Not all SIP Providers are Created Equal
I’ve most recently engaged with a client related to SIP when their ‘inexpensive’ provider has proved to not only know very little about how to install the service but also how to troubleshoot, maintain and support a client when issues arise. SIP is not as simple as some would have you believe but with the right provider it can let your company applications soar over an Internet connection. As always we’ll take a few lines to details what SIP is and how it is used. Defined regularly by online or published resources the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an IETF-defined signaling protocol, widely used for controlling multimedia communication sessions such as voice and video calls over Internet Protocol (IP). The protocol can be used for creating, modifying and terminating two-party (unicast) or multiparty (multicast) sessions consisting of one or several media streams. Application examples include video conferencing, streaming multimedia distribution, instant messaging, presence information, file transfer and online games.
The reason most companies choose to utilize SIP is for its technical and cost benefits related to their migration to a VoIP phone system. For those companies SIP can provide a signaling and call setup supporting the call processing functions and features that we’re present in their PSTN system. These are features that permit familiar features such as dialing a number, a phone ringing, ringback tones or a busy signal. Implementation and terminology are different in the SIP world but to the end-user, the behavior is the same.
And there is lies most of the trouble … most traditional or even VoIP network providers believe that the same rules and procedures apply to SIP when it actuality it needs some special care and feeding. As with all things related to technology and especially mission critical applications such as your telephone system Not All Providers are Created Equal. DO YOUR HOMEWORK and let someone like PEI who has installed hundreds of VoIP systems including SIP advise you on regional or national providers you can trust.
As for our client, that ‘cheap’ SIP provider has not only cost them in lost productivity and critical business hours but they’ve spent twice as much in additional engineering fees as they ‘saved’ going with a less expensive solution. Although PEI is glad to be of service to this client the old adage applies here unfortunately ‘you get what you pay for’.
-Jennifer Smith, Account Manager, PEI