There’s little doubt that there are upheavals starting to take place in the call center marketplace, especially with regard to switches and other major call distribution hardware. It’s come time for the generation of switches obtained in the early 2000s to be laid to rest, as they are soon to be reaching their end of life. In many cases, they have already reached their vendors’ end of support.
On the one hand, this is a time of uncertainty, when enterprises are faced with chancy roadmaps for their products due to the ever-changing vendor landscape. Yet on the other, this is also a great opportunity for an organization to seize the opportunity to upgrade to platforms that have far better prospects in the long-term, and that have more open protocols.
And this move, of course, will be towards hardware that’s easier to install and maintain, and at the same time have advanced and extendable capabilities. More than likely, the move will be towards modern SIP platforms.
What’s a SIP?
SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is a standard protocol developed by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in order to initiate interactive user sessions. These are designed to include multimedia elements such as chat, voice, video, virtual reality, and gaming.
SIP is typically used within the context of SIP trunking, where VoIP is used to connect a PBX to the Internet. In this sense, a typical telephone trunk is replaced by the Internet, thereby allowing an enterprise to extend communications to mobile and static subscribers across the globe.
A major advantage of using the trunking — or combining abilities of SIP is its capacity to combine voice, video, and data in a single line. This obviates the need for different physical media for each different mode of communication. Overall, this reduces costs and enhances reliability for multimedia services.
What SIP Means For Your Call Center
The initial proliferation of SIP was driven by the way it drove down expenditures in network operations. It significantly reduced costs in toll calls, local usage charges, and long-distance calls as well. Well-planned networks also reduced the number of SIP trunks needed, further reducing costs. Businesses now are beginning to realize that there are benefits to be had above and beyond cost alone. These include workflow load balancing (for example, “follow the sun” flexible routing of call traffic). There’s also easy redundancy between call centers and the way that SIP enables the integration of corporate applications like voicemail and email.
Additionally, with the simple application of SIP and SIP switches, workers at a call center can:
- Browse the Web for solutions, both internal and external
- Make and receive local and long-distance calls
- Make and receive international calls
- Use any kind of IP phone or mobile handsets
- Use other Internet features, such as email
- Use SMS (texting) to mobile handsets
- Make emergency calls if needed (911)
What about the Next Generation?
Although technology does have a tendency to move fast, the early 2000s really weren’t that long ago. And when you consider it, that generation of the switch and call-directing equipment hasn’t lasted that long. However, the current generation — the SIP generation — would seem to be the final generation, at least until quantum computers come out. That won’t be for another … well, they’re being worked on now, but they won’t be integrated into this sort of equipment for another fifty years, at least.
So it’s a pretty safe bet that SIP equipment is future-proof, since its open-protocol. It will work the way you want it to, as opposed to forcing you to work the way it wants you to work.
Look at the following main advantages:
- SIP equipment integrates better with enterprise software applications.
- SIP equipment is more reliable and has better scalability.
- SIP equipment is a better bet all the way around.
What are you waiting for?
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