IP telephony needs to mature

Gartner Group suggests that current IP telephony (IPT) installations are justified primarily on cost savings. According to the research group, few enterprises will attain business value from new IPT capabilities before 2005.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  October 28, 2003

Gartner Group suggests that current IP telephony installations are justified primarily on a cost savings basis. According to the research group, few enterprises will attain business value from new IP telephony capabilities before 2005.

Gartner, however, is also advising enterprises that they should only migrate to IP telephony and converged voice and data environments when the productivity gains of doing so can be clearly defined to business units.

"Organisations have stopped asking why they should implement IP telephony and are now focusing on when to implement," says Jeff Snyder, research vice president for Gartner. "When considering when to implement IP telephony, enterprises should look for tangible benefits beyond simple cost savings by understanding the needs of the business units, and identifying how improved communications can benefit overall business operations. Once those business benefits become measurable, though, there is no reason not to begin a migration to IP," he adds.

While cost savings or system upgrades have been the predominant reasons for most enterprises to migrate to IP telephony, Gartner Group recommends organisations purchase the basic equipment when it fits into their infrastructure plans. Following this, enterprises can convert completely to IP when the time feels right.

"Only after an organisation is prepared to make the change, for solid business reasons, should it begin the conversion process," says Snyder. "Because it may be difficult to anticipate exactly when budgets or processes will call for conversion, enterprises should not invest in any new products or architectures that cannot support upgrade to IP," he continues.

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