Alan Percy
Alan Percy is Senior Director of Product Marketing at Dialogic, responsible for marketing of the the company's media server and...
Read Full Bio >>

Alan Percy | June 15, 2009 |


SIP Interoperability: Why Is It So Hard to Achieve? (Part II)

SIP Interoperability: Why Is It So Hard to Achieve? (Part II) Let's move past the technical issues and talk about a far more difficult challenge--the politics of SIP Interoperability.

Let's move past the technical issues and talk about a far more difficult challenge--the politics of SIP Interoperability.

Earlier this week I shared with you a few thoughts on SIP Interoperability, discussing what I felt where the root causes of incompatibility between two or more SIP-based systems. I clearly hit a raw nerve with a few of you, flooding my email box with your own stories of interoperability issues. You shared with me your own experiences with registration problems, call transfers, security, message waiting indications, even fax issues. It seems the couple examples I gave were only the tip of the iceberg.Let's move past the technical issues with SIP Interoperability and talk about a far more difficult challenge--the politics of SIP Interoperability.

It appears to me that soon after the authors of RFC 3261 finished their work, the fun really started. As the development teams of the various product and application companies started to build their solutions based on RFC 3261, the looseness of the specification allowed them to make wildly different choices all "within specification." The result was that you had developers that had invested untold hours of hard work into developing a protocol stack that worked fine in their own lab and with their own products, but had serious interoperability issues with other vendors. To each of the developers, it appeared that "everybody else screwed up."

So now you have a number of overworked developers that would have to go back into their products and re-work significant parts of their SIP stacks--just because someone else made some bad choices. The end result is a classic standoff with each of the vendors saying "we followed the spec, you should change." So much for "Open and Standard."

To make things even more politically complex, many of the vendors are starting to compete in the marketplace, vying for the same markets and customers. In this competitive environment, interoperability is a double-edge sword.

Okay, so let's pretend our developers get past their own stubbornness and decide to make some changes to be more interoperable. Who do you do your interoperability testing with? Do you test against anyone that comes along? Or maybe just in cases where "the business case works?" What happens if you or anyone else makes changes? Do you re-test with everyone? It was easy when there were just a few other applications to test with on the market, but now with hundreds of applications and devices to test, it becomes clear that the maintenance of SIP interoperability testing becomes a bigger burden than the original development.

So, how do we work around these political problems and break the cycle of continuous interoperability testing? This will be the topic of my next post.Let's move past the technical issues and talk about a far more difficult challenge--the politics of SIP Interoperability.


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017
March 27-30 | Orlando, FL
Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Special Offer - Save $200 Off Advance Rates

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 8, 2017

Enterprise IT's ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business -- 80% of CIOs agree. But the CIO role has never been more challenging than it is today, with rising operational respo

February 22, 2017

Sick of video call technology that make participants look like they're in the witness protection program? Turns out youre not alone. Poor-quality video solutions can give users an unprofessional ap

February 7, 2017

Securing voice communications used to be very simple since it was generally a closed system. However, with unified communications (UC) you no longer have the walled protection offered by a dedicate

February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.