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The Role of Session Border Controllers in Multi-Vendor Communication Environments, Part 1

November 27, 2012

When is a standard not a standard? That may sound like a riddle or the set up of a bad joke, but it is, in fact, an issue related to SIP communications. While there are accepted standards in the session initiation protocol space, there are, in fact, many different variations within the standards, and this creates plenty of problems for companies looking to deploy this telecommunications technology, especially when dealing with diverse solutions from different vendors. In fact, in these situations, there are several problems that can emerge.

First, though, it is important to understand how these problems occur. The SIP protocols were set by a global community of engineers known as the Internet Engineering Task Force. But, as TMC group editorial director and industry analyst Erik Linask (News - Alert) puts it, SIP is like a language with many dialects. While residents of Barcelona and people from Caracas may speak the same basic language, there are plenty of regional differences in syntax, vocabulary and conventions. A similar paradigm is at work here, with different vendors using different proprietary “flavors” of SIP in their technology. This results in a number of SIP variations that are technically in compliance with published SIP standards but not necessarily compliant with one another.

Couple this with issues related to legacy systems that companies are using, and the situation gets even more complicated. There are plenty of potential pain points for companies, but many of those issues can be addressed by session border controllers. In part two of this series, I talk to industry analyst Peter Bernstein about the business needs for transitioning to all-IP communications, the problems that arise from these deployments, and how session border controllers can alleviate those problems. Check back soon for more on session border controllers in multi-vendor communication deployments.

Want to learn more about SIP Trunking and how to integrate it into your current UC strategy? Don’t miss the SIP Trunking- UC Seminars in South San Francisco on November 27, 2012.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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