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January 03, 2012

VoIP Overcoming Adoption Hurdles

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Yaniv Epshtein, director UK & Nordics at AudioCodes (News - Alert), recently offered some thoughts in the industry journal on how to move to customer unified communications or Voice over IP in as painless a way as possible.

Adopting a Unified Communications (News - Alert) platform to take care of their communications needs, such as voice, email, instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, is an option for more companies these days, but not as many are actually jumping in and adopting it.

Epshtein notes that Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync promises to deliver on the UC vision, combining instant messaging, VoIP-calling, live meetings and videoconferencing. And if you were at Enterprise Connect (News - Alert) in Orlando recently you heard from a steady parade, Epshtein says, of users talking about the “massive savings to be made when consolidating telecoms infrastructure.”

Maybe so. But still, adoption has been relatively scant. Epshtein says all that might change, now, that many of the obstacles heretofore keeping widespread VoIP are being conquered -- VoIP offers tremendous savings, significantly reduced OPEX costs, richer feature sets, enhanced endpoints, enormous flexibility and options when migrating, among other advantages.

In fact, Epshtein says, for those who really have a problem letting go of their good old, reliable POTS handsets -- perfectly understandable, if something works fine it’s hard to wave it goodbye -- when combined with a PSTN (in hybrid mode) setup, a VoIP-based system gives you a reliable survivability option which also lets you handle any migration gradually to fit in with budget planning.”

Epshtein addresses squarely the fact that yes, much has been made of VoIP's interoperability issues “and the risks it posed to previous telecom investments,” and finds that while that certainly was a concern in years past, today new products from third-party vendors are easing the transition. In fact, in the case of Microsoft Lync, he says, “vendors like AudioCodes provide products that enable generic SIP phones to be connected into the Lync environment,” and if you want to replace your entire infrastructure, Lync runs an official certification program which ensures complete 'plug and play' compatibility.

In October TMC’s Erik Linask (News - Alert) wrote that AudioCodes has made its name on the strength of its IP gateways and, more recently, its line of E-SBCs, a natural extension if its gateways. And as businesses continue to migrate to unified communications, those gateways and E-SBCs are going to increase in demand.

But, AudioCodes has also been fairly stealthily growing its UC product line, having already launched its own line of IP phones, as well as its mobile UC client, both of which allow businesses to maximize on their UC implementations.  The VMAS mobile UC client is already powering Vonage’s mobility solution.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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