Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is among the latest contact center technology innovations that carry the promise of delivering unique capabilities to benefit your company and your customers. But is it for real?
Here are a few of the opportunities we’ve identified for SIP in contact centers…
Platforms built on SIP support routing of all media types (voice, video, email, chat, IM, faxes, SMS, or workflow object) using a common signaling protocol and administrative tool. They break the media silos that impact routing, reporting, and administration across contact types, and enable the move from a “call center” to a “contact center.”
SIP phones are available from a variety of third party vendors, introducing more competition and lower cost alternatives. Typically, the vendors enable soft phone and/or hard phone options based on this standard.
SIP standards and APIs support interconnectivity among contact center applications (e.g., IVR, ACD, and CTI). They alleviate the complexity of moving data about customers and contacts between applications, and connecting contacts to endpoints. Leveraging SIP interconnectivity between disparate enterprise and contact center equipment vendors enables you to use a common routing and reporting engine, as well as IVR, CTI, QM, and other applications.
Perhaps the “big daddy” of SIP buzz is SIP trunking to add agility and lower costs for the trunking into the center (e.g., toll free) and/or the connectivity between locations. Converting from digital T1s to SIP trunking using voice compression allows for up to eight times the number of conversations on the same size circuit. And unlike T1s, SIP capacity can be bought at any increment (not just 24 or 23 additional voice paths). Some studies show a 30-50% reduction in overall transport costs.
If these opportunities sound interesting, then SIP technology may make sense for your center. However, you need to understand the tradeoffs and risks as well as the implications for hardware configurations, capacity, voice quality, availability, security, network features, disaster recovery, and redundancy.