SIP, otherwise known as Session Initiated Protocol has widely been used in verbal and written context with business telecommunications lingo. While this technology has been raved about and highly documented throughout the past recent years in tech blogs and websites, it can be somewhat difficult to understand exactly what SIP is and how it is used if you are somewhat new to telecommunication terminology. If you aren't a CTO or CIO but run a business with high levels of voice and data traffic, this should help better explain the technology for you.
SIP runs over an IP (Internet Protocol) network. A network running the Internet Protocol previously allowed for data transfer between satellite office locations via private lines, for hosting websites, or hosting other data servers. Over the past decade however, new technologies and the explosion of VoIP (just think Vonage and Comcast phone) have given an IP network far greater importance and precedence over business communications.
SIP allows for simple daily business functions as simple as phone calls (inbound/outbound) utilizing VoIP technology but can be more diverse in the business environment. A daily function in the enterprise or business may be more complex functions such as conference calls that additionally may require multimedia (live stream video, live document presentations, etc.) as well.
Other functions and features made available through SIP can include push to talk or chat which has gained much momentum on the web in the e-commerce world. In today's economic environment, this can easily equate into an ROI scenario due to the need to more quickly and easily allow the customer to make purchase decisions online, many times from mobile devices. The same ROI scenario can go with the web conferencing abilities made available through this technology.
As consumers and B2B clients become more tech savvy, businesses hungry for revenues are turning to SIP to help bridge gaps between marketing mediums and the closing sales process. It is through the convergence of multiple communications that this process can be streamlined and collaborated on.
While the above examples can be shown as uses for this technology there are many more applications that can and are being implemented in converged business telecommunications. Some of these include caller ID, IM (Instant Messaging), e-mail, and other web and voice based communications.
It is important to know that the QoS is not controlled by SIP in any way. The bandwidth and network configurations over that bandwidth as well as the carriers providing the bandwidths are just as important to the successful implementation of SIP in business communications. Other important aspects can be local hardware configurations and current in-use phone systems.
It is because of the many possibilities associated with a business embarking on purchasing an SIP solution that the use of a telecommunications broker or consultant is vital for successful deployment. Additionally, a broker or consultant can better suit your business with the proper solution or technology within your telecom budget.
This can be extremely important as some businesses are better suited for a smaller business VoIP or T-1 voice solution. A good broker will not oversell you and make sure one of the other solutions wouldn't better suit you first.