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VoIP Feature Article

VoIP

Johanne Torres

[May 4, 2005]

Special Report: Traditional Telephony Dying at Hands of VoIP

BY JOHANNE TORRES


Flashback: last November I asked the question: Will VoIP Dig Fixed Lines Grave? That morning on November fifth as I went through the headlines: SBC may trim thousands of jobs, analyst says, MCI upbeat despite $3.4bn loss, The Cingular/AT&T Wireless deal is closed, VoIP cuts into land lines it hit me, what in the world was going on with telecoms? What will the future bring for land lines? Are fixed lines becoming an endangered species? Yes, I thought back then, and as time goes on, my answer is confirmed. As we fast forward to today, many of us in the industry know this concept seems to be shaping up into a reality. So says a new study

The rapid adoption of VoIP technology is the death knell for traditional telephony, says a new study from IT research firm Info-Tech Research Group. The firm says that 23 percent of small- to mid-sized enterprises have already implemented VoIP technology and that number will grow to 50 percent within the next three years.

"VoIP is displacing traditional telephony services a lot faster than anyone expected," says George Goodall, research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group. "It means a whole change to the look and feel of an organizations IT infrastructure."

"While one network that handles applications and telephone calls is an IT managers dream, the speed with which VoIP is coming to the market might be an IT managers nightmare," Goodall added. "Senior managers are demanding the cost savings associated with VoIP, vendors are scrambling to reinvent their offerings, and IT managers are scrambling to implement the technology."

Goodall says that some traditional telephony infrastructure companies are meeting this growing challenge. He showcased Nortel and Avayas efforts: "[These] companies are aggressively introducing new VoIP products to the SME market. It may be too late. "They're racing against a group of young companies with products that specifically address the infrastructure limitations of SMEs. These products aren't just scaled down version of large-enterprise systems. Potentially, theyre category killers," he explained.

"Within three to five years the majority of enterprises will have switched some portion of their network to VoIP," Goodall predicts. "By that time traditional telephony vendors will have met the challenge and reinvented themselves, or theyll be dead."

These findings are part of Info-Tech Research Groups recently released report on VoIP vendors.

Info-Tech Research Group
www.infotech.com

Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com

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