SIP Plus Mobility Calls for Creative Thinking
The IP world has done a decent job of emulating old TDM methods; now it's time to break free of the past.
SIP and mobility are key to many businesses and workers, but combined they don't necessarily equate to creative solutions. Let me explain.
Caller ID was a moneymaker for the telcos, and it's still a feature that many consumers use and want. That said, it doesn't really support the needs of the IP-centric network.
Using a myriad of technological solutions, businesses try to answer these five questions about any caller:
- Who is calling? Fundamentally, without a doubt, Caller ID answers this question. Unfortunately, Caller ID spoofing, though legal in certain cases, can be exploited.
- What number has the caller dialed? In the TDM world, Dialed Number Identification Service addresses this to some degree. However, it is lost in the transfer or re-routing of calls when mobility comes into play. For example, DNIS doesn't gets passed along with Caller ID dialing "1-800-EAT-FOOD" to a cell phone. The caller's name/number gets routed, but not the dialed number.
- What does the caller want? Audio response units and automated attendants address this concern. But they do so by putting the caller through a maze of questions that enable "proper" call routing that doesn't always work out. Callers often end up in voicemail Hades or some other place they didn't intend.
- From where is the call originating? This knowledge remains more elusive than ever, thanks to local number portability. Americans move at a reported annual rate of 12%, and with portability they can now retain their numbers as they relocate. So today Caller ID doesn't always accurately represent from "where" someone is calling. So many calling routing and other processes of old that relied on area code don't hold up today.
- When is the caller dialing in? Number portability mucks things up here, too -- a West Coast phone number doesn't mean the caller is dialing from the Pacific time zone. The Global Positioning System could prove to be useful, but while GPS is great for smartphone location services it's not an end-all solution. /li>
The IP world has done a pretty decent job of emulating the old TDM methods. However, it's time to break free of the past and move into the future with a different mindset. The interesting thing about Web surfing is that the metrics are pretty accurate. How can we apply the technology to better answer the five key questions about callers? What do you think?