Businesses traditionally exchanged information electronically in two ways: exchanging data by using a communications network or talking on a phone. The architectures for data and voice systems were very different. Data used an approach that was store-and-forward. Voice systems provided communication that was two-way and in real time. However, the best of both worlds is now available thanks to the Internet emerging as a communications infrastructure. In fact, the Internet lays the foundation for multimedia, data and voice communications to be more powerfully integrated using infrastructures that are common.
What is SIP?
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It is becoming an increasingly popular way to use an infrastructure on the Internet to completely achieve communications that are integrated. The flexibility of SIP makes it perfect to use with presence and instant messaging, VoIP and video. There are major possibilities for a SIP account to be integrated into a business. The effective and reliable communication between people is critical to the way that business is conducted in today’s world.
What are the advantages of a SIP Account?
1. SIP is completely future proof: This basically means that your original investment is protected by downloadable software that can be used to add new capabilities and services to your system as they become available. For example, systems that are SIP-based inherently offer presence; this enables the system to know where you are at that moment and if you are available. Communications are rerouted to the proper devices and locations based on changes made to your schedule.
2. Burstable: SIP trunks enable the amount of voice channels that you use to be completely flexible and to increase based on your demand.
3. Cloud Redundancy: The addition of SIP trunking to the VoIP system that you already have in place allows the various advantages of a hosted solution to be applied to on-premise PBX that has more features. This includes cell phone redirect, cloud routing of calls and backup auto-attendant.
4. Local Presence Anywhere: Because SIP is a service that is not located geographically, it enables a business to have an office location that can appear as many different locations while still appearing to be local.
Backup Trunking: If a business is not prepared to begin using a complete SIP trunking solution, there are still many advantages to using SIP as a backup. With the trunking that is already installed, using SIP as a backup can do the following:
- There is an auto-attendant in the cloud: If there happens to be a trunking, Internet or a full system outage, there is nothing to be concerned about. When people call into your system, they will be presented with a menu that is cloud-based. This menu will have the same options that your PBX has. The calls would then be routed directly to cell phones of your choosing. You can set this routing up on the fly or in advance.
- Adds bursting capacity: The IP PBX that you are equipped with is capable of using SIP trunks if your supply of traditional trunks happens to run out.
- It provides your business with another layer of redundancy for your communication.
The Future of SIP
You will eventually be able to create your own individual profiles that you can use to tell communication networks about your various preferences. These will include where and how you can be reached, when and by whom. For example, when a person dials your number, the call will be routed to you no matter where you are, on whatever device you have with you for communication (tablet, PC, PDA, cell phone or even a device that you can wear). Also, based on the information in your personal profile, using location-based services while you are traveling can give you many options. You can order a specific newspaper from your hotel, alert your local office when you arrive in town and make reservations for dinner. All of these preferences can be selected at any time.