Two thirds of global businesses will deploy voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to the desktop by 2006, according to a survey.
In its report, "Getting off the Ground: Why the move to VoIP" Deloitte estimated that by 2006 more than two thirds of all Global 2000 companies would have started deploying VoIP to the desktop.
The report found that 84 percent of respondent companies saw cost reduction as a key driver. Of those surveyed, 79 percent of early VoIP adopters were either 'mostly' or highly 'satisfied' with the technology to date.
Ian McCall, partner at Deloitte's Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group, said the biggest mistake organisations could make was to see VoIP solely as a cost reduction opportunity best left to techies.
"Organisations must balance the implications of VoIP on costs, alongside its impact on organisational efficiency and performance," McCall said.
"It is an important new technology, which has the potential to deliver cost and efficiency benefits to companies that deploy it wisely. But it must be applied sensitively, since its disruption potential is still substantial.”
Deloitte recommended involvement from at least four top executives -- the CEO, CFO, COO and CIO -- in order to make sure the benefits from VoIP deployment were maximised across the organisation.
"Decision-makers need to bear in mind the telephone's standing as one of the most critical business tools," McCall said.
"Both clients and employees are far less tolerant of a malfunctioning phone system than they are of IT breakdowns. VoIP requires new systems, new equipment and new skills -- all of which require investment, deployment and training.”