Aspect Software Issues Challenge to Contact Centre Industry to Adopt SIP 2.0

Aspect Software has launched a new SIP Power Through Choice program, issuing a challenge to the contact centre industry to adopt a SIP Interoperability Policy.

The company says that by adhering to this policy, solution providers commit to the support of SIP 2.0 compliance and practices that sustains a contact centre’s need for flexibility and responsiveness. This SIP Interoperability Policy provides users and business partners with the confidence to use SIP 2.0 compliant devices and software, with the option for product validation testing.

“From our perspective, there are too many companies out there paying lip-service to SIP. SIP gives companies choice and there is no reason for vendors to force customers into proprietary protocols or proprietary devices,” said Mike Sheridan, senior vice president of strategy at Aspect Software. “Contact centres should have the right to choose technology or products that will best help them meet their strategic objectives. They shouldn’t have artificial technology limitations and we believe that by launching the SIP Power Through Choice program, we can help companies identify those vendors who truly believe in SIP and are bringing standards-based technology to market.”

In addition, Aspect Software is also announcing a first-of-its-kind SIP Power Through Choice Guarantee. The 50 thousand US dollar guarantee provides businesses with the confidence to choose the SIP end-points that meet their specific needs. The SIP Power Through Choice Guarantee states that if a SIP-enabled solution from Aspect Software fails to establish and terminate a SIP 2.0 compliant based telephone session, Aspect will refund to the organisation the cost of the SIP validation testing services performed by Aspect.* In addition, if such an event occurs, Aspect Software will contribute 50,000 US dollars to the SIP Forum, an organisation whose mission is to advance the development and deployment of innovative solutions that comply with, and properly interoperate with other products that use SIP.

“One of the main advantages of standards-based SIP applications and devices should be the ability for end user customers to mix and match equipment and applications from multiple vendors. To the extent that vendors preclude interoperability through diverse interpretations of the standard, this goal is thwarted,” according to Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst of McGee-Smith Analytics. “By creating the SIP Power Through Choice program, Aspect Software not only signals their own willingness to create SIP-compliant applications, they help communicate to the user community that customers should demand this kind of interoperability from all of their vendor partners.”

The SIP Power Through Choice interoperability policy outlines that vendors must adhere to the following:

1. Organisations are welcome to use SIP 2.0 compliant devices with a SIP-enabled solution to establish and terminate a SIP-based telephone session.

2. If a SIP 2.0 compliant device includes proprietary features that are not part of the SIP 2.0 standard, this policy assures that the SIP 2.0 compliant elements of that device will function to establish and terminate a SIP-based telephone session.

3. SIP solution suppliers must make available validation testing of an organisation’s choice of SIP 2.0 device with their SIP-enabled solution

4. SIP solution suppliers must offer organisations support to address product interoperability issues with the business’s choice of SIP 2.0 compliant devices.

Vendors that endorse the SIP Interoperability policy will benefit from a larger, more accessible market through the openness and ubiquity of SIP.

In addition, it creates a healthy and mutually beneficial vendor-customer relationship because customers have more choice in which technology they invest in, as well as the assurance from the vendor that their choice of SIP devices will be supported, which eliminates many of the concerns of VoIP deployments.

SIP is a standard protocol which provides a common platform which allows computer hardware and software to easily interoperate. Standards, like SIP, are particularly valuable to contact centres because they deliver increased compatibility between components, enabling true interoperability. Because of the flexibility that SIP provides, it empowers businesses and contact centres to make better technology investments that fit into wide-ranging budgets and to avoid being locked into high-cost, inflexible proprietary technologies.

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