A key IP telephony standard is quickly gaining momentum, as enterprises are moving quickly to leverage the SIP standard (Session Initiation Protocol) in their contact centres – and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories has has reached more than 100 major enterprise customers that have begun SIP implementations using its customer service software.

"These new SIP customers are some of the largest enterprises in the world, with global operations," says Paul Segre, president and CEO of Genesys. "This milestone is an important indication of the market momentum that SIP is seeing, and we are certainly proud of the role Genesys has played in enabling that."
As the leading dedicated provider of customer service software, Genesys’ growth provides a good snapshot of IP adoption in contact centres. Genesys noted that one of the drivers behind SIP adoption with Genesys software is the ability to leverage existing PBXs and telephony and reduce the need for future infrastructure, providing tremendous cost savings and flexibility.
"The evolution to IP communications has been slower in the contact centre than for PBXs, largely due to concerns about impacting customer revenues and service with still emerging technology," says Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst at McGee-Smith Analytics. "That delay is proving to have an unintended benefit. Standards-based SIP contact centre applications, like the Genesys suite working with SIP Server, are giving companies an opportunity to leapfrog over proprietary IP approaches and move directly from TDM to SIP."
Companies typically use SIP and IP telephony to virtualize their customer service and enhance their customer service operations. By deploying virtual contact architecture, businesses can simultaneously reduce costs and improve service by interconnecting multiple contact centres.  They can also integrate a wide variety of other locations, such as branch offices, mobile experts, back office personnel, and even work-at-home agents.
As a result, enterprises can improve the overall customer experience by quickly matching the most relevant and available resources for each customer, and avoiding
excessive wait time.
The key advantages of SIP for enterprises include:
* Virtualisation that allows them to leverage both telephony and software applications across an entire organisation;
* Protection of existing investment by eliminating the need to rip and replace to any equipment while migrating to an IP telephony system;
* Separation of the telephony layer from applications, resulting in the freedom to select the hardware infrastructure and contact centre applications that best meets their needs today and in the future;
* Operational and productivity gains from fully utilising customer care professionals and experts in branch locations, remote offices, or affiliated partner organisations;
* Support for multiple customer service communication channels including voice, e-mail, and chat.
SIP is an application-layer control protocol used to create two-party, multiparty, or multicast sessions that include Internet telephone calls, multimedia distribution, and multimedia conferences. Originally designed by Henning Schulzrinne (Columbia University) and Mark Handley (UCL) in 1996, SIP is designed to be independent of the underlying transport layer. It is widely used as a protocol for Voice over IP.
In addition to SIP, Genesys software supports virtually all IP and mixed platforms, and can be deployed on top of a broad range of next generation technologies.  For example, it supports almost every major softswitch, providing telephony capabilities from vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Broadsoft, Cisco, Nortel, Siemens and Sonus.