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Survey Find Unified Communications And IP Telephony Benefits Drive Businesses To Upgrade Both Voice And Data Networks


TAMPA, FLORIDA – The increased productivity and simplicity of unified communications (UC) and IP telephony (IPT) are driving businesses to upgrade their existing voice and data networks, according to a Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] survey of 464 members of the International Nortel Networks User Association (INNUA). Members are meeting in Tampa, Florida, this week at Global Connect, INNUA’s annual conference for Nortel enterprise customers.

Respondents listed productivity gains and the proliferation of devices as the main drivers for moving to unified communications. They also said the migration was a significant driver in upgrading their enterprise data network. This proliferation of devices is a growing challenge for today’s businesses according to the survey results, with 69 percent saying the management of multiple communications devices is a top issue. Similarly, 53 percent highlighted the challenge of providing access to critical information from multiple locations and devices.

Unified communications was seen as being able to address these issues. Fifty-three percent of respondents said improved productivity was a key driver for the move to UC, 37 percent highlighted improved collaboration capabilities and 37 percent emphasized the ability to access critical information anywhere from any device.

Eighty-four percent were interested in integrating voice and communications into business process consistent with unified communications and Services-Oriented Architecture (SOA) approaches. Sixty-seven percent said that this integration enhanced productivity by streamlining processes.

“IP telephony is a stepping stone for enterprises as they transform towards a true unified communications environment that increases productivity through anywhere, anytime access to critical business information,” said Victor Bohnert, executive director, INNUA. “As businesses continue to aggressively migrate to VoIP, they see unified communications as a way to manage the proliferation of devices and their increasingly mobile workforce to create a business advantage.”

There has been a 40 percent increase in IP telephony deployment over the past three years. Sixty-seven percent of respondents say they have already partially or fully deployed IP telephony in their enterprise, with 75 percent planning additional investments in IPT. Only 7 percent of respondents said they currently had no plans to move to IP telephony.

The move to IPT is also a significant driver for data network upgrades among INNUA members, with one in two saying they upgraded some portion of their data network when moving to IPT. Eighty percent of these upgrades involved upgrades to LAN equipment that provided Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities. PoE enables the electrical requirements of VoIP phones to be provided through the network’s Ethernet cables. For 37 percent of respondents, data upgrades involved new routers that could better handle the performance requirements of supporting VoIP traffic.


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