Why businesses are turning to SIP for success

Posted on January 14, 2016

The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is technology that facilitates calls through data networks rather than the public switched telephone network (PSTN). It also enables Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), making video conferencing much easier and more reliable.

Should your business be using SIP? In order to determine whether SIP is right for your company, here are the benefits of this platform and the considerations when implementing one.

What is the Session Initiation Protocol?

SIP allows employees to make and receive IP telephony calls, from any location and users are able to easily identify who they are to clients and colleagues. Users can also make calls to the public telephony network, more commonly known as landline or mobile, which many traditional Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN) do not offer.

SIP trunks are a simple way to merge video and data calls into a single system. According to an analysis undertaken by Gartner, SIP trunking services can cut traditional telecom expenses in half for companies. This was reflected in a recent survey by a Gartner subsidiary, Software Advice.

The 2015 report, Top Considerations for Selecting and Implementing a SIP Provider UserView, revealed that a majority (69 per cent) of firms have already adopted SIP trunking into their operations. Moreover, 73 per cent were either "very" or "extremely satisfied" with the level of quality of the calls made through these protocols.

So, what should firms consider when implementing SIP into their organisations? According to Software Advices's survey, the three following aspects were ranked higher than the rest:

1) Security concerns

As with any technology, security was the top issue with 23 per cent of respondents choosing a provider based upon the security they could offer. A white paper from IT consulting firm Unified IT Systems states there are ways to enable security when using SIP.

This includes encrypting data, maintaining a high standard of access control or monitoring and reviewing all calls made.

2) Level of support

The quality of support from providers came a close second, as 22 per cent of those surveyed ranked it as a motivating factor in implementing SIP trunking. This is unsurprising as reliable support can help a company come back from any unexpected events.

As such, a business needs to ensure their provider can commit to either email or phone support at any time, including maintenance services.

3) Cost

Despite these technologies reducing the reliance on PSTNs, many companies are still concerned about pricing. Software Advice's survey indicates businesses are opting for pay-per-use models that SIP more easily supports in order to ensure lower charges than traditional IDSN services.

Utilising pricing models that only charge what a company uses helps create a cost-effective solution that doesn't compromise on sound quality.

Taking these aspects in consideration can ensure a business reaps the benefits of implementing SIP into its operations. Furthermore, using a reliable provider can make the process much easier and alleviate these and other concerns.