Adoption of SIP in Contact Centers
In an enterprise, Contact Center is a functional unit from which all client requirements are managed and serviced. Customers can interact with customer care representatives through voice calls as well as using video, web chat, email, SMS and social media. In other words -customers can reach the contact center via multiple interaction channels i.e. either voice or multimedia.
In order to fulfill this requirement, there is a need of a common technology protocol for managing multiple interactions / sessions in a contact center.
Contact centers are increasingly adopting SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) for following reasons:
- SIP trunks are rapidly replacing legacy TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) trunks like T1 or E1 circuits.
- In the enterprise segment, SIP technology implementation is gaining momentum.
- Global service provider market is expected to grow substantially till 2016.
- By adopting SIP trunks, enterprise can increase flexibility and scalability.
- SIP trunks make telecommunication more resilient.
What is SIP ?
- Designed in 1996, SIP is an open standard protocol and has been standardized by IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in RFC 3261.
- Session Initiation Protocol (or SIP) is Voice over IP signaling protocol for enabling Voice and multimedia sessions such as voice, video calls over IP networks.
- SIP is used for integration of multiple devices both in - carrier and enterprise networks.
Why adopt SIP technology?
- Reliability: Since SIP connectivity links are terminated on Data Network devices, which have more Life Time compared to their TDM counterparts. Hence SIP technology is considered more reliable than TDM.
- Easy implementation: Less complexity in implementation and commissioning of SIP Devices and SIP enabled end- points.
- Simplified Hardware Requirement: SIP technology implementation requires less hardware as compared to the TDM devices, as TDM functionality is distributed amongst multiple hardware components.
- Flexibility: SIP technology is more flexible In terms of capacity management, ease of expansion & network configuration.
- Economical: SIP enabled devices are capable of handling voice, video, chat, file transfer and instant messaging over a single media stream. Hence they are more economical as compared to TDM devices and end-points.
Considerations before adopting SIP technology
- Assessment: Thorough evaluation and analysis of existing contact center setup to identify key areas for improvement and optimization of the entire process.
- Key areas of optimization: Assess multiple SIP technology service provider over the globe (as per requirement) for cost optimization, efficiency as well as redundancy.
- Scalability: Assess multiple SIP technology service provider who have the ability to handle sudden spike of inbound/outbound call volume when needed.
- Security: AAA (Authorization, Authentication and Accounting) security for SIP devices and end- points need to be assessed as per defined standards.
- Service provider compatibility: Although SIP is an open standard protocol, its implementation by different service providers varies in some aspects, and therefore customization is needed before it is handed over to production.
- Tools to monitor SIP infrastructure: Need to identify and implement efficient monitoring tools for SIP infrastructure monitoring, reporting and troubleshooting.
Value derived after adopting SIP
- Reduced telecom hardware foot print at onsite POP with substantial savings on TCO.
- Outbound call charges on SIP are lowered.
- Enables contact centers to handle spikes in call traffic.
- Reduced lead time for provisioning new SIP channels.
- Seamless auto failover for inbound voice traffic, in case of POP failure.