VoIP has the potential to change the way you do business for good by providing you with an affordable, dynamic and reliable way of handling communication. That being said, VoIP implementation is something many companies don’t want to pay close attention to, thinking that it’s tedious and something that should be left to the company providing this service and the IT department. SIP, or session initiation protocol is an important facet of VoIP implementation that needs to be taken seriously if you want to avoid any challenges down the line. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most important factors to consider during SIP implementation.
Where Does VoIP End and SIP Begin?
To start with, one needs to know the relationship between VoIP and SIP. VoIP relies on SIP to turn voice into data packets that can then be sent to their destination by way of an internet connection. Think of the whole process as a relay race, and the two, athletes belonging to the same team. One hands over the baton to the other, and the athlete with the stick rushes to the finish line.
Don’t Scrimp on Your SIP Budget
Since SIP is an open standard protocol, it’s important to make sure that you use new and up-to-date native solutions which include the ability for your network to handle SIP data in a seamless manner. Patching different networks together for the purposes of SIP data transmission will only result in lag, dropped calls and poor voice quality. Since good communication infrastructure is at the heart of any good business operation, you should make sure to update your equipment, even if it means shelling out a pretty penny now. Doing so will save you communication headaches down the line, ensuring hassle-free and clear calls either way.
Take Advantage of Extra SIP Features
VoIP is adaptable and flexible technology; because of this, make sure that you take full advantage of additional SIP features to help you take your communication goals to a whole new level. For instance, ask if your provider can sign you up for E-911, an emergency services system which helps you locate employees in danger in record time. This type of service lets you alert the fire or emergency medical services in good time so people that need rescuing or medical attention get it in a timely manner.
In addition, ask if your SIP comes with built-in redundancy which enables you to bounce back by rerouting calls to other numbers should you suffer any unexpected natural disaster. Other enhanced features available with SIP that you should ask for include things like phone number coverage to let you choose a number which matches your geographical location for client familiarity, call path sharing which cuts down phone call bandwidth if you’re a large business with hundreds of active phones, unified communications options such as video collaboration and instant messaging.
Send the Word Out
In order to make sure that SIP implementation goes off without a hitch, you must inform all stakeholders of the impeding changes. This might mean training and regular emails which update your employees on what to expect going forward. For instance, let your workers know about the training they will have to go through as they shift from legacy and traditional telephony to VoIP, call in someone to demonstrate the use of headsets, the soft phones, desktop software and more. In addition, you should give your customers ample notice regarding these changes so they aren’t hit with an element of surprise. Remind everyone that these changes will positively impact communications, making it easier for them to reach the organization or increase their productivity, efficiency and overall bottom line.
SIP Implementation and Data Needs
SIP allows you to purchase bandwidth in incremental chunks. That being said, be sure to accurately estimate the amount of bandwidth you will need as a company. If you’re unsure, ask the implementers what the average data figures are before committing to your final figure. Another thing that sets SIP apart is its ability to trunk data, shaving down your bandwidth needs. This means that you can assign one trunk to data packets and another trunk to strictly voice packets. However, please take inventory of your current data needs and then factor this into your VoIP voice and data needs. If you want to be on the safe side, sign up for a much bigger bandwidth plan and then narrow it down to a good and affordable package once you get a realistic portrait of how much data you consume post-SIP implementation.
Security and SIP implementation go hand in hand due to the proliferation of DDoS attacks which can take out your entire communications infrastructure for days. Make sure that you have a security protocol that can be relied upon should your VoIP network be under attack. Look into data encryption options as well as having multiple firewalls and data backup systems that are not centralized. This way, you’ll be able to bounce back if hackers or rival businesses launch an attack on your systems when you least expect it.
Test Your Network Regularly
Regular network testing will keep your SIP and VoIP working in tandem, without the risk of a major breakdown. During the initial implementation phase, test every SIP trunk as you install it to make sure there are no kinks in the infrastructure. As you use the service, dedicate one day on a weekly basis to regular testing to make sure that everything works as it should.
Visionary Thinking Helps
SIP implementation should be done from a visionary standpoint. Problems will crop up, and a good team will let you know of potential SIP trunk problems you can expect and what you can do to protect yourself.
Your SIP implementers should take into account the need to scale up the whole network as you grow as a business, giving you a realistic picture of what you will need to buy, install and change in the future.
SIP implementation requires a hands-on way of thinking. By working with the right people and equipment, you’ll be able to get the best out of your VoIP services.