Is your current infrastructure suitable for implementing SIP?

Written by: Neil Hutchinson | Business Development Director | Everything Voice Ltd

0330 055 3570 | twitter: @everythingvoice

In our most recent update ‘SIP vs ISDN’, we offered a range of facts and information to allow you to assess whether SIP or ISDN offers your business the best solution for communicating effectively. As many other businesses have in the last 12 months, you may have concluded that the transition to SIP is going to be an inevitable step for your business in the months and years to come.

In this week’s post, we would like to help you establish whether you are in a position to successfully implement SIP, and offer some advice on what aspects of your existing infrastructure need to be considered to make this possible.

Recently, the number of installed SIP trunks reached 2 million (seeing a growth of almost 250,000 in the 2nd half of 2015) – which is now drawing level with the total number of ISDN channels installed. This combined with BT’s plans to mothball ISDN in less than 10 years from now, means the future of SIP is no longer in question, and confirms the incumbent technology, ISDN – will soon be gone.

With this in mind – evaluating your current infrastructure and establishing what or if any work needs to be done to facilitate the transition to SIP are essential goals for any business currently still transmitting calls through ISDN.

So – is your infrastructure ready?

As the person responsible for technology in your business, there are steps you need to take to address some or all of the new demands SIP will inevitably introduce. We have highlighted below the four key factors you need to consider in the early stages, when looking at how and what is needed to make the transition to SIP:

1. The right Internet connectivity is key.

Imagine the scenario that you’ve talked to an eager salesman and have been told that implementing SIP is going to save you a huge amount of money. This can’t however be made a reality at any cost. If the cheapest type of connectivity is proposed to you, you will struggle to meet the standards of quality and reliability that you need. The truth is that having the right Internet connectivity has to be top of the priority list, although it is very possible that you already have this in place.  Typically, broadband type services are cheaper – however are rarely suitable to support SIP and shouldn’t in fact be necessary, as there are so many better alternatives which come with Service Level Agreements; Resilience; and Guarantees as standard. If you get the right connectivity from the outset, you’re well on your way. See more on your options for connectivity here…

2. Firewall Capabilities.

Typically, your existing firewall will not be configured to allow either SIP telephony or SIP trunking without some configuration. Some of the common tasks include opening up ports which allows SIP traffic and SIP signalling to traverse freely, as well as disabling firewall features such as SIP ALG. A good knowledge of your firewall will often be required to ensure all of this happens and your SIP deployment is trouble free. Click here for more info on Firewall Security…

3. Capabilities of your existing PBX system.

Many older telephone systems do not support SIP trunking as standard, and so it could be worth considering whether it would be more cost effective to deploy SIP handsets and move to a more modern hosted solution. Alternatively, if you have had your existing telephone system for a long time and you are looking to keep it on-premise, upgrading to a VoIP solution would be a good option. Depending whether you are looking for a permanent solution on-site, or would prefer a more flexible system which offers set monthly payments – there is a solution out there that can be tailored to you.

4. Being secure.

A session border controller (SBC) is a device regularly deployed in SIP networks to exert control over the signalling and usually also the media streams involved in setting up, conducting, and tearing down telephone calls or other interactive media communications. It also irons out any anomalies between the SIP service provider and your own system to ensure smooth, high quality service. Every SIP service provider must use a Session Border Controller as part of delivering your SIP service – although it can sometimes be worth considering having one at your office end also, either as a Virtual Machine or Appliance.

SIP Trunking has been around long enough to have proven itself as a viable and much more sustainable and efficient technology than ISDN – providing the opportunity to reduce maintenance, equipment and costs, whilst increasing the flexibility and manageability of your communications.

That said, there are likely a number of options available to you to make this possible and the right installation partner cannot be underestimated in this process.

Click here to find out ‘If SIP can be implemented on your current infrastructure?

The Meaning of SIP

SIP: is a protocol which creates a session used to establish a conversation over a data network or internet connection, whether that be Voice or Video.

SIP Trunking: is primarily a method of connecting an on-premise telephone system (whether virtual or physical) to a SIP service provider for the purpose of making and receiving incoming calls via an Internet connection

SIP Telephony: generally refers to the deployment of “SIP Protocol enabled” telephone handsets which connect directly to a SIP service provider or Cloud telephone system provider rather than an on-premise one.

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