How many of you work on a computer that’s three-years-old? Four years? Five? Have you replaced your notebook computer with a handheld or tablet device? How about your cell phone? Do you still use a flip phone? Has your phone become your de facto camera? Does your TV set have a cathode ray tube or a flat screen? Do you even watch television anymore or does your entertainment come to you via a broadband Internet connection? Do you subscribe to a daily newspaper or read your news online? Do you call a travel agent to book an airline flight, hotel room, or rental car?
I could give example after example of how technology has changed our world and how quickly we seem to adopt new innovations. So, why is it that the business telephone on your desk looks and acts a whole lot like the one that sat there ten years ago? Perhaps it is the same one and according to your IT department you don’t require an upgrade. Why is it that we wouldn’t dream of going back to our old flip phone, but continue to accept a ten or twenty year old office telephone?
I’ll let you in on a secret that your IT people might not want you to know. As the consumer world has progressed so have enterprise communications. It’s no longer a world of dial-tone and busy indicators and the modern day “telephone” may not look a whole lot like that Nortel 2616 or Avaya 2410. In fact, it may look exactly like that consumer device you can’t live without. Would you believe me if I told you that it could be your iPhone, iPad, or Android device?
Okay, I’m the SIP guy and you may be asking yourself what does SIP have to do with this? In a word, everything. Behind the scenes of these new ways of communicating is SIP and without SIP’s ability to support media of all types on devices of all kinds, none of it would be possible. You certainly can’t do it with older digital or analog technology and even IP protocols such as H.323 fall far short of the mark.
You may have heard the phrase “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD. While that’s not a bad way to describe the idea of consumer devices entering the workplace, I would like to propose a different way of saying it. “Bring Your Own Experience” or BYOE more accurately reflects what is occurring. People aren’t buying iPads or iPhones in droves because they like Apple as a company. They are buying them because they love the experience that Apple brings to these devices. They like the ease of use, feature richness, innovation, and let’s face it, sexiness of Apple’s creations. They look good and they deliver an amazing user experience.
Take the sexiness of an Apple device (or those incredible new Samsung phones) and combine it with the openness and flexibility of SIP and you have a platform to deliver enterprise-grade communications in an experience that users demand. That’s exactly what Avaya Flare on the iPad and Avaya one-X Mobile SIP Communicator on the iPhone are. They combine the things we love about the Apple user interface with the robust communications of an Avaya system. The same could be said for Cisco and their SIP offerings. But they aren’t just new telephones. They are a new experience for the enterprise worker that brings a complete world of unified communications to his or her fingertips.
Security becomes a non issue when you ensure that all remote SIP traffic passes through a Session Border Controller. By securing the SIP signaling and media stream, you aren’t required to create a VPN tunnel between the device and your enterprise’s network. The point is to only allow SIP traffic in and keep everything else on the device out.
Now, take a look at your existing business telephone. Has it kept up with your expectations? Is it the same experience you love in your smart phone? If you had a choice would you ditch it for that device you stood in line at midnight to buy? Well, what’s stopping you?