SIP Phone Service, Features & Benefits, Part 1

Happy New Year! And welcome to Raytec’s 2014 Blog Kick-Off!

I plan to use this little forum to provide tasty morsels of business telephone knowledge, gleaned from a decade’s worth of consultative telecom sales, and another decade of managing / designing PBX installations.  I will write about emerging trends in our industry, break down the myriad ways SMB’s use VOIP, and suggest best practices for implementing new telecom solutions and services within your office.

So, this being my first foray into blogging, please be gentle!

The first topic I want to explore is a facet of VOIP called SIP. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol, which is just a fancy-sounding term for Internet-delivered phone lines. SIP service providers don’t usually call them phone lines. They are often referred to as “trunks”, “channels”, or “Concurrent Call Sessions” (CCS).   It’s kind of like Vonage — which is primarily a consumer, or residential-based service (please don’t depend on them for business service!) — although SIP is used commercially in the SMB and Enterprise markets.

You can purchase SIP singly, or in a bundled group.  Your SIP provider may also provide bursting capabilities on your service, which is one of the very cool features of SIP.  Think of bursting as having extra phones lines, as back-up, for on-demand use during peak times.

How does bursting work, you might ask?  Well, let’s say that most of the time you have a need for 5 concurrent inbound / outbound calls, but every once in awhile you have increased call traffic that results in busy signals for your customers. If you have bursting enabled, the SIP will automatically expand your lines to provide additional call paths into your business, so that busy signals are avoided.  FYI:  you will usually pay a small monthly fee to have bursting enabled, and then a usage charge if  it actually occurs.

Over the next few posts we will explore — in no particular order — other features and benefits of SIP, as well as highlight a few of the things that we have learned (albeit, sometimes painfully) while implementing SIP.

I look forward to your feedback, and welcome any questions you might have. Enjoy!

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