Ian Shepherd, Solutions Manager at reseller Telindus, says that according to recent research they have carried out two thirds of organisations placed cost savings as the key reason for IPT implementation followed by improved productivity (42%). The survey also revealed that larger organisations (1000+ employees) are more than twice as likely to be using IP Telephony compared to organisations with between 50 and 100 employees.
“Productivity increases will replace cost reductions as the main driver for the adoption of IP communications. However, this will mainly apply to larger organisations as they tend to make investment decisions based on value rather than cost. The greatest value to be gained through the use of IP Telephony is in efficiency and productivity gains. The network services provider also sees the difficulty for the majority of smaller organisations to justify the perceived high cost of IP telephony vs. traditional telephony on cost reduction grounds alone.”
Exceptions to this trend consist, according to Shepherd, in the end of support of existing equipment, or the need for a significant data infrastructure upgrade – which are enabling smaller organisations to justify the move to IP Telephony. “As IP telephony technology further matures and the cost differential between IP telephony and TDM based telephony decreases and finally reverses, Telindus expects that the percentage of smaller organisations adopting IP telephony will increase. Several IP telephony manufacturers have already stated that they believe this to be so, such as Cisco and Nortel who have produced a range of specific SMB products, and are strategically committed to making their offerings more attractive to the SMB market.”
According to Telindus, the most significant barrier to data, voice and video convergence will be the lack of in-house knowledge and skills to implement and support the technology. This is particularly true within smaller organisations that are showing increasing interest in managed telephony and video conferencing and surveillance services. A recent survey by the Yankee group, for example, found that over one third of all SMBs are considering outsourced, managed IP telephony as a route to IPT.