There is a lot more involved in today’s business communication other than voice calls. However, phones are an essential tool still for communications. Many different technologies are used by professionals to communicate. On any given day, it is common for an employee to use video conferencing, text, chat, mobile apps, email, and the phone.
Recent advancements in technology have increased the options of business phone systems that are available to companies. Organizations are increasingly switching over from old systems such as Primary Rate Interface (PRI lines) over to more integrated options, such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), to reduce their costs.
For some companies, the right choice is to switch to internet-based phones. However, VOIP-only is not a robust enough solution for many of today’s businesses. A Unified Communications approach can benefit many organizations, which support mobility, conferencing, text, voice, and other communication forms.
If you are considering a new business phone system, you might be wondering what the differences are between VoIP and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and which one is the best. In this article, we will be discussing the pros and cons of each of them and how to tell which fits you the best.
VoIP vs SIP: What is the Difference?
VoIP vs SIP is not a direct comparison necessarily. Although the term VoIP is used to describe any type of internet-based phone service, SIP refers to a communications protocol that is used for most kinds of VoIP deployments. VoIP technology comes from the 1970s, but over the last ten years has become a prevalent form of business technology.
VoIP is a general term that is used to refer to any phone call that is made via the internet rather than using a traditional telephone line. Data connectivity is used by VoIP for transmitting voice packets rather than a public switched telephone network (PSTN).
The protocol SIP is used for initiating, maintaining, and terminating multimedia communications sessions within VoIP applications. The control and signaling of messaging, video, and voice applications are supported by SIP protocols. A hosted Unified Communications supplier usually provided hosted SIP Trunking services, and they might offer Unified Communications and VoIP as a Service (UCaaS).
Although SIP is used for scaling and supporting VOIP, SIP technology does not back up all VoIP. SIP is only one protocol that may be used in business VoIP for scaling communications beyond just voice-only calling and support text, instant messaging, video conferencing, and other forms of multimedia communications. It is the most prevalent protocol. However, SIP is interpreted in different ways by vendors. However, this is starting to change, as interop has become crucial to the long term success of businesses.
VoIP-Only Pros and Cons
VoIP is a very broad term that can be used for describing any type of internet phone service, ranging from affordable residential services all the way up to complicated Unified Communications tools implementations at the enterprise level. The features and quality of VoIP vary significantly, so the pros and cons will also each depend on the kind of service.
However, it is not useful to evaluate the pros and cons of VoIP compared to SIP. In order to truly understand how VoIP compares to VoIP with SIP, the best thing to do is evaluate the pros and cons offered by business internet phone services that include voice communications (VoIP-only) rather than multimedia features (VoIP that comes with SIP).
Pros of VoIP-Only
- The initial investment cost is low.
- Ongoing cost savings that offer flat-rate and predictable monthly bill.
- VoIP systems are very portable, and on-site installation is not required.
- Limited features are offered by many basic VoIP plans, like call forwarding, call waiting, and caller ID.
- Long-term service contracts are not required by most VoIP providers.
Cons of VoIP-Only
- Bandwidth is required for sufficient call QoS (quality of service) and service availability.
- Some basic VoIP services might not offer mobile apps or mobile integration.
- Voice-only service does not provide multimedia communications support.
- It cannot be integrated with various applications like Microsoft Office, Dropbox, or SalesForce.
VoIP with SIP – Pros and Cons
Switching from traditional PRIs to SIP can allow organizations to enjoy immediate cost savings and the ability to scale productivity tools and unlock new features. To compare VoIP to SIP effectively, the best thing to do is examine the way SIP is able to enhance VoIP into multimedia communications experiences versus internet phone services that are voice-only.
Pros of VoIP with SIP
- Immediate cost savings can potentially be realized on business applications by making it possible for businesses to consolidate their technologies to Unified Communications.
- Failover is provided to employee mobile devices in the event of lost data connectivity.
- Extreme pricing flexibility can be provided, which allows businesses to buy lines and add-on features as they need them.
- User-friendly administrative tools are included for adding features and lines.
- Can integrate seamlessly with cloud applications for use with Unified Communications implementations.
- Can provide built-in integration with many common business software and applications to enhance productivity.
- A hybrid phone system can be created by integrating it with existing PRI lines.
Cons of VoIP With SIP
- Sufficient internet bandwidth is required by SIP for supporting high-quality service.
- SIP provider services can vary in terms of quality.
- Features offered by SIP vendors may not include comprehensive Unified Communications offerings.
- Security and quality risks can be presented by SIP over pubic internet service rather than using a dedicated fibre-optic internet service that is offered by the same service provider as your SIP carrier.
How To Determine Which One Is The Best Fit for Your Needs
If you are wondering whether VoIP or SIP is the best technology, then most likely, you are seriously considering switching to an Internet-based phone system. But VoIP vs SIP is not a direct comparison. In fact, the most useful question that can be asked is whether your business needs are best served by voice-only VoIP phone services or if a better fit would be a SIP implementation along with Unified Communications tools.
For numerous businesses, UCaaS vs VoIP is a better comparison to make than SIP vs VoIP. Factors that can influence your understanding of whether or not UCaaS is the best match for you may include your budget and interest in adopting multimedia communications tools. You might be a good fit for SIP adoption if your company is using collaboration apps already or technologies that are a Unified Communications component.
Basic VoIP capabilities are enhanced by SIP beyond only voice calling. It allows businesses to exchange files, video, message, and other types of data via an internet connection. For numerous companies, transferring directly to Unified Communications and SIP can provide gains in productivity and cost savings.