The contact center business is going through a phase of rapid transformation. This is the age of digitization, and communication is safest and most reliable when it can be broken down into small packets of data. If data is dispatched over IP networks, there is little chance of loss of data, and IP phone also allow data and voice calls to move through the same conduit.
To be fair to Time-division multiplexing (TDM) however, one must concede that this mode of data transmission also has some advantages which is why it has been in use in contact centers for more than 4 decades. However, when TDM protocol was invented, there was no concept of internet and different data centers were not hyper-connected in a non-linear formation. Speed was also not the most important criteria.
In the present age, most contact centers are struggling with cost escalations due to aging infrastructure and technology and too much flab or dependence on a single point of data control. Thereby, leading to loss of business and customer dissatisfaction. Only the most agile and progressive will survive in this period of intense competition.
Although SIP protocol has many inherent advantages which can skunk TDM protocol, the truth is that if your contact center has low voice priority, you can still stick with TDM, because you may not enjoy the cost benefits by simply switching technology, as it is still an enabling technology and cannot create new functionality.
However, for most contact centers, which deal with voice and data in almost equal measures or may give more priority to voice calls, adopting SIP protocol makes a lot of sense.
What is TDM Protocol?
TDM protocol is a transmitting methodology which has been largely used in traditional telephony communication to transmit and receive analog signals over wired paths. These signals are independent and proceed towards the receiving end point over a shared path. There are synchronization switches at the end of each transmission line, which ensure that each signal appears in the shared line only for a fraction of a second in an alternating manner. All the bits are collected at the receiving end and put together to form the full conversion.
What is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)?
SIP is a type of communications protocol that allows transmission of voice, video, instant messaging data over IP (internet protocol) networks. SIP protocol can be used for creation, modification or termination of sessions consisting of various multimedia signals. It is a text-based protocol and can be used in conjunction with other internet communication standardizations and protocols like SMTP, HTTP, SRTP, SDP, etc. It is an application-based software and since everything is converted into packets of data and SIP is independent of the path of transmission, data remains secure. It is a highly resilient system of communication.
Advantages of SIP over TDM
There are some major advantages of SIP protocol over TDM protocol which can make a big difference over the establishment cost that you incur over a period of one month. They are as follows:
- SIP protocol is highly reliable and doesn’t put load on a single control point: In SIP connection, each of the data centers are independently connected to the SIP trunking provider whereas in TDM, different signal generating centers are connected to a single controlling center which is connected to TDM trunking provider. As each of the nodes in an SIP connection are independent, they are more reliable, and reduce load on a single center.
- SIP protocol can be setup easily without incurring much additional costs: SIP protocol allows a contact center to transfer different kinds of multimedia messages like voice, text as well as video over a single transfer pipeline which reduces the cost of infrastructure. SIP trunks can also be used to connect a company’s PBX or PBXs which are placed within the same premises or scattered over different locations to be connected to a single conduit of transmission.
The communication process is also more secured than TDM which depends on analogue signals and can lose parts of the signal in transmission through wires. SIP, unlike TDM also doesn’t require gateway hardware or phone circuits which further add to saving of costs. The SIP compliant handsets are also much more economical than traditional handsets and all the discrete virtual data centers can be controlled through a single protocol which provides the benefit of scalability.
- SIP protocol can self maintain itself unlike TDM: SIP protocol of transmission is hassle-free and flexible. It can also be resilient as it has little dependence on hardware. Therefore, it rarely malfunctions. The cost benefits extend to allied services and infrastructure. Contact centers that use TDM protocol of transmission have to keep a maintenance team to look after the hardware. They have to invest in powerful cooling systems also. None of it is required in SIP.
- Integration is easier: An SIP ungrade can be easily achieved, as it is not too much dependent on hardware, and it can be integrated easily into the existing infrastructure of a company. TDM requires much more elaborate preparations.
SIP protocol has many advantages over TDM. If your budget permits and if your contact center uses both voice and data, it would make a lot of sense if you shift to SIP protocol from TDM.