How to Explain the Difference Between VoIP and SIP Servers
Before Understanding VoIP and SIP Servers, What Is a Protocol?
When talking to customers, a genuine concern is intimidating small business owners with overwhelming technology terms. Yes, there is a cascade of IT, telecom and tech acronyms. But information technology, especially VoIP and SIP servers, doesn’t have to be complicated.
This guide will help you learn a few pointers for when you’re stuck trying to explain internet telephony to your clients. As a starting point, let’s review what a protocol is so you can describe it correctly.
“Protocol” is one of those terms that everyone has heard thousands of times without really knowing what it means. To keep it simple, consider everything on the internet as data. A protocol is a way for two machines to “talk” to each other and understand each other’s data.
Voice communications are a special kind of data. For two machines to exchange voice signals, the devices need to “speak the same language.” That language is a protocol.
The protocol contains all the necessary information for the machines on each end (“endpoints”) to communicate.
Related: SIP vs. VoIP: Why is SIP Trunking an Upgrade to VoIP?
What Is a VoIP Server?
When it comes to explaining a VoIP server, let’s also start with the basics.
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. In contrast with traditional PSTN, or Public Switched Telephone Network, it is a form of internet telephony.
As mentioned above, a protocol is a way of exchanging information between computers. Therefore, VoIP exchanges voice data using internet protocol – which acts as the internet’s postal system.
VoIP usually activates along with an application such as Facetime to facilitate communication between the endpoints. At its heart, a VoIP server allows businesses to move from traditional phone line systems to a digital, online system. This uses a computer network instead of standard phone lines to deliver a telephony service.
What Is SIP?
SIP is another internet protocol, just like VoIP. In fact, SIP trunking is just another way of achieving VoIP. You can think of SIP as another layer on top of VoIP or an upgrade from it.
The acronym SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It is a signaling protocol to enable two or more people to start, join or end a communications session (such as a teleconference). There is a widespread use of this concept in IP telephony. You can consolidate your resources and communicate in a clear, high-quality manner by using SIP server infrastructure.
One of the main differences between SIP and VoIP is that SIP supports multimedia. VoIP can only send and receive voice messages, whereas SIP can also send and receive images and videos.
SIP servers can transfer most of the processing side of things to an individual user’s system rather than a central VoIP server. As a result of its decentralized nature, SIP can handle large amounts of data traffic without a performance impact.
Related: How to Become a SIP Trunk Provider
What Are The Advantages of SIP Servers Over VoIP?
With the two protocols defined, you’re ready to start exploring the advantages of each one so you can better explain them to your clients. Let’s take a look.
VoIP Server Advantages
The critical advantage of VoIP is its flexibility. It can be easily adapted to fit various scenarios, from redirecting calls to supporting decentralized home working.
A VoIP server doesn’t need much to set up, either. All your clients need is a network.
VoIP is a cost-effective upgrade from standard, legacy telephony. The hardware involved isn’t as expensive as an old-fashioned telephone system in the long run, which can quickly balloon in cost when scaling up for a larger business.
Unlike analog phone systems, VoIP systems can give much better line quality. Old-school switchboards create losses in quality due to the copper cabling involved, whereas VoIP calls are rerouted directly through digital means, preventing degradation of its data.
But VoIP also has its drawbacks.
For starters, if you’re working with outdated equipment, then you may need to upgrade to a newer phone system capable of handling VoIP. This protocol is also heavily dependent on internet speeds when it comes to quality.
If your business broadband isn’t up to scratch, you may find VoIP’s quality lacking.
SIP Server Advantages
SIP servers are great for businesses looking to adapt to internet telephony on the fly. SIP can be tuned up for busy periods and down for quiet ones, which gives companies a huge deal of control over their deployment.
A SIP server is also virtual, making it easy to manage and scale.
SIP trunks can override traditional telephone lines, reducing costs dramatically. Due to the internet-based nature of the connection, it also lends itself well to business continuity. But much like standard VoIP systems, SIP trunking is dependent on your business internet speed.
You should also explain to your clients that SIP is actually just a method of achieving VoIP. So in this sense, there’s no ‘versus’ between the two. But SIP gives more control over a VoIP system and allows for more advanced features such as phone conferencing.
Companies with legacy phones can now upgrade their voice capabilities by using SIP servers. There are various features and tools included in SIP, such as video conferencing, chat, instant messaging, desktop sharing, whiteboards, and business analytics.
In fact, SIP technologies are growing in popularity worldwide, according to a research report by Research and Markets:
- SIP trunking had a market value of $13.44 billion in 2019.
- By 2027, the SIP trunking market could be worth $30.22 billion.
- This technology could grow at an annual rate of 10.8% between 2020 and 2027.
Businesses benefit from improved telecommunications infrastructure thanks to SIP servers. An easy-to-use, lightweight, cost-effective and straightforward design enables organizations to rely on fewer resources to deploy, maintain and expand.
What Equipment Do You Need to Deploy SIP?
At this point, your client may be interested in the equipment that is necessary for SIP.
The good news you can give them is that a SIP server is highly scalable. With the right provider, any business can invest as much or as little in SIP as they want. The actual range of available hardware is vast.
But only a few elements are actually required for SIP. Other than their existing IP phones and a working internet connection, the only absolute necessity for SIP is a service plan.
You can provide it by partnering with the best SIP trunking reselling program available. Why is it so simple? SIP uses your client’s existing connections. So long as an office has network infrastructure, they can use SIP.
If your client wants to make and receive video calls, they’ll need to invest in some additional hardware. In this case, they’ll need webcams to pick up video. Businesses are also likely to want a few other pieces of equipment. Conference phones, for example, allow a new level of flexibility for meetings. Users may also wish to invest in headsets, particularly for call center environments.
This is a great chance to upsell telecom equipment and services for a business wanting to dip into advanced features.
Of course, any good explanation presents a chance to receive questions. Listen to your client and try to help them out as much as you can. Reselling SIP with SIPTRUNK can be a rewarding experience, which can get you more clients fast. We offer a service platform for businesses that wish to build a SIP trunking practice and recurring revenue stream by providing SIP trunking services. With SIPTRUNK, you’ll get a simple technology platform to simplify the selling and maintaining of your customer base. Get started now.