What is SIP?
Session Initiation Protocol (“SIP”) is a communication protocol used to initiate, modify and terminate interactive user sessions. It supports multimedia communications, including voice, video, and messaging. It is widely used in VoIP implementations. It is not necessary for all VoIP implementations but is required to support some advanced features such as device mobility.
To be a little technical, SIP is an application-layer protocol that defines how the devices involved in a conversation exchange information with each other to set up and control a session.
Overall, SIP is a powerful and flexible protocol that enables a wide range of communication services and applications, including voice and video conferencing, instant messaging, and multimedia collaboration tools.Continue reading
Back in the day, most businesses had an in-house PBX system connected to the public switched telephone network (“PSTN”), operated by a manual or automatic switching system. Then came the Internet and digital communications. The in-house PBX was connected to the PSTN and the Internet using a SIP Trunk.
Strictly speaking, SIP Trunks were not necessary since a PBX could connect using standard landlines. However, a SIP Trunk could provide additional functionality such as call forwarding. Then came VoIP, connecting a digital phone system running on an internal corporate network to the Internet, again often over a SIP Trunk.
Over the last few years, businesses have been steadily embracing remote access to their systems, either supporting working from home or remote access to eCommerce systems. This is often in addition to implementing VoIP systems to accrue their costs and operational benefits.
Other remote access systems used increasingly over the last few years have been collaborative communications systems, both free-standing and supporting integrated voice and videoconferencing, like Messenger, Zoom, and NetMeeting.
VoIP is the go-to application for businesses looking at reducing communications costs and improving customer service. Because many businesses are improving their general network security, VoIP Systems are increasingly being seen as an easier target and an easier inroad to the theft of data and disruption of business processes.
To be sure, VoIP Security is still an evolving area, but there are steps that will mitigate the threats to a business. Here are five top VoIP Security vulnerabilities and how to prepare defences against them.Continue reading
Many organisations have implemented VoIP Solutions as part of their move to an Integrated Communications Strategy. Usually, the rationale includes the financial benefits of toll-free long-distance and International calling, improved customer relations, and better performance and productivity in the workplace.
However, if the VoIP Solution is not properly implemented and managed, problems can arise over time. Without becoming too technical, here are some of the more common
Many businesses have recognised the need for improved customer relations recently. Many customers have moved to an online basis, often as e-commerce rather than a physical business. As a result, their customer management arrangements (“CRM”) need to be upgraded.
Often CRM is a part of a wider unified communications system, where all internal and external communications, voice, video and data are linked on a common set of standards, platforms, and information sources. A VoIP implementation is a key part of that.
Simply put, a contact centre is a portmanteau term for a central point from which all customer interactions are managed. It is usually a combination of call centres, offline support centres, and other channels of customer interaction. They may operate using a common Customer Response Management system (“CRM”).Continue reading
Digital Convergence, and the creation of a Unified Communications (“UC”) platform have been embraced by many organisations. A UC is the movement of all digital communications traffic, data, VoIP for business and video, over a single physical network through a variety of software platforms.
Obviously, maintaining optimum response times for all classes of traffic is necessary, especially for VoIP for business and video. It is a vital balancing act that IT performs, usually through the creation and management of Quality of Service protocols.
Moving to the cloud has become an attractive option for many businesses, either as an internal private cloud or more often to an external hybrid cloud operated by a Cloud Provider. As with the selection of any other external services supplier, selecting the Cloud Provider that best meets your business needs is not a trivial task. Selecting the wrong Cloud Provider could be harmful to the business.
It must be clearly understood that you are choosing a business partner with whom you will have a long-term business relationship. The selection process is therefore not just assessing technical competence and capability but looking at the cultural fit between your two organisations. Continue reading
The last two years have seen a major shift in IT towards Working from Home and remote access to systems. Because of lockdowns, and the closure of physical outlets, the pandemic has closed some businesses and forced others to move to e-commerce.
Two major disadvantages of Working from Home include the increased communications costs with the staff member, and a feeling of remoteness and isolation when they don’t interact with team members and other members of staff regularly in person.
Many businesses have already installed VoIP to take advantage of the cost and operational benefits of a Unified Communications platform. If the company has a high-speed and stable Internet connection, and most with e-commerce will, it is easy to use the corporate VoIP system to extend communications to staff Working from Home to overcome these problems.Continue reading
As a consequence of the pandemic, many businesses have moved to a Work from Home and remote access basis. The way they do business, the way they interact with customers and customers interact with them has radically changed.
This has meant a sea-change in internal corporate structures. New Internal and external corporate communications have placed intense pressure on IT as they implement VoIP or Cloud Phone systems on a restricted budget.
Companies that have implemented VoIP Phone Systems have seen the financial and operational benefits of VoIP Phones, but have also seen the downside reducing the cost savings. High maintenance costs, unstable internet connections, and poor quality connections are common issues.
Cloud Computing has rapidly moved to the forefront of IT Developments over the last few years. The trend has accelerated with the seismic changes in business strategies following the pandemic and the move to home and remote working.
Many organisations, faced with the need to move to an e-commerce platform, have chosen to implement it on a Cloud Computing platform, usually supplied and managed by a Managed Service Provider (“MSP”). The rationale is that they can continue with business as usual as normal while implementing the new e-commerce platform quickly during the migration to the Cloud.