Turning Technology inTo Business Value

Business WhiTe PaPer

AlcAtel-lucent SIP FederAtIon Model:

understanding when, where, how and why to deploy siP solutions can be a minefield, but that’s all about to change. alcatel-lucent is the first vendor to propose a comprehensive and actionable framework to turn siP into business value. The alcatel-lucent siP Federation Model outlines five scenarios that address the main constituents of a communications architecture, and each scenario identifies opportunities for siP deployment and the business value that can be derived. The siP Federation Model is based upon alcatel-lucent’s extensive experience of iP deployments for thousands of customers, our rich siP heritage in Bell labs and genesys, and our ongoing assessments of new technologies. With the alcatel-lucent siP Federation Model, siP can finally live up to its promise of delivering tangible business benefits and hard roi.

tAble oF contentS
introduction / 1 The alcatel-lucent siP Federation Model / 1 The Five scenarios of the alcatel-lucent siP Federation Model / 2
1. networks: siP Trunking or the Foundation level of siP / 2 2. Devices: unifying the user experience / 2 3. Federation of communication systems / 2 4. Federation of applications / 3 5. Federation of collaborative conversations / 3

alcatel-lucent’s siP credentials / 4

IntroductIon
With CIOs and IT directors under pressure to deliver services that help business line managers grow their respective areas of responsibilities, it is essential that they are able to translate technology implementations into tangible business value for a competitive advantage. This challenge occurs at a time when technologies are becoming increasingly standardized, with budgets still tightly controlled, and with a new generation of power-users dictating to their IT departments exactly which phone with which apps they want/need to do their jobs. For CIOs, it comes down to closing the gap between the convenience, comfort and value of consumer communications and their expected equivalent in the enterprise space. This is a shift aimed at transforming communication technologies and related applications into business value and improved employee engagement — and involves moving from voice-centric communications to native multimedia conversations that provide history and context. This shift, inevitably, must be supported by technology. The technology’s name — or, rather, its more commonly used acronym — is SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). SIP provides the ability to span the three main domains that make the shift possible: networks, applications and devices. And it is critical for enterprises to understand how to use SIP for the ultimate benefit of the business.

the AlcAtel-lucent SIP FederAtIon Model
To help enterprises and public organizations leverage the power of a SIP-based communications architecture, Alcatel-Lucent is the first vendor to propose a comprehensive and actionable framework to turn SIP into business value. The Alcatel-Lucent SIP Federation Model proposes five scenarios for the use of SIP as a technology, addressing the main constituents of a communications architecture and highlighting the expected business gains to be realized from each. While these scenarios can be managed and implemented independently, the hierarchical structure of the Alcatel-Lucent SIP Federation Model provides a logical framework to help organizations address business priorities.
Figure 1. Alcatel-Lucent SIP Federation Model

Conversation Application Communication Device Network

Deliver multimedia Conversation Enable applications to run on any communication platform Federate existing communication systems Provide choice of any devices Drive cost reduction by consolidating access points

SIP

alcatel-lucent siP Federation Model
AlcAtel-lucent enterPrISe buSIneSS WhIte PAPer

1

the FIve ScenArIoS oF the AlcAtel-lucent SIP FederAtIon Model
1. networks: SIP trunking or the Foundation level of SIP
The native use of SIP occurs at the infrastructure level to interconnect heterogeneous networks. This use case is in many ways similar to that experienced a decade ago with IP, where SIP technology was solely used to cut costs by enabling interconnection at no (additional) charge. An increasing number of organizations are looking to extend this cost benefit to communications outside the company by using SIP connections to their service provider’s network. It is always necessary to validate new interconnections like this because each implementation is specific to the service provider concerned, although it is worth noting that Alcatel-Lucent’s portfolio of enterprise communication servers has passed SIP trunking interworking tests with more than 50 carriers across the globe. The three main benefits of SIP trunking are: • Cost control: communications go through SIP from end-to-end, thus avoiding service provider call charges. • Smooth implementation of SIP without the need for further modification. • Protection of existing investments, as most communication servers installed today are either SIP compatible or can be connected via low cost gateways.

2. devices: unifying the user experience
Enterprises and public organizations are witnessing a proliferation of different devices being “imported” by their employees, who are used to using the latest technology in their personal lives, and who no longer want to accept a sub-standard communications experience in the office. At the same time, organizations have been profiling their employees to ensure that the right mix of devices and applications is provided to employees according to their role or function. Both trends result in the need to support more types of devices — or, rather — end-points. This raises the issue of having to ensure that voice, data and video applications work seamlessly across these different end-points, such as laptops, desk phones and the many different models of mobile smart phones and tablet computers. The experience should ideally be the same whether the user is at their desks, roaming in the hallways, or out on the road. SIP is the answer to creating this unified user experience across devices and media. The user experience will be further addressed when we reach the fifth scenario of the SIP Federation Model.

3. Federation of communication Systems
As with any technological evolution, the shift to SIP as the building block for communication services will not happen overnight and, in any case, companies are not all starting from the same place. An example is communication platforms: While centralization has been one of the hottest topics of the last few years, many organizations are understandably still assessing the legitimacy of grouping their servers into one central place. While not questioning the value of IP centralization, SIP might offer an alternative route.

alcatel-lucent siP Federation Model
AlcAtel-lucent enterPrISe buSIneSS WhIte PAPer

2

This is what we refer to as federation of platforms. The principle is simple, but the outcomes are very interesting. Essentially, a SIP-based next generation platform becomes the “umbrella” for existing, geographically dispersed communication servers. While this approach doesn’t bring the same scale of OPEX benefits as centralization, it does bring immediate rewards for a very limited risk, such as: • Investment protection, whether or not the existing infrastructure is capable of additional SIP functionality. • Enabling of SIP trunking capabilities at a central level (from and to the SIP umbrella). • Deployment of converged services, such as a unique dialing/numbering plan or single integration with corporate directories. This SIP umbrella becomes a stepping stone to a broader adoption of SIP, thus allowing a phased replacement of the existing equipment with one or multiple next-generation communication platforms.

4. Federation of Applications
Although no longer viewed as the panacea for all communication problems, SIP has been the incubator enabling innovations and evolution, and it now delivers on the promise of a single converged architecture for unified communications — collaboration and contact centers (UC4). When it can take up to 20 servers to serve 1,000 users with unified communications, it is clear that such application architectures are far too complex. Unified communications, conferencing, collaboration and contact center applications each use their own technology, requiring different application servers. When you also consider desktop applications from Microsoft or IBM, business applications for supply chain management, human resources or CRM, it is no surprise that around 70 percent of IT budgets are spent on maintenance and operations, leaving little room for new and innovative projects. While these different applications may claim to be able to work together, their priorities and objectives are diverse and the way they work is different. Frequently, a referee is needed to ensure they all get along harmoniously and consistently. Today, SIP is that referee. Enterprises need to seamlessly integrate communication applications onto a single, SIP-atthe-core service layer that enables multimedia conversations. This will make the interworking (and, therefore, the maintenance) of the different elements far less complex. To serve this need, Alcatel-Lucent’s next-generation enterprise communication architecture will merge all unified communications, conferencing, contact center applications and supporting functions into a single SIP-at-the-core engine. This will simplify the interworking between the various elements and reduce deployment and maintenance costs.

5. Federation of collaborative conversations
Thanks to SIP, the time of one person communicating on one device at one time is over. SIP has enabled a new era of open and collaborative conversations which can change form as the conversations require.
Figure 2. Collaborative Conversation Experience

Collaborative Conversation Experience

Intuitive Control

Any Device Any Time

Immersive Multimedia Experience

alcatel-lucent siP Federation Model
AlcAtel-lucent enterPrISe buSIneSS WhIte PAPer

3

As a simple illustration, when a call is taken by a user, the end-point (the desk phone, for example) is considered the termination point of the communication; there is no way to automatically and natually switch the conversation to another device, change the media of the conversation (from voice to video, for example) or add additional participants. It’s totally different with Alcatel-Lucent’s implementation of SIP. All of an individual’s communication devices are considered in parallel, and a conversation can be transferred seamlessly between them at any time. This is where the notion of session makes sense (the ‘S’ of SIP). The end-point becomes the user, not the device, for the duration of the session, which can be extended at any moment to new people. In addition, the conversation can go beyond voice to include text and video, as long as the device being used supports the medium. With SIP, communication become persistent, natively multimedia and completely fluid, making it natural to add and remove participants as the context changes, the conversation progresses, and fresh ideas are exchanged. What’s more, a benefit of SIP for collaborative conversations is its native ability of the technology to go beyond silos and beyond borders. For example, SIP has the capacity to invite participants into a conversation regardless of their organization or location. Therefore, collaborative conversations can happen not only between employees of the same organization, but also with partners, suppliers and customers.

AlcAtel-lucent’S SIP credentIAlS
The SIP Federation Model is based upon Alcatel-Lucent’s extensive experience of IP deployments for thousands of customers (Alcatel-Lucent embraced SIP as the core technology for the future of enterprise communications back in 2002), our rich SIP heritage in Bell Labs and Genesys, and our ongoing assessments of new technologies. The scenarios detailed in this paper do not require rip and replace, and the model supports an evolutionary approach where value is added on top of an existing infrastructure — where it makes sense, when it makes sense. The bottom line is that the Alcatel-Lucent SIP Federation Model is an illustration of our global strategy, which is aimed at reinforcing our approach for open systems (including infrastructure, applications, devices and platforms), and helping our customers to transform the customer experience, foster innovation, realize a competitive advantage, and achieve tangible business benefits and ROI.

www.alcatel-lucent.com/enterprise
alcatel, lucent, alcatel-lucent, and the alcatel-lucent enterprise logo are trademarks of alcatel-lucent. all other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. The information presented is subject to change without notice. alcatel-lucent assumes no responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein. copyright © 2011 alcatel-lucent. all rights reserved.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful