd said: "We're delighted to receive this endorsement from Panasonic.

SIP, Wifi and the iPod Touch - Testing Testing!

January 8, 2009

Ok, so we've made our decision to go with the HTC Touch HD phones for the company - right decision for us at the moment.  It still frustrates us that the iPhone couldn't deliver as we've been setting up some tests for running VoIP / SIP clients over Wifi using the iPod Touch.

Like everyone (I think) we are wow'ed by the iPod Touch interface, touch sensitive screen, usability yada yada and really wanted to see if we can get Voice to work on it.  So, we have the software, the hardware (earphones with a build in microphone) and the time, so over the next few days we'll put these products to the test and report back with our findings.

If you want to check them out yourself, click on these links...

iPod touch - Truphone - Fring - Headset+Mic

HTC beats the iPhone (for us anyway)

December 12, 2008

So after weeks of working out what's the best upgade for the mobile phones at
Vocale the winner is the HTC Touch HD with the Apple iPhone losing out.

This was a really frustrating exercise as we wanted so much for the iPhone to work for us but features that we needed were just not available or simply did not work the way we wanted them to, such as:

  • Inability to tether to a laptop to be used as a 3G modem.. Yes we've seen numerous posts and arguements about making this work but no, we're not going to Jailbreak anything.
  • Poor support for 3rd party applications where if you are running a SIP client and switch to an onboard Apple app, the client is shut off - How can people call?  Ok, we could use Jajah but that's not the point of SIP to SIP communications.
We even toyed with the idea of using the iTouch and it's Wifi feature to run a SIP client but Wifi just isn't everywhere yet.

Ok, I'm a little dissapointed in not having the iPhone with access to it's 'ginormous' App Store but the Windows Mobile 6.1 system just hits all the right buttons for us with the ability to set up a SIP client connection built in... and we'll even get a radio!

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