While the consumer voice over IP market is buzzing with the news that eBay has bought Skype, the business case for VoIP is just as compelling and New Zealand and Australian companies are leading the way.
Communications equipment vendor Avaya has asked 200 Australasian companies about their use of VoIP and the results show that 23% of those surveyed were already using VoIP while a further 24% were "seriously considering" deploying VoIP in the near future.
The survey, which looked at companies with more than 200 employees, found that the larger companies were more likely to have already deployed VoIP while the next tier down were still thinking about it.
In New Zealand that translates into a large potential VoIP market, says Avaya's local partner, Agile. Managing director Tony Jayne says VoIP has moved beyond the early adopter stage.
"What it means is that VoIP is becoming mainstream and that companies see the competitive advantage it brings to their business." Jayne says it's not about the technology itself any more, but rather about the business case.
"Certainly there are cost savings to be had, as well as enhanced features."
Jayne says companies that spend more on IT are also more likely to have already deployed VoIP.
"Those that have a budget of more than $2 million make up the bulk of the 23% that have already deployed VoIP, while those with a budget of under $2 million are in the majority of the 'seriously considering' category."
Jayne says while most New Zealand businesses are small to medium sized, the implications are that VoIP deployment is moving down the food chain towards the SME market.
VoIP deployment is also moving away from its traditional home in contact centres further afield.
"We are now talking to customers about rolling it out right across the organisation. This technology has matured significantly in the last 12 months," Jayne says.