Research Shows Strong and Increasing Adoption of IP Telephony
July 16, 2007
Contact center leaders around the world are consistently seeking solutions that will improve productivity while also reducing costs. As these individuals are under constant pressure to also improve customer service deliverables, many are seeking to adopt IP
IDG Research Services recently surveyed CIOs from across the U.S. and found strong and increasing adoption of IP telephony. The factors driving this adoption include the need for greater access to advanced telephony applications, improved management of distributed operations and reduced costs.
Survey findings indicated that a full 63 percent of respondents plan to deploy an IP PBX
within the next 12 months, which is an increase from 50 percent who have the technology deployed in some form today.
"The good news is that IP telephony has a great deal to offer the enterprise, and CIOs are seeing the tangible benefits of this technology," said Joseph A. Staples in a Monday statement. Staples is senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Interactive Intelligence Inc. a global developer of business communications software specializing in voice over IP
and the primary sponsor of the study.
"However, I think it's critical that CIOs understand an IP PBX deployment doesn't automatically translate into greater flexibility and reduced costs. Many IP PBXs today, are, in fact, still hardware-centric and built largely on proprietary standards."
To ensure that organizations such as contact centers gain the maximum value from an IP PBX, Staples advises CIOs to press hard on potential vendors regarding elements such as a single interface for administration, security architecture, adoption of the open SIP
standard, breadth of applications, and integration with back-office systems.
While the survey results revealed increasing adoption of IP telephony, respondents also expressed some concerns regarding areas such as network readiness (44 percent) and reliability (43 percent).
"I'm actually glad to see that network readiness and reliability are top-of-mind for CIOs," Staples said. "These concerns are extremely valid, but thankfully, they can largely be addressed by applying vendor selection criteria based on extensive IP telephony customer references and demonstrated expertise in network readiness assessments."
One survey respondent was able to add to this guidance by highlighting that CIOs must avoid the trap of going with the least expensive vendor or the most recognizable brand name.
"Many traditional telephony, networking and even data vendors are now offering some form of IP PBX," Staples said. "CIOs shouldn't assume that big-name vendors with established roots in related markets are also experienced in providing sophisticated IP-based communications applications. This is an extremely important distinction when you consider that today it's the enhanced applications that are driving the real value of IP PBXs."
The survey findings indicate that performance and security are the most importance criteria when selecting an IP communications solution at 74 percent and 63 percent respectively. In addition, the most popular VoIP-enabled applications were unified messaging
, speech recognition, videoconferencing, mobility and teleworking.
Contact centers are taking advantage of such technology to distribute their operations through additional locations and even home-based agents to maximize performance options while controlling overall costs. As more and more organizations implement IP communication solutions, business processes can be streamlined to ensure customers get what they need while operations are optimized.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page
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