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May 14, 2007

The IP Telephony Divide Persists

On May 11, the first in a series of research surveys was launched with TMC (News - Alert) subscribers and Web site visitors surrounding the current state of adoption of IP Telephony and Unified Communications (News - Alert) applications.

The survey was conducted in partnership with industry research firm IntelliCom Analytics, which performs regular in-depth studies of the installed base of business communications technology. We anticipate conducting new surveys and sharing research findings on a weekly basis; providing our readers with a regular feed of data and analysis focused on the use and perceived value of advanced communication platforms, applications and services by peer businesses.
The results of the May 11th survey show a continuing divide — some eight-plus years after the commercial introduction of IP Telephony systems — between the penetration of IP Telephony and Unified Communications applications in larger versus smaller businesses.
Of the 755 business decision makers participating in this survey, 27.6 percent have totally migrated their environments to IP Telephony, with enterprises of 501 to 1,000 employees showing the largest IP penetration, and small businesses of less than 50 employees the least. Since an underlying IP infrastructure is a prerequisite for Unified Communications, smaller businesses are also the trailing segment in terms of UC adoption.
Interestingly, the leading edge for UC application deployment is the 501–1,000 employee segment, suggesting the possibility that the perceived complexity and challenges of implementing and integrating UC applications in large-scale operations may be deterring larger enterprises from moving forward as quickly as smaller enterprises — a hypothesis that we will test in a subsequent survey.
Category Definitions


  • Active UC — Business that not only have totally implemented IP platforms, but have also begun implementing Unified Communications applications.


  • Totally IP — Businesses that have totally migrated to IP, but have yet to implement any Unified Communications applications.


  • Mix of IP and TDM — Businesses that have begun their migration to IP, but are still managing a mixed infrastructure.


  • Totally/Mainly TDM — Businesses that remain completely TDM, or retain TDM in their main locations with small scale IP trials underway.


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