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January 09, 2008

Top Five Things to Consider When Selecting a SIP Server Solution

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Senior Editor

Choosing a SIP server solution can seem like a complicated task, but it is made easier by taking the time to list out the considerations you want to base your decision on. There are, of course, potentially many variables but it’s not that hard to boil them down to a shortlist.
To help with this process, TMCnet asked Barry Sher (News - Alert), Vice President of Business Development at IVR Technologies, to list the top five things to consider when selecting a SIP server solution. Sher’s shortlist is expanded upon below.
1. Applications
First and foremost, you should take a look at whether or not the vendor providing the SIP solution offers a suite of innovative and revenue-generating applications. What constitutes “revenue-generating” will, of course, be an objective definition based on your specific business needs. But if the vendor doesn’t offer the applications you need, move on.
Innovative apps are also a good sign; look for a vendor that goes above and beyond the usual by offering specialized or cutting-edge applications.
2. Billing and Media Integration
The question here is how tightly integrated the SIP server is from a billing and media perspective. Integration is important because one of the key advantages of SIP-based solution is its ability to unify rather than silo different applications and functionalities.
3. Scalability and Reliability
You should also take a good look at how easily the SIP server solution scales, and whether or not it can be easily architected for zero points of failure. Some solutions might seem perfect right now, but the truth is if your business is successful it will grow and the SIP server needs to be capable of growing as well. The ability to configure redundancy and zero points of failure is also vital, since downtime isn’t just a hassle but costs money.
4. Interoperability and Support
The SIP server solution you pick should be interoperable with products and services from other vendors. Interoperability is one of the hallmarks of SIP, so if the solution you’re considering seems skimpy in this regard, move on. You also want to look for excellent support from the vendor, since even the best solution can’t prevent all glitches (it’s just the nature of technology) and having help when you need it is worth a lot.
5. Cost-effectiveness, Budget and Network Needs
Finally, you should take a long look at whether the SIP server solution you’re considering fits your budget today, will be cost-effective for your business, and will continue serving your needs as you scale your network in the future. The apparent gap between budgetary constraints and future needs is one that can be bridged if you spend the time to find the right solution.
To learn more about SIP server solutions, please visit the SIP Server channel on, brought to you by IVR Technologies.

Mark your calendars! Internet Telephony (News - Alert) Conference & EXPO—the first major IP communications event of the year—is just days away. It’s not too late to register for the event, which takes place in Miami Beach, FL, January 23–25, 2008. The EXPO will feature three valuable days of exhibits, conferences and networking that you won’t want to miss. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

Mae Kowalke is an associate editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae’s articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.

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