The Road to SIP

by Andrew Prokop | Arrow Systems Integration

Source: No Jitter

If you are a fan of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," you know that Aragorn was described by the words "Not all who wander are lost." Now, while that's perfectly fine for a ranger and the future king of Gondor, it's not fine for IT departments as they move their communications systems to SIP. To wander is to waste money, frustrate users, and perhaps lose a job or two. Instead, you want a plan, milestones to measure that plan, and acceptance criteria to ensure that you accomplished what you set out to do.

As a result of my many meetings with IT departments across the country, I've come up with a list of what I call "ask yourself" questions. These are questions that need to be asked and answered in order to determine what you are trying to accomplish and help uncover issues before they become problems.

What are you trying to do with SIP?

While this may sound like an obvious question, I am often surprised when the answer comes back as "I am not really sure." Despite SIP being around for nearly two decades, there are too many people who aren't quite sure what it can do. This is where I help by refining the question into a series of queries.

Are you looking to add SIP applications? Perhaps you are upgrading to a voice mail system that only supports a SIP interface. SIP could also be the interface to a new conferencing server, contact center platform, or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) unit. Most traditional TDM-connected applications have made the move to SIP, and older, line-side T1 interfaces are a thing of the past.

Are you interested in replacing your TDM trunks with SIP? This is the starting point for many SIP conversions. In addition to lower costs, enterprises are excited about the robustness that SIP brings to their communications platforms.

Do you want to replace digital, analog, H.323, or proprietary IP (e.g. Nortel's UNIStim) telephones with new SIP stations? Not only is there value in upgrading traditional desk telephones, SIP clients have found homes on Windows and Apple PCs, tablets, and mobile devices. Frankly, mobile device clients are often reason enough to go to SIP.


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