Almost 80 per cent of large global companies are moving to deploy IP telephony, research reported today.
A recent global survey conducted by analyst firm Integrated Research suggests that this mass conversion is not due to circuit-switched PABX systems reaching their end-of-life, but is driven by demand for IP applications and enhanced communication capabilities such as IP-based video conferencing.
Nathan Brumby, general manager for IP telephony at Integrated Research, said: "The results of the 2004 survey showed that the key factors driving IP telephony were the reduction of operating costs and the perception that IP telephony had come of age due to enhanced features such as video conferencing.
"I think those comments are justified by the 2005 survey results, and I believe they continue to be the key factors."
IP-based video conferencing was found to be of "immediate interest" for 70 per cent of those surveyed.
A total of 1,232 executives participated in the online study in late 2005. The US accounted for 34 per cent of overall respondents, while Europe, Australia/Oceania and Asia, Africa, and the Middle East accounted for the remaining 66 per cent.
The report found that 78 per cent of those surveyed were at various stages of VoIP deployment or adoption. Only six per cent were unsure of their plans to adopt the technology.
Just one per cent of overall VoIP deployments were considered to have failed. Of these, over half failed during the testing or pilot phase, and the remainder failed shortly after going 'live'.
"This figure adds weight to the importance of pre-deployment assessment and the use of specific management tools," said Brumby.
"The survey results show that respondents now understand that system performance monitoring of applications and networks is the key criteria for successful IP telephony deployment.
"This is despite the still popular but misleading notion that existing data management tools are adequate for the purpose."
Cisco's dominance of the VoIP market increased from 43 per cent in 2004 to 62 per cent in 2005, according to the survey.
The results also show that more organisations are choosing to deploy VoIP systems in-house by "up-skilling" staff in the new technology rather than relying on systems integrators.
"The maturation of the IP telephony enterprise market is speeding up exponentially," said Brumby. "The hardware, application and management tools are now so advanced that it is easier for organisations to slipstream in their wake. "
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