Consultant reports mounting IP telephony interest

A survey by advisory firm TeleConsultants shows more than half of respondents are planning an IP telephony implementation in the next 12 months.

A survey by advisory firm TeleConsultants shows more than half of respondents are planning an IP telephony implementation in the next 12 months.

The survey, conducted by the firm in July, was sent to 200 organisations, including clients, and received 40 responses, TeleConsultants business development manager Chris Zwaagdyk says. Fifty-four percent said they would be planning to implement IP telephony in the coming year.

“That was higher than we had expected, but I wouldn’t say we were surprised,” Zwaagdyk says.

Another 11% already had IP telephony and, while the remaining 35% weren’t planning an implementation, “they may have thought about it and decided it’s not appropriate yet; it doesn’t mean they haven’t considered it.”

In a further breakdown, of those who say they will put in IP telephony, 15% said they were going to do it immediately, 20% within the coming year, 45% over the next one to three years and the remaining 20% in more than three years’ time.

The main drivers of the decision to switch to IP telephony were the expiry of leases on existing PBX equipment and plans to expand their business, Zwaagdyk says.

“Some said they were expanding and their new business requirements dictated the need for IP telephony.”

Some PBX equipment is reaching its end-of-support date, he says.

“There are a number of PBX products out there that are no longer being supported, or soon won’t be. For example, NEC2400s won’t be supported from next year.”

On the question of risks associated with IP telephony, the most common examples given by respondents were selecting the wrong solution, loss of the existing investment and unnecessary investment in IP telephony.

Perceived benefits included increased functionality, having a single network infrastructure, reduced administration costs and improvements in administration and toll savings.

Zwaagdyk says all respondents to the survey are large organisations, with the small to medium enterprise market not represented.

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