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IDC report finds convergence on radar screen of many global enterprises

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

January 17, 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.

Research found that 28% of large enterprises surveyed have already adopted converged technologies and this will expand over the next three years to 74%.

The research 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.

“As convergence reaches the mainstream of large enterprises, buying criteria shifts emphasis towards providers that can demonstrate strong track records in capability and experience,” said Duncan Brown, consulting director at IDC.

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.