IP telephony is steadily replacing legacy systems in medium-to-large companies, but call quality is still holding back widespread adoption, according to results from a global study.
A strengthening economy and a perception that IP telephony has come of age and is now a lower risk are the two key factors that will drive adoption in medium to large companies in the next two years. Call quality and applications that merge voice and data are important motivators for businesses to migrate to IP telephony from the legacy public switched telephone networks (PSTN) systems. However the split between the two is still 50-50.
These are just some of the findings of a recent global survey conducted by Australian PROGNOSIS systems and network management software developer Integrated Research.
Call quality is the key challenge in convincing companies to switch from their old analogue and digital systems to IP handsets, said Graham Jones director of IP telephony products at Integrated Research in a statement.
"End users are accustomed to PSTN quality and will not settle for less, even with added functionality," said Jones. "For an end-user, picking up a phone implies getting an instant dial tone, and continued cut-offs or audio quality problems will have users running back to their old phones."
Cisco was named the most popular IP telephony platform, with over 52 percent of respondents currently using - or intending to invest in - a Cisco-based solution. Avaya and Nortel follow suit with 10 percent and nine percent respectively.
The survey polled over 2,800 senior IT and telecoms managers, evenly distributed across medium to large enterprises. About 80 percent of respondents were from North America, with the remainder distributed evenly between Europe and Asia.
The survey suggests that most organisations are moving to IP telephony. With 56 percent of respondents already using an IP telephony system, 26 percent indicated a trial within 12 months, with a further 18 percent pointing to a two-year trial date.