The market for VoIP is finally set to take off according to a Vanson Bourne survey of 3,000 UK enterprise IT managers, commissioned by leading storage, voice and networking distributor, Zycko. 54% of respondents felt there were more advantages than barriers to the adoption of VoIP this year. 57% of financial services companies stated that voice and data convergence, rather than cost cutting, was the most important reason for companies to rethink their voice and data strategy in 2006.
57% of IT managers across all industry sectors would consider reviewing existing systems in order to move to a converged voice and data solution this year. 73% would be prompted to review their systems to cut costs but interestingly, whilst budget considerations were a top priority for IT managers in the retail, transport and distribution sector (73%), and the manufacturing industry (61%), only 44% of IT managers in the financial services sector felt that cutting costs was the most important factor and instead, selected convergence as the number one driver for a systems review in 2006.
Whilst a number of barriers to VoIP adoption clearly exist including lack of budget (40%), contentment with existing suppliers (38%), lack of in-house resource (33%) and lack of knowledge about the solutions available on the market (18%), the majority of respondents (54%) were resolute in declaring that this would not deter them from reviewing their voice and data procurement to consider a VoIP solution in 2006.
So, are we to see a surge in the uptake of VoIP in 2006? Well, it is clear from the results that the vast majority of IT managers have overwhelming embraced IT telephony in the form of audio conferencing with 63% of companies frequently using audio conferencing and only 9% of companies claiming they have never used it.
IT managers are also clearly educated about the business benefits that VoIP can deliver with 63% of respondents across all industry sectors stating they would move to a converged solution in order to cut business costs. 53% would migrate to VoIP if implementation were simple and 45% would be tempted to migrate if they were confident they would be dealing with a trusted supplier. Security was an issue for 36% who would only consider a VoIP solution if water tight security measures were in place.
Despite the lack of barriers to adoption and an obvious interest and understanding of the business benefits that VoIP can deliver, it appears that the UK industry is still in the early adoption stages. In 2006, deployment will be gradual. This is illustrated by the fact that only 23% have already deployed the technology; a further 26% intend to introduce a solution this year, whilst 51% will not be implementing a new solution this year.
Phil Marshman, director of VoIP solutions, Zycko comments, “It is apparent that VoIP is no longer a technology buzz word; the days of companies clinging to their trusty circuit-switch networks are finally coming to an end. IT managers across the UK now fully understand the major business benefits that VoIP can deliver. Many are seriously rethinking their voice and data strategies and considering migrating their existing services to cut costs and improve the quality of services in their businesses in 2006.”
“Interestingly, there are no major barriers to VoIP adoption, something which I am sure wouldn’t have been the case a year ago. The financial services industry is clearly leading the way towards VoIP, but it arguably has the greatest need for international business communications, so this is unsurprising. What is surprising however, is the fact that the vast majority of companies are already using IP conferencing technology; 28% of respondents are already using VoIP and at Zycko, we have certainly seen a clear rise in demand for third generation, best of breed, scalable VoIP solutions, based on open standards technology. The fact that a further quarter of enterprises are considering implementation in 2006 demonstrates that the market for VoIP is finally taking off.”