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Global enterprises to embrace convergence by 2008: IDC

Almost three-quarters of global enterprises expect to migrate to a fully converged network by the end of 2008, acco...

January 30, 2006  

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Almost three-quarters of global enterprises expect to migrate to a fully converged network by the end of 2008, according to research released today by industry analyst firm IDC.

The research, sponsored by BT Group plc and Cisco Systems Inc., has found that 28% of large enterprises in Europe and the U.S. have already adopted converged technologies and this will expand over the next three years to 74%.

It also shows that the two major drivers for this rapid migration to Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks include expected cost savings over existing voice services (39%) and the end of serviceable life of existing Private Branch Exchange (PBX) networks (29%).

While reduction on voice call costs feature most prominently, additional drivers for organizations considering a converged network include enhanced productivity through flexible working, and improved business processes.

Mirroring these findings, the number one benefit anticipated by enterprises considering converged services is cost savings (73%).

These cost savings will be derived either directly from lower voice calls, or from other benefits such as more efficient network management (20%) and increased functionality enabled by additional IP-based features such as unified communications and mobile extensions (37%).

The research found that there is a significant lack of understanding in the enterprise market about the benefits that converged technologies can offer, with only 50 % of respondents believing they have sufficient knowledge to be able to make a decision about adoption.

Duncan Brown, consulting director at IDC, said as convergence reaches the mainstream of large enterprises, “buying criteria shifts emphasis towards providers that can demonstrate strong track records in capability and experience. Buyers also look for proof points, such as case studies and reference clients.”

“The findings show that while global enterprises may not be the first to adopt new technologies, when they can see sufficient evidence of real benefits and industry momentum then mainstream adoption will follow,” said Clive Sawkins, operations director for Cisco IP Communications.

Organizations were equally split between whether they would take a phased approach when migrating their voice services to IP, or whether they would migrate the entire estate in one go.

The research found that the larger organizations, with bigger and more complex networks, were more likely to take a phased approach, whereas smaller enterprises were more likely to migrate in just one implementation.