Enterprises should not convert to an IP telephony environment simply to save money, analyst Gartner has advised.
Corporates should instead wait until productivity benefits brought on by voice and data convergence can clearly be quantified.
Almost all IP telephony projects will be justified on cost savings before 2005, as few enterprises will be able to translate IP telephony capabilities into business value.
Jeff Snyder, research vice president at Gartner, said: "When considering when to implement IP telephony, enterprises should look for tangible benefits beyond simple cost savings by understanding the needs of the business units.
"[They should] identify how improved communications can benefit overall business operations. Once those business benefits become measurable, though, there is no reason not to begin a migration to IP."
When determining the time to purchase the basic infrastructure, Gartner advised enterprises to do so when it fits into their infrastructure plans, but not let that timing dictate the actual conversion to IP telephony.
"Only after an organisation is prepared to make the change for solid business reasons should it begin the conversion process," said Snyder.
"Because it may be difficult to anticipate exactly when budgets or processes will call for conversion, enterprises should not invest in any new products or architectures that cannot support the upgrade to IP."
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