INTERNET telephony has moved beyond the early adopter stage and into the mainstream, as the wider market is becoming aware of the benefits of the technology.
A new study, commissioned by telephony software provider Avaya, shows nearly half of New Zealand companies have either already deployed voice over internet protocol (VoIP) or are seriously considering it.
The survey of 200 IT managers in Australia and New Zealand found 23% were already using VoIP, while 24% were seriously considering installing the technology.
Tony Jayne, general manager of Avaya distributor Agile, says the findings show most of the companies considering deploying the technology have an IT budget of less than $2 million.
“This is significant as it means uptake has moved to the more mainstream section of the market,” he says.
There has been a rapid uptake of VoIP technology in the last 12 months, with adoption being boosted by the successes of early adopters, says Jayne.
“When people see some of the productivity and return on investment gains as being a standard part of the deployment, that really helps,” he says.
A large number of applications from vendors suited to the technology and the development of a channel that possesses both data and voice skills has also aided adoption, according to Jayne.
“There is a lot of experience being developed in the reseller and systems integrator community, which is very important because deployment of these converged technologies is all about having enough bandwidth and the right infrastructure to support real-time applications and voice,” he says.
Chris Loh, senior telecommunications analyst at IDC, agrees a convergence in skills in the channel has played a role in driving adoption. “Gen-i and Computerland being pulled into Telecom has changed the ICT proposition for enterprises. There is a real push into convergence,” he says.
Loh says the continued strong run of the economy and the pains from the post-2000 bust fading, businesses are again looking towards technology to achieve business growth.
“Merging voice, video and conferencing applications with data networks is the most effective way to accomplish these objectives.”
Although VoIP is maturing, Jayne and Loh agree that the opportunities in this space are far from exhausted.