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What are the steps to ensure SIP implementation success?

A robust strategy and several steps are needed to deploy SIP successfully. Networking expert Carrie Higbie Goetz explains the pieces that comprise a SIP strategy, from creating an RFI to documentation.

Several factors influence how Session Initiation Protocol works. For example, you need to consider the SIP trunk provider, the PBX provider and edge devices. A SIP implementation is not something you just throw together and it works. All the moving parts require a tightknit relationship.

Step 1: Do your homework by researching SIP vendors and their capabilities. A request for information (RFI) is a great way to examine capabilities and prior outages. You should also get customer references and have candid conversations about problems they encountered. Additionally, in your RFI, ask for alternative pricing and cost-saving measures. Ultimately, an RFI should help determine if your SIP implementation will work.

Step 2: Next, in your SIP implementation strategy, make sure you size your SIP trunks appropriately for the conversations that will traverse them. It's better to oversize a little if you are between circuit sizes to support your session border controller. SBCs are where the sessions will hit the circuit and provide security. If someone doesn't understand what they are doing and tweaks the system, they could turn off critical security functions.

Step 3: Make sure to document any changes to a configuration -- such as the date of the change, who made the changes and why -- and save it as part of your disaster recovery plan. The same is true for software and firmware updates. You'll want to test the system after each update to ensure everything is working properly.

Step 4: Make sure you have the right resources for a SIP implementation, such as a combination of in-house personnel and external resources. Ensure resources are fully supported, because a SIP implementation is not a time to split resources among 10 projects. Furthermore, don't skimp on budget. The RFI process should help determine the right amount of money to invest in a SIP implementation.

Step 5: Lastly, if you encounter problems, always give yourself the flexibility to go back to a previous deployment. A SIP implementation should be a controlled rollout and not a hard cutover that can't be tested. Multiple players are involved, so give yourself some breathing room, and make sure all vendors involved play well together before starting the project.

Do you have a question for Carrie Higbie Goetz or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! All questions are treated anonymously.

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