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Four Tips For Successfully Implementing SIP

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With enterprises continuing to experience a variety of benefits through the use of Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone systems, a growing number of organizations are turning to the technology to realize competitive advantages. However, many businesses don't understand the underlying processes that govern VoIP systems, leading to an improper deployment and an unsuccessful experience.

VoIP solutions use session initiation protocol (SIP) to turn phone conversations into transferable data and send it over an IP network instead of traditional telephone lines. When used properly, SIP can be a reliable way to dramatically cut costs, gain flexibility and use existing resources more efficiently. In order to avoid common pitfalls when implementing a VoIP and SIP system, consider the following four issues:

Native SIP

SIP is an open standard protocol that enables VoIP, and the way in which network connections are maintained can affect the quality of the calls. Some carriers don't utilize a network designed to deliver SIP from end-to-end, but instead patch multiple networks together. Older, non-native solutions employ TDM-based networks that are connected with more modern equipment. This results in quality impairment, jitter and even dropped calls. The most reliable method is to work with a service provider that utilizes a native network that was made to carry SIP because it was designed specifically for IP traffic.

Capacity

Luckily for businesses working with constrained IT budgets, SIP solutions allow bandwidth to be purchased in smaller increments than fixed ISDN through the use of Current Call Paths. SIP trunking solutions make it possible to allow call paths to be shared across all enterprise office sites, eliminating waste and cost. However, enterprises don't always think about the bandwidth they'll need for such a solution, causing problems.

While many businesses are excited about the idea of utilizing their Internet connections to make and receive phone calls, some don't consider the increased bandwidth that will be required to keep an IP phone system running smoothly. Enterprises interested in deploying VoIP need to carefully consider their bandwidth needs by evaluating and accounting for all of their current network traffic that currently travels over the MPLS or WAN network and then adding the additional strain of voice data to that total.

There are some things to consider when deploying a VoIP phone system with SIP.

Enhanced Features

One of the most important parts of implementing any type of business communication plan is to understand what the solution is going to be used for. With an Internet-based service like VoIP and SIP, business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans have to be part of the conversation. Voice services utilizing SIP are more flexible and customizable than most enterprise phone systems, so make sure the features included in an enterprise plan cover BCDR. Features to consider include:

  • Built-in redundancy
  • Call path sharing
  • Phone number coverage
  • Unified Communications applications

Alert Stakeholders

A major mistake many organizations make when first deploying a new system is that they forget to alert their end users to the change. It's critical that businesses tell employees what to expect from the new system, so they will be briefed on how the service works and the procedures for making calls before everything goes live. Distributing a list of the benefits of VoIP can help to make the transition easier and increase effectiveness of the new system.