What is the difference between VoIP and SIP?
Session Internet Protocol (SIP) is an Internet language allowing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to work. Together with your VoIP-enabled phone and Internet connection, SIP is an important part of successful VoIP use. Many VoIP phones are SIP compatible, since it is one of the most popular VoIP languages. SIP has several advantages and is highly-recommended by many VoIP vendors. If you have a VoIP phone, it is probably able to use SIP and can be brought over to a different vendor if you ever need to change your service.
- VoIP: An Internet-based phone service that allows for software integrations and customized phone service.
- SIP: An Internet language that many VoIP-compatible phones use to communicate and transfer voice data.
VoIP is a very flexible and customizeable phone service system with a lot of different options for users. It’s easy to change, maintain, and use. It has a lot of possibilities and can suit a variety of different purposes in different business settings. It’s also highly portable and is great for connecting a remote workforce together so everyone can take advantage of the same tools and information. With integrations, you can also use VoIP plans with your other software and have more of the information you need so your business can thrive. Having a VoIP plan gives you options and flexibility that you often can’t find in a traditional plan.
In this article, we’ll talk more about how VoIP and SIP work and how they are different. You’ll learn how you can use them to your best advantage and how you can begin implementing a VoIP phone system for your organization. You’ll also read about some of the reasons why SIP is a popular format for VoIP phones and find out some of the primary advantages of SIP phones for your phone service plan.
- VoIP: What it is and How it Works
- SIP: What it is and How it Works
- Getting the Right VoIP Plan and SIP System
1. VoIP: What it is and How it Works
To get Internet-based phone service, you need fast and capable Internet. That didn’t really become a possibility until the 1990s, when commercial VoIP became a reality and began to grow in popularity among businesses. VoIP has a lot of possibilities and options, so it quickly began to win out as soon as the quality improved.
It allows businesses to get their own contact centers and access advanced features, making it a viable alternative to other phone service systems. Your organization, even if it is smaller, can have a phone system that makes your organization look much bigger and better organized. For these and other reasons, VoIP is a great option for many organizations.
And, since it works together with SIP, we’ll need to talk a bit more about what SIP is and how it works for your phone service.
2. SIP: What it is and How it Works
SIP is a very popular Internet language for running VoIP phones. With a configured SIP client, you can use SIP to communicate through voice and video phone calls. The SIP protocol is very efficient and powerful, plus it can be customized to different needs. The system runs a variety of different technical functions, such as:
- Deciding which features will operate, when users have different features available to their plans.
- Changing call features during the conversation.
- Choosing which codec (or coder-decoder) will apply when arranging a call between different systems.
Of course, SIP also does many other things. It is fairly sophisticated but still straightforward enough to work with a variety of systems and plans. Many, if not a majority, of VoIP phones have SIP compatibility. This makes it easy to take your phones to a different vendor and plan while still being able to keep the same equipment.
Your vendor can help you with this process. Take advantage of their experience (this is why you want to find a vendor with a lot of experience working with other businesses like yours). Ask questions and explain any concerns you have so they can help you figure them out. If anything is confusing or frustrating, let them know–they usually appreciate your feedback and want to try and help you solve your phone service problems.
3. Getting the Right VoIP Plan and SIP System
To use VoIP and SIP, you’ll need:
- A VoIP plan
- A SIP client
- A phone system
- An Internet connection
Depending on what you plan to use your phone system for, you may have other needs as well. Some larger organizations, for instance, need more complex phone systems and have additional equipment and services. Generally-speaking, you can get a basic VoIP phone system up and running very quickly and simply, although you may get help with the implementation process from your vendor.
What you do for implementation may depend on the type of business you have. Here are some suggestions based on different scenarios:
- Small Business or Small Phone System: You probably won’t need to run a large test, so just talk with a vendor and begin the process of implementing your new system. Get the phones you need and switch over, because you can probably get it done in a day with a small number of users. If you have just a couple lines, this is generally a snap. You may not need the vendor to walk you through it unless you’d like the extra help.
- More than Ten Users: At this point, you’ll probably think of doing a demo, at the very least. Ask as many questions as you want to and get some custom guidance on implementation, but it should be a quick process regardless.
- Over 100 Users: You should consider running a trial with a soft migration of the new phone system. This will let you test it out without causing interruptions. You will definitely need IT personnel to help with implementation, and you may even want someone from your VoIP vendor onsite for a bit to help explain everything and start the process, if possible. Even in a best-case scenario, the unexpected can happen with a big implementation, so keep that in mind as you move forward.
Remember, a high-quality VoIP plan and connection requires a few basics. You need great Internet access and a connection that can handle the data involved at a fast enough rate to keep quality very high. You also need recent equipment that can perform well with the demands of today’s telecommunications needs. There is a lot involved, but your vendor can help you identify everything you’ll need.
This is where SIP enters the picture. Your vendor will probably help you get the right SIP client to help your phone operate properly. A SIP-compatible phone can probably go with you, too, if you need to change plans or even vendors later on. Keep this in mind, because it means you likely aren’t stuck with useless equipment if you do have to leave for a new plan in the future as your needs change–although by then, it’s possible you’ll also want to get new equipment.