The SIP Phone Market: An Overview in 2020
Everything you need to know about SIP phones
IP phones aren’t the most exciting feature of the communication market. In a world where AI, IoT, and software as a service exists, companies are being swept away by increasingly disruptive innovations. However, it’s still voice, and phone calls that form the heart of communication.
According to analysts like Frost and Sullivan, there are two kinds of “IP phone” in the market today. The first is a physical device that leverages H.323 signalling protocols. The other, more popular solution these days, are SIP phones. SIP phones are essential endpoints that use a powerful protocol to connect with IP communication platforms.
SIP phones operate in both hosted (cloud) environments, and premise-based companies, using data networks to connect signals. Despite many companies predicting that endpoint hardware will soon become a thing of the past, the SIP phone market is set to rise at an incredible pace.
Here’s your introduction to the SIP landscape, and where it fits with your business.
What Are SIP Phones? The Basics
A SIP phone is a crucial piece of communication hardware. These devices uses an open-standard solution called SIP to handle phone calls. Unlike more traditional phones, SIP devices transfer data to people around using the Internet Protocol network.
With SIP phones, your voice goes through the IP network using another open standard named RTP. This allows you to connect with VoIP or Unified Communications software and clients through the internet. The great thing about SIP technology, is that it doesn’t just carry voice. With SIP phones, you can also process multi-media conversations with video and content too.
Most analysts define SIP phones as hardware or endpoint solutions. These devices look like regular telephones, but the internal workings align with IP-aware components. The desk phone connects to an IP network using ethernet cables, or Wi-Fi. SIP phones can access cordless technology known as DECT.
In some cases, you may also include softphones in the definition of SIP technology. SIP softphones are software programs that offer telephone functionality. This could mean that you download your business phone technology onto a tablet, a desktop computer, or a smartphone.
In the mobile landscape, where more employees are working from home, softphones are very useful. With a softphone, you can allow your employees to use their own devices to connect with the office.
Trends Pushing the SIP Phone Market
Research from the Eastern Management Group highlights the value of SIP phone technology. According to this report, SIP trunk and phone solutions will continue to make a significant impact on the way that we communicate and work in the years ahead.
Today’s companies need to provide more flexibility to their team members. This means giving all employees the freedom to work from wherever they are, with access to the right tools. SIP phone technology helps with this. Frost & Sullivan address the rise of mobility as a crucial trend pushing the SIP industry in its reports.
According to analysts from Frost and Sullivan, there are around 500 million business users that access smartphone technology for work purposes. Around 36% of employees are using their devices to perform essential job functions. As smartphones and tablets have grown more advanced, using mobile devices for work is becoming more common.
Another trend that’s changing the SIP market, is the need for smartphones and desktop phones to integrate successfully. As businesses demand new features like proximity pairing and instant access, vendors need to make accessing the SIP phone easier. Many early-generation IP communication tools are falling far behind the expectations of businesses and users in terms of experience and functionality these days. However, vendors are working on this gap.
SIP Phone Innovation
The SIP phones of the future are set to deliver the robust collaboration and security features that companies need from their unified communications solutions. IP hardware need to evolve to live up to the digital transformation aspirations of every business, empowering users to work more intelligently and efficiently. Some of the features allowing for this include:
- Integration: SIP phone vendors are increasingly working hand-in-hand with collaboration companies to support more streamlined pane-of-glass environments. Integrations with tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams make collaboration much easier.
- Smartphone experiences: Even if you choose hardware instead of software for your SIP solution, you can get a more smartphone-like experience. Many devices now come with touch-screen displays that feel the same as using a smartphone.
- Intelligent components: AI is everywhere in the communication environment. Intelligent assistants that can deliver results with a voice command are becoming more common. SIP phones with intelligent algorithms can also track things like crucial usage data. This helps businesses make better decisions.
- Enhanced security: As customers demand more privacy and security when speaking to brands, secure devices are crucial. Modern SIP phones are built from the ground up to put security needs first.
- High-level performance: Modern SIP phones give a truly enterprise-level experience, complete with noise canceling microphones and exceptional audio. It’s even possible to get SIP phones with power-saving programs.
Keeping Up with Demands
Employees in the current landscape expect their SIP phones to be just as immersive and easy-to-use as the devices that they have at home. Vendors are, therefore taking more steps to unlock the most intuitive devices available. Access to things like the ability to integrate a smartphone with a SIP phone is an important step.
Another element that’s driving the changes in the SIP phone market today is the acceleration of customer price sensitivity. Today’s businesses know that they need to evolve at a rapid pace. This means that fewer companies are willing to spend excess money on SIP devices. This shift in purchasing practices, combined with significant competition in the marketplace means that vendors are introducing new features and capabilities at much lower prices.
The demand to rapidly deliver new solutions to customers means that many resellers are forced to look for other ways to create revenue. For instance, partners and resellers are providing things like subscription-based payment plans and product-as-a-service experiences in the modern environment. We’re also witnessing an increase in the number of partners and resellers offering professional services as part of their regular offering. This ensures that companies get the right support that they need to provision and manage SIP phones too.
Full-service and managed service providers are growing in popularity. Managed service providers offer incremental revenue for SIP providers, with managed WAN, security, and other benefits. Full-service providers offer a wider selection of services, software, and products to customers that want to discover all of the opportunities of SIP.
Are SIP Phones Still Popular?
SIP phones aren’t the latest technology in the communication market. However, it’s safe to say that they still have an essential role to play. For most businesses, SIP phones will continue to be one of the most valuable and cost-effective ways to connect with colleagues, partners, and clients. SIP provides a comprehensive UC experience, complete with instant chat, and video options.
Switching to SIP gives companies an affordable way to move forward with their communication technology. In some cases, SIP softphones can even reduce your need for excessive maintenance and installation costs. Additionally, a combination of SIP software and hardware means that you can connect with employees both in the office and outside of it.
Here are some of the reasons why SIP continues to be essential:
- Excellent continuity: SIP phone technology delivers calls and conversations to wherever you need them. This means that if a desktop device can’t take a call, then you can route the conversation to a mobile user elsewhere.
- Reduced maintenance: The rise of services included with SIP phone solutions means that you can get rid of some of the maintenance aspects of looking after your business communication stap. SIP trunking allows for re-routing if something goes wrong, and setting up or provisioning devices only takes a matter of minutes.
- Scalable, enterprise-quality sound: SIP technology evolves at the same pace of your company. You can add extra seats and phone lines however you choose. SIP calling also means that teams can buy one channel at a time. SIP even offers access to the most advanced HD audio and voice, perfect for delivering a professional experience.
Stepping into the World of SIP
SIP technology isn’t a new concept in the communication landscape. However, it is something that continues to be a crucial consideration for many companies. With SIP technology, businesses have the freedom to grow at the pace that suits them. What’s more, you don’t have to pay for any technology that you’re not using.
SIP makes it easy to create the ideal custom communication stack. You can add hardware and software into the mix to suit different kinds of employees. What’s more, as new technology arrives on the market, your SIP provider can roll the innovations you need directly to you.
It’s no wonder that SIP phone technology continues to grow in value, potential, and market opportunity. Have you started your journey with SIP yet?