So I was tucking into my complimentary bowl of Crunchy Nut yesterday morning when a co-worker asked me if I wanted to take a SIP of her homemade blend of coffee. Naturally I was confused; this question didn’t make any sense.
“That question doesn’t make any sense,” I smugly announced to the entire kitchen with a singular raised eyebrow: “how could I possibly take a Session Initiation Protocol of coffee? It’s not even IP-enabled.”
Confident that I’d successfully shown off my superior intellect to a group of co-workers, I began to take my leave. What transpired next was most curious, most curious indeed.
“Hey!” she yelled out as I walked away: “I wasn’t talking about that SIP!”
“How curious,” I thought, stroking my imaginary moustache: “how curious indeed.”
I returned to my desk and immediately typed ‘SIP’ into Google. It returned 106 million results in just under a second. Not wanting to miss anything important, I worked back to front and upon reaching the first page; I finally found what I was looking for:
The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a communications protocol for signalling and controlling multimedia communication sessions. The most common applications of SIP are in Internet telephony for voice, video calls and instant messaging (or Unified Communications).
Sure enough, my theory checked out. SIP was a communications protocol. What was I missing then? I took a large glug of water and quietly wondered.
As I always did when I was stressed, I began to list the business benefits of unified communications on a piece of paper. Knowing full well that the list was endless, I went for my favourite 4 in order to save time:
Value: Reduce expenditure on your current business phone calls.
Maintenance: No costly upgrades or hardware maintenance needed.
Tariffs: Make calls to anywhere in the world with market-leading call tariffs.
Flexible: Scalable solution enables the solution to grow alongside your business.
Perfect – except I used the word solution twice in the last benefit. I needed another word and I needed one fast.
“Does anyone know another word for solution?” I called out to the office.
“Try a thesaurus,” a nearby voice said: “you’ll find loads of words that are different but have the same meaning.”
“But how will that”-
Jinkies! As if by magic the solution hit me square in the face. If there are multiple words for a singular meaning, doesn’t it stand to reason then that there could be a word that is spelled the same but has an entirely different meaning?
The next morning I woke up early and performed my morning ritual of reciting the industries that can benefit from unified communications. Knowing full well that every vertical can achieve great results with SIP, I decided to go with 4 in order to save time:
Construction: With contractors coming and going, we make it easy for you to add and remove SIP channels, enabling you to be as flexible as you need.
Accommodation: You can have a phone in every room at minimal cost. In the hotel sector, this is an advantage as it allows guests to have easy access to ordering food and valet services.
Education: Both students and teachers are able to use several devices, ranging from desk phones, mobile phones to tablets, laptops or computers - enabling for truly seamless communications.
Retail: Smaller businesses can benefit as they can effectively achieve a wireless solution, avoiding the need to strategically hide ugly wires from customers.
Shortly after that, I found myself back in the office kitchen when the same colleague as before approached me again with her steaming hot coffee in hand.
“Would you like a sip of my homemade blend of coffee?” she said.
I laughed politely, grinning from ear to ear, knowing full well what she meant this time. She wasn’t talking about the saviour of business communications, Session Initiation Protocol, but simply referring to trying a bit of her coffee.
“Absolutely not” I replied: “it looks and smells disgusting.”
And that was that.
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