Short-term Focus is Main Barrier to VoIP Implementations

A new survey by IP Telephony Company ShoreTel shows that for the majority of UK companies (70 per cent) cost reduction is the main reason for implementing VoIP, whilst more than a third are still put off by the perceived high costs of upgrades and implementation.

ShoreTel commissioned a survey of 150 network and IT managers to explore whether attitudes towards IP telephony implementations are changing and to identify barriers to the transition to VoIP.

Key findings from the survey include:

– Conflicting opinions – 80 per cent of respondents agreed that IP telephony makes it easier to do business, however more than a third (36 per cent) of respondents believe that IP telephony systems are complicated to manage

– Growing understanding of VoIP benefits – Cost reduction is still seen as the main reason for implementing an IP telephony system but respondents also expect benefits such as ‘managing calls more effectively’ and ‘ enabling home and mobile working’

-The IP challenge – 39 per cent of respondents perceived problems associated with configuring VoIP as the main challenge to IP implementations

Geoff Gudgion, ShoreTel’s Managing Director EMEA, says: “While 70% of respondents are focused on cost reduction before they start a project, once the product is installed, it’s the productivity improvements that add the most value. Getting the caller to the right party quickly, connecting to people, not places, and improving speed and access to communications are what users love most.

He continued: “The research indicates just how many businesses have had negative experiences with their IP systems. Fortunately, with systems such as ShoreTel’s, which are increasingly user-intuitive and easier to manage, many of these fears are unfounded. Furthermore, a company of around 250 employees can expect to recuperate costs within one year of a user-friendly IP Telephony system being installed, with call costs being cut by up to $2,000 per month.”

David Stanley, IT manager of e-invoicing specialist OB10, headed up an IP telephony implementation recently and says: “We looked to deploy VoIP as we were moving offices so we needed a new phone system that would grow with our business. This solution had to be scalable and had to integrate with our other systems quickly and easily. We installed the ShoreTel product in just four weeks, without any problems, and it has significantly reduced call costs between our offices.”