How SIP Transforms Small Office Communications Small offices — including small or mid-sized businesses and small branches of large enterprises — are becoming more dynamic in form and function and are becoming increasingly distributed. These work environments must address challenges that although not unique, can be nonetheless daunting for small offices, including: Capital costs: As small offices seek to maintain a more dynamic form that focuses on the localized needs of their markets, they often find themselves balancing the need for adaptability with the upfront capital costs of communications solutions. Operating and administrative costs: Communications solutions often require on-site technical installation and maintenance services. Additional costs are incurred when local support is required to fix problems, add capacity, or perform basic administrative tasks. Speed: For many small offices, competitive advantage is all about speed — time to deployment drives time to market. Developing new applications that integrate with complex communications architectures through open but proprietary APIs (application programming interfaces) can be a time-consuming event requiring detailed planning, staging, testing, and debugging. Business continuity: Small businesses are often more sensitive to disruptive events than larger businesses. The survivability of a small business may be threatened by even a relatively minor or short-term event lasting only a few days. Peer-to-peer (P2P) SIP is one solution for small- and mid-sized businesses. P2PSIP collapses some of the more complex server functions into the phones (or other endpoints) themselves. P2PSIP relies on the core SIP philosophy that intelligence in communications solutions should reside in the endpoint (refer to Chapter 1 for more about the variety of available SIP endpoints, or user agents). Contrast this approach with that of old-fashioned analog telephones that do little more than amplify voice signals and rely upon complex and fixed-cost PBX switches to provide communications functionality.