Contact centers used to be places where sales and support folks went and used hardwired phones to talk to customers. Both of those elements have changed. The phones no longer have to be traditional landlines thanks to IP telephony and session initiation protocol (SIP). And VoIP frees employees and employers to place contact center workers nearly anywhere.
VoIP and SIP not only lower the cost of doing telephony, together they open up whole new ways of working. And contact centers, already highly demanding of telephony, benefit greatly.
You see, VoIP telephony is really a computer and networking service. In the old days, inflexible PBXs had to be physically upgraded to expand what they did and new features were pretty few and far between. VoIP lets you change features just by changing or manipulating software.
And because there are networking and computer hooks, integration with cool contact centers features such as IM, desktop sharing, and conferencing is a snap.
SIP makes a lot of this magic happen, and makes IP phones do things desktop phones can only dream of. It in short is a protocol that lets IP networks handle communications sessions that support multimedia, including video, voice and other items.
SIP trunking, meanwhile, is a service that exploits SIP to let telephony and service providers deliver richer offerings, including unified communications (UC). It also supports multicast functions, so you can work with multiple media streams. The solution replaces the traditional T-1 and other connections like ISDN that exist between service provider and the customer.
The SIP Fountain
SIP trunking hasn’t completely replaced more traditional trunking for voice services yet, but it is on the move. Infonetics (News - Alert) Research tracks this market and in 2011 saw the market grown nearly 130 percent. But that year, only a tenth of all voice trunks were SIP. Some traditional telcos want to keep it that way.
As SIP trunking is becoming more and more available, many telcos are discouraging customers from switching from traditional services such as T-1 and ISDN with a number of scare tactics.
One objection goes back to the early days of IP telephony when calls sounded like a 1960’s transistor radio. Telcos still argue that a real business needs real call quality, something SIP trunking can’t do, they claim. But today’s quality VoIP services traverse private networks carefully engineered for quality of service and high fidelity voice.
Because SIP is not 100 percent ubiquitous, some telcos claim SIP calls won’t be as reliable or may not reach some areas. What they don’t say is SIP is pretty pervasive and where it’s not, the call can simply be turned over to the PSTN network.
If all this piques your interest, you may be interested in our webinar “Top 10 Misconceptions About SIP in the Contact Center, What they Naysayers are Missing” sponsored by cloud communications company IntelePeer (News - Alert).
Here you’ll learn from three IntelePeer presenters, Gary Lejeune, senior director, Contact Center Sales, Michael Wistock, vice president, Sales Engineering, and Paul Lamarre, director, Enterprise Sales. The threesome will discuss how SIP trunking can add value as an alternative to the traditional system you may have in place.
The event takes place Wednesday, May 22, 2013 2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT. You can register here.
Edited by Jamie Epstein