Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a communications protocol (language) that enables devices and services to communicate with each other. It’s what lets Skype integrate with your phone system, your phone system integrate with your security system, etc.
What’s great about SIP is that as your business grows and you want to leverage a variety of communication and collaboration solutions in your enterprise you can do so relatively easily if all the tools and services you want to use are SIP compatible.
Grandstream has a phone system with a built in video camera and web browser that gives it lots of power, enabling you to do many of the features you’re used to doing on a computer, on a phone.
A Grandstream spokesperson shared with me the following insight:
The phone on the desktop has evolved. With the Internet now an integral part of many businesses activities and people’s lives, Besides mobile phones, there is an emerging demand for all telecom devices to provide instant access to people’s growing online communication needs for their business and personal lives without a PC. IP multimedia phones offer services like FREE video calling (saves travel costs, allows SMBs to keep in touch with employees in remote office locations), and a host of other business productivity applications, social networking, infotainment (news feeds, You Tube, etc), making the desktop phone much more than just making a phone call. SMBs’ customers are all over the world and they need technology to make it easier and cost-effective to keep in constant contact with their customer to be successful.
For SMB and enterprise businesses one of the main technologies that they are seeking is video. IP multimedia phones provide the free video calling. Grandstream IP Multimedia phones are certified with Skype, for example, allowing users to connect with all of Skype’s over 560+M users around the world.
The second push with video is for physical surveillance reasons. Let’s face it video surveillance is growing exponentially and SMBs can integrate this technology simply and easily. SMBs can use one network for all their communications/video surveillance needs. Businesses can reduce the cost and time associated with installing surveillance systems while achieving a greater level of functionality and flexibility for remote video monitoring/control and 2-way audio paging. With Grandstream cameras, businesses can stream monitoring activities to a mobile or video phone, from anywhere in the world, using 2-way audio and video streaming capability. High quality live video feeds from Grandstream’s surveillance cameras can also be routed through the IP PBX and streamed onto Grandstream’s IP video endpoints like the GXV3140.
One example is an SMB owner of a franchise business with multiple locations. This owner can set up video cameras at the back entrance of building, throughout the building etc. and if he is working from home, he can monitor and view the video at each location using the multimedia phones. If the SMB owner is at home and the back door alarm to his building is tripped, the IP cameras send an email with a still image to alert that motion has been detected. Additionally, the owner with a multimedia phone will have it ring at this home when an event is triggered and he can view the real-time video occurring remotely. Cameras have 2-way audio too so the owner has the ability to talk to whoever caused the trigger. This also can work if he is out of town on vacation, it would trip his mobile phone.
Applications are limitless.
SMBs can use SIP to build solutions that range from a simple door-entry application, where a button is pressed to trigger the camera to make a call to a receptionist. The receptionist can then conduct a short conversation with the visitor before entering a code on the phone informing the camera to release the door lock mechanism via an analogue output.
This is just the tip of the many ways SMBs can set up a sophisticated, useful and cost-effective SIP-based solution. It doesn’t have to be daunting and to set up an integrated solution for voice calling, video calling, and video surveillance so SMB owners can really keep a visual pulse on what is occurring with their customers and at their businesses when they may not be there.