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February 27, 2008

Embracing Enterprise VoIP at Home and Abroad

By Brian Solomon, TMCnet Web Editor

In 2007, North American enterprises and small and medium-size businesses are continuing to deploy many VoIP technologies and services, but overall year-over-year growth is modest in many cases. Use of and interest in managed VoIP and IP telephony services is also growing modestly. Although many customers anticipate tremendous growth in the deployment of IP telephony, VoIP, and IP videoconferencing over the next two to three years, a number of critical inhibitors could delay migration. Solutions to some of these problems lie in the hands of customers themselves, but many more are the responsibility of suppliers and providers. These include: improving offer reliability; creating attractive packages; simplifying migration from legacy technology; and streamlining the business case. Suppliers and providers that develop creative, customer-focused solutions to these vexing issues will experience an uptake in adoption that their peers will only be able to envy.
Enterprise implementation of voice over IP (VoIP) in Europe is firmly entering the mass adoption phase. Most enterprises (76%) are going down the IP PBX route — either installing the equipment on their own premises or contracting a managed service from a hosting center. Enterprise interest in hosted VoIP is also increasing, although from a very small base, and the growth of IP contact centers appears to have stalled. Unified communications (UC) are firmly on the agenda — 35% of firms say UC is a priority, and 18% have implemented some element of UC. However, very few firms today have enterprisewide strategies for UC; the obstacles that they face include cost justification, internal organizational issues, and the need to deal with multiple vendors in a complex and constantly changing market. However, enterprise sourcing professionals need to grasp the nettle and develop a sourcing strategy for UC, as there is growing evidence that a successful UC deployment can improve a firm's competitive position and its bottom line.
Brian Solomon is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Brian Solomon’s columnist page
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