Report Vaunts VOIP

For any IP telephony skeptics out there, get ready to take your medicine. The technology is providing cost and productivity benefits that meet or overreach almost every expectation, according to a report by Sage Research Inc. out this week (see Sage Sees VOIP Productivity Gains).

The report, titled “IP Telephony & Employee Productivity: A Survey of IP Telephony Adopters,” found that more than 80 percent of users of both IP telephony (IPT), which travels over the local-area network (LAN), and voice over IP (VOIP), which travels over the wide-area network (WAN), see increased productivity within six months.

“That’s pretty quick payback for a technology deployment,” says Sage research director Chris Neil, who oversaw the report.

Sage prepared the report for Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), one of the largest IP telephony equipment vendors, but insists that the 100 IT decision-makers it surveyed for the report had deployed IP technology from a range of different vendors. “It’s not vendor specific,” Neil insists.

To participate in the survey, vendors had to have deployed IPT or VOIP for more than a year. The study also looked at results from three online focus groups.

The main reason cited by users for moving to IPT was cost savings, but 65 percent of respondents also said that improving employee productivity was a big driver. Most surprising, according to Neil, was the finding that more than half of those respondents were targeting productivity gains among their non-IT staff.

Sage expected to find IT staff-related benefits associated with the new technology -- such as faster moves, adds, and changes. For example, 72 percent of respondents said they save 1.5 hours or more each time an employee moves. But the improvements to non-IT staff productivity were startling, Neil says. Sixty percent of respondents said that IPT made moves easier for non-IT employees, and employees at half of all the companies surveyed spent less time playing phone-tag after switching to IP. This, Neil says, is mainly due to features like follow-me and unified messaging.

Almost across the board, companies realized the productivity improvements and cost savings they had expected before deploying IPT, the report states. There were, however, two exceptions. While 55 percent of respondents had expected their IT staff to spend significantly less time supporting end-users after deploying IP Telephony, and 62 percent expected the staff to spend less time managing equipment, fewer than 45 percent said these expectations had been met. “More people expected this as a benefit than actually realized it,” Neil says.

The gap may not be very large, but falling short on key expectations could derail further expansion plans for IP telephony. “IP vendors need to focus on this,” Neil says. “The early adopters do hold a certain amount of sway over public opinion.”

— Eugénie Larson, Reporter, Light Reading

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aswath 12/5/2012 | 12:36:40 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP The article says: "...employees at half of all the companies surveyed spent less time playing phone-tag after switching to IP. This, Neil says, is mainly due to features like follow-me and unified messaging."

Simple analysis points out this may not be the total explanation. In fundamental ways, voice mail and unified messaging are equivalent - human to human conversation has not taken place requiring a followup, that is phone-tag. I submit that more often than not, people don't attend an incoming call because they are attending to a "higher" priority task, not because they aren't close to the phone. So follow-me will still leave many unattended calls. Neither follow-me nor unified messaging service requires VoIP; they are available in POTS world.

BobbyMax 12/5/2012 | 12:36:39 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP The claims made in the report, if true, are utterly false.
gea 12/5/2012 | 12:36:38 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP "The claims made in the report, if true, are utterly false."

Interesting statement, Booby. I believe this is one of your best!
Eye-in-the-Sky 12/5/2012 | 12:36:35 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP >>>>> more often than not, people don't attend an incoming call because they are attending to a "higher" priority task, <<<<<

Also if your phone system displays the incoming number - "MANY" people just plain 'ole DON'T answer the phone if they don't want to talk to anyone - I have seen this many, many times
a-dude 12/5/2012 | 12:36:35 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP My limited understanding of the VoIP was that the VoIP on the internet is a shaky concept because of lack for QoS on the internet, which essentailly is still best effort...
So the deployment of VoIP is primarily in enterprise networks, where the network admin. can enforce policies, etc. to give the requisite QoS for the VoIP call..
Is this correct?
digerato 12/5/2012 | 12:36:34 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP "The claims made in the report, if true, are utterly false"

A BobbyMax classic! "If I don't believe it, it can't be true". I suppose that Cisco, 3COM et. al are lying about having sold those millions of IP phones too? They're all sitting in a box in a warehouse alongside the Ark of the Covenant?


straightup 12/5/2012 | 12:36:33 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP A good example of generating hype by carefully saying nothing by presenting it like scientific proof. The conclusion that "realizing some benefit" in 6 months is implied as being equivalent to "payback" even though they never said that the benefits outweight the cost of implementation.

By the way, a cell phone has unlimited moves.
ohub 12/5/2012 | 12:36:26 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP I don't think Internet can finnally overcome the bottleneck of QoS (e.g., delay, delay jitter), because it is a technique inherently designed for data service instead of voice service. Although there have been tons of acadmic papers on Internet QoS, so far no ideas are widely accepted and deployed in real systems. As an example, the most famous protocol, RSVP, was invented with a beatiful dream, but it finally can not overcome the issue of scalability. It is impossible for a network control plane to manage millions or billions of calls with packet by packet. The QoS can never be guaranteed. And this is same even with the MPLS technique.

Optical Hub

nomad 12/5/2012 | 12:36:25 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP The chart and accompanying text strike me as quite goofy.
1. What is the productivity gain metric? The correct metric should be - cost of the system per user / hours saved per user. It may be that these sytems are worth the cost, however this article adds nothing to help anyone make a decision.
2. The chart title is "Most people who realize a benefit at all, realize it within six months". I assume they chose to not chart the group that saw no benefit.
3. Later in the article they implyed that 45% saw no improvement. If this is the case, then the article should be titled - "Half of all VOIP buyers wasted their money".
4. As for saving 1.5 hours per employee move - I run our phone system and it takes me about ten minutes to move an employee.
Please try to actually report news in the future instead of just regurgitating goofy press releases.
Aloha for now.
xie527 12/5/2012 | 12:36:22 AM
re: Report Vaunts VOIP You right, never believe in IP network(internet) will deliver circuit switch/tdm network quality even rebuild it with the newest technology and equipment.
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