To SIP or not to SIP

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I don’t rant very often but I will today. Over the last 20 years, the industry has built a large number of electronic consumables. These are generally home devices that bring you high-speed data, voice, and video. If you look at the landscape, you can see that most of these technologies are supported by an industry-built standard protocol. These include DOCSIS, RADIUS, PacketCable, SIP, and a number of encoding schemes for voice and video.

However, there is one area where the industry has missed the boat. When it comes to configuring a SIP device, there is no standard. In fact, there is often no standard even within a single vendor. Every vendor seems to have developed their own method to configure these devices. That’s great if you are the vendor and you want to sell the configuration, but in most cases, vendors are only interested in selling hardware.

As a result, we are stuck with SIP devices that have similar capabilities but are not configured in any similar way. This difference in configuration between SIP devices has caused some of our engineers to wonder about the device manufacturers. Have they ever tried to work on these devices in a real environment, or with heterogeneous devices and vendors?

At Incognito, we’ve seen how frustrating it can be to deal with such a dizzying array of device configurations. To manage this, we’ve built our multimedia provisioning service (MPS) to try to manage multiple vendors under one umbrella and offer common ways of viewing these devices. This means that we’re always interested in finding new devices to discover how they work and how we can configure it. We love SIP, but when it comes to SIP phones, the industry as a whole has missed this one.

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