Enterprises to Drive Hosted VoIP Adoption, Study Says
October 1, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM and its reseller partners in the System i market are putting a lot of energy into pushing Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony as a means of bolstering the product line and making it more relevant in the modern data center. Convergence of computing and telecommunications is happening on a lot of fronts, and this makes a certain amount of sense. But it is not necessarily a foregone conclusion that companies will deploy their VoIP internally.
As is the case with other kinds of computing, companies may decide to use a hosted model to provide VoIP services to their end users. According to a report from ABI Research, which tracks data communications and related converging markets, enterprises–the kinds of companies that deploy large-scale ERP systems that run on machines like the System i–are increasingly looking at hosted VoIP services, which were originally designed for low-budget small businesses that do not want to install and maintain the servers to provide VoIP capability to their end users. This conclusion comes from a new report from ABI Research, called The Evolution of Enterprise VoIP: Shifting Trends for PBX, IP Phones, VoW, and Hosted Services.
Of course, midrange and enterprise shops–the kinds that can plunk down hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars for server and software infrastructure–like to do their own IT, but that does not necessarily mean that they will want to do their own VoIP. But they will still want the cost reductions that come from pulling out PBX switches and moving to IP-based telephony.
“Increasingly, hosted services will interest larger organizations and will be offered by a greater number of service providers–as premises-deployed, small-business VoIP solutions become more cost-effective: targeting advanced features and applications,” explains Stan Schatt, ABI Research vice president and research director. And this will be particularly true for companies that have a lot of remote facilities, which requires carbon copies of VoIP infrastructure. “Larger companies will adopt hosted services,” says Schatt. “This is attributed to several factors, including hesitance to invest in new premises equipment and an interest to upgrade satellite offices that require larger equipment installations than if the volume of users were centralized in one location–thus making a hosted service more economically feasible.”