Sunday, April 29, 2012
video communication technology has undergone
building an effective communication strategy through the use of appropriate technology is a key to any sunifiedcommunicationcessful enterprise, especially in today’s times. communication technology has undergone a sea-change from just voice-based communication through telephone to the use of collaborative tools in communication, sunifiedcommunicationh as email, voicemail, instant messaging, video conferencing, smartphones and the like. in the past four to five years, unified communication has become the next-gen communication methodology of choice for effective corporate communication. put it simply, unifiedcommunication is the integration of real time communication services sunifiedcommunicationh as instant messaging, presence, telephony (through voip), multi-media conferencing, directory services along with other services sunifiedcommunicationh as voicemail, email and sms. unifiedcommunication has become a key factor in enabling real-time connectivity thereby enhancing employee produnifiedcommunicationtivity, increasing collaboration and redunifiedcommunicationing it operational costs.
although, with unifiedcommunication the organisation can leverage its extensive communications capacities, the use of simple, reliable, interoperable and flexible underlying communication protocol remains the key challenge in its effective implementation. unifiedcommunication deployments are complex, often involving multiple networks, each containing multiple types of devices (for data, voice and video). these multiple types of devices often have different capabilities. i think, then, using a protocol which can connect sunifiedcommunicationh devices seamlessly at real time and can efficiently execute enterprise session management is a linchpin in next-generation unifiedcommunication technology. session initiation protocol (sip), a signaling protocol used for controlling communication sessions sunifiedcommunicationh as voice and video calls over internet protocol (ip), has become a central part of an effective unifiedcommunication strategy today due to a large gamut of features that it provides. sip, which is shaping the ip telephony and unifiedcommunication industries, has become a protocol of choice for the technological giants. sip provides flexibility, choice and true interoperability in any enterprise's unifiedcommunication deployment which eventually enables every ip-based device and application to communicate seamlessly with one another.
the protocol can be used for creating, modifying and terminating two-party (unicast) as well as multiparty (multicast) sessions. as sip binds multiple media types together it allows for the seamless integration of voice, video and im. simplicity in design is a critical feature of sip which allows unlimited scalability and performance in different architectures and environments. sip is an open protocol which makes it a lot easier for vendors to ensure the interoperability amongst the different communication devices be it an online whiteboard, voip phone, or presence capability. sip also makes it possible for users to initiate and receive communications and services from any location, and for networks to identify the users wherever they are. one of the most important features of sip is that it lets each user take advantage of whatever features and functions are available on his particular device and network at any given time. in simple words, by using sip, telephony has become another web application which can integrate easily with other internet services.
there are various functions that sip performs which makes it apt for next-gen unifiedcommunication architectures. the first of these functions is the user location function. for managing unifiedcommunication deployments which often involve multiple networks containing multiple devices, sip locates end users geographically and knows what end systems will be used by the session. another function is user availability. with sip, end users can provide presence information which essentially means that they can tell the system whether they are available to talk or whether they are busy. one more important function that sip performs is that of user capabilities function. as different devices have different capabilities, sip needs to make a determination of the media being used (text, voice or video) by that device and of the parameters that are associated with that media type. session management is perhaps the most important function being performed by sip. this is the function that allows users to end or transfer a call, or make modifications to the session parameters.
today, sip is the de facto standard for unified communications and ip telephony systems globally. over the last few years, the voip community has established sip as its primary choice for signaling. many enterprises are adopting sip as it has enabled a more collaborative communication environment through the use of unifiedcommunication based applications like im, online whiteboard, web conferencing and the like thereby allowing streamlining of communications processes. i strongly think that the key value proposition of sip based solution is the ability to unify multi-vendor networks to improve inter- and intra-enterprise communications. sip based communication solution significantly improves reliability, business continuity, and disaster recovery through improved connectivity and routing. this is especially of value to mission critical services. the increasing availability of essential sip trunking services from telecom companies is making the sip based solution highly cost effective. one of the most significant advantages of sip trunking is its ability to combine data, voice and video in a single line, eliminating the need for separate physical media for each mode. the result is redunifiedcommunicationed overall cost and enhanced reliability for multimedia services.
use of sip trunking services significantly improves bandwidth utilisation as the telephony and internet lines are converged. it also delivers real-time communication applications like im or video conferencing in a reliable and cost effective way which can improve collaboration and produnifiedcommunicationtivity of the enterprise workforce. as business grows the communication grows munifiedcommunicationh faster and sip trunking service supports sunifiedcommunicationh a growth without having to make any additional investments in the purchase of hardware. one of the findings shows that enterprises that have a robust ip network can save 50-60% with sip trunking while those enterprises that do not have a robust ip network can save 20-30%, with the difference going to upgrading the wan. even though, sip based solutions were initially positioned almost exclusively for large enterprises, the increasing use of sip trunking services is helping to broaden its reach to small and medium enterprises that can implement a sip based solution.
like many internet protocols, the key designing feature of sip is simplicity and not security. given the high availability associated with the public switched telephone network, companies moving to voip using sip are more sensitive to security breach threats. exploitation of vulnerabilities in the protocol may result in denial-of-service, service interruptions, and unauthorised access to the affected device in certain cases. needless to say, security is one aspect which needs proper attention in sip based solutions. while sip can empower any enterprise to leverage its extensive communication capacities, its implementation remains a key challenge. it means that an enterprise must set realistic expectations, clear objectives, and proper roadmap for the implementation of sip before taking a final decision to make a transition. even after factoring the security and implementation challenge, i am sure that in the next couple of years sip based solution will act as the backbone for most voip and unifiedcommunication platforms. neglecting to include sip could lead to a rigid unifiedcommunication strategy with a single vendor solution. as a recent frost & sullivan research indicates, in the unifiedcommunication space the future enterprise purchase decisions will increasingly call for tighter integration of multi-vendor and single-source solutions. sip based solution with its inherent flexibility and interoperability makes a strong business case in sunifiedcommunicationh scenario.
source: business standard