7 things you need to know about SIP
What is a SIP solution and why should your organisation consider moving from your legacy business voice system?
If you want to save money, adopt a hassle-free business voice setup and enjoy features you never thought a telephony system could deliver, you need to take a closer look at session initiation protocol, or SIP. Although it’s been around for a number of years, SIP adoption is currently taking off and will become the dominant form of voice communication. According to an IHS survey, 62 per cent of respondents expect to be using SIP by the end of 2017.
You probably have quite a few questions about SIP, and the team at Telarus has answers. Today, we’re going to look at seven common queries about this up-and-coming technology.
So, what exactly is SIP?
We’ll give you the technical answer first. SIP is a method of telephony that operates through a network connection instead of over phone lines. A key advantage of SIP is that it merges voice and data communication into the same digital line.
That’s what happens behind the scenes. On the surface, SIP is a business voice technology that offers greater flexibility, great call quality and the ability to adopt a unified communications strategy without breaking the budget.
Check out this video for more information about the benefits of SIP.
Why is this telephony option different from others?
There are two main competitors to SIP for voice and data: the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and integrated services digital network (ISDN).
The PSTN is quite simple: it allows for voice calls, using one phone number and one call at a time. To enable a higher call volume, organisations need to add extra lines – often at a significant cost.
ISDN is a better option for offices that field high call volumes, as it is not limited to just one line. There are two types of ISDN connections: ISDN2e carries two lines per connection, while ISDN30 features eight to 30 lines. The main drawback to ISDN is that businesses must install a system that meets call volume at peak times. And, while it is possible to expand ISDN capabilities, doing so typically comes with a hefty price tag.
What really separates SIP from PSTN and ISDN is that a line isn’t tied to a specific geographic location. This means calls into an organisation can be redirected to other locations at peak times or when a branch is closed, leading to vast improvements in customer service capabilities. For example, a customer in Sydney calling up after business hours can be easily redirected to a branch in Perth – ensuring their issue is resolved in a more timely manner.
How does SIP work?
Let’s dive into this by looking at a typical SIP deployment in an organisation that maintains a head office and two branches. This organisation has a private MPLS network that connects the three sites. Using a SIP voice solution, calls from one site to another travel from the caller’s handset, through the branch’s router, over the company’s private network to the other branch’s router and to the receiver’s handset.
What will this do to my budget?
You can save anywhere from 35 to 50 per cent on business voice costs.
Cost savings are where SIP really shines, especially when compared to a PSTN system. In fact, switching from PSTN to a SIP solution can save you between 35 and 50 per cent on business communication costs.
This is particularly true for organisations that operate multiple sites. A call from one office to another using an ISDN solution will have to travel over the PSTN, incurring call rates in the process. An internal call on a SIP system, however, travels over an organisation’s MPLS network, completely avoiding the public phone lines and associated charges.
What level of quality will I receive?
SIP can be deployed using high-bandwidth connections like fibre, so organisations will see stronger levels of call quality than over ISDN and PSTN systems. Depending on your company’s network and hardware, you can even make HD-quality calls.
SIP can also be used as part of a failover system, ensuring that communication is still possible when the primary line isn’t working.
Is adding new lines a major headache?
Not at all! Because of the way SIP solutions operate, new lines (also referred to as “channels”) can be added in a matter of minutes. So long as there is enough bandwidth on your organisation’s network, you can add and remove SIP lines as necessary. This lets you ramp up call capabilities when demand calls for it and scale down after peak periods.
This is in stark contrast to PSTN and ISDN, which are much more limited in terms of scalability.
Can SIP be used for unified communications?
It absolutely can! Unified communications is a key goal for many organisations looking for greater flexibility, lower costs and improved productivity. SIP enables unified communications by combining voice, messaging, video conferencing and other channels of contact into one system.
If you’d like to learn more about SIP and how it can benefit your organisation, reach out to Telarus today.