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channelchappie 12/5/2012 | 1:45:15 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast Agreed - Schtop, this market is not ready yet.

Vendors are also banging on about ROI as opposed to straight cost savings - a change in the Marketecture, methinks.

Power is an interesting one. 802.3af is getting there, and that's pretty key for Ethernet connected handsets and base stations. No idea how well PowerDsine's midplanes are selling - anyone know?

Handsets are a major per-user expense. That said, I have seen handsets kicking around at about 100 Euro this year from guys like Zultys, AYC Telecom and Geneva Telecom. I reckon the handset cost will come down over time.

Other stuff; some interesting figures from Canalys (Applicable to EMEA): CPE line shipments in Q3 last year were 70.7% hybrid, 25.9% Voice PBX and 3.4% IP. Growth rate for IP line shipments was, er, fantastic at 62.9% YOY, but it grew from 2.2% - a huge amount of b**ger all. IP is a small market, but itG«÷s getting there. By far the largest at the moment is hybrid G«Ű which is possibly why guys like Avaya and Mitel are doing pretty well in the UK at the mo. Hybrid grew 22.7% YOY Q302 according to the Cananlys figs.

What I am seeing from the integrator end of things is more resellers looking seriously at the technology as a future direction, and also as a means to persuade their customers to have a crack at sorting out their networks.

Last possibly interesting bit; the Telecoms Industry Association in the UK has done a bit of interop testing on systems from Alcatel, Cisco, Nortel and Avaya. The report on phase 1 is here:


and phase 2 - which will cover IP systems interop with DPNSS - is just about to start.

All signs that the market is getting there - but not as quickly as the vendors seem to make out it is.
lowbandwit 12/5/2012 | 1:45:24 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast We're moving towards deploying VoIP enterprise-wide. I have to say that, in my mind at least, the single most critical piece is how the network handles QoS. Given that people expect a desk phone to sound a certain way you have two choices: convince them cell quality is the norm, or provide them with the quality. The second you pass VoIP across a segment without QoS you expose yourself to problems. Fortunately for me our network is end-to-end QoS friendly. I don't think it would be worthwhile to try this without the network we already have in place. I'm not saying we won't have *any* problems, just that there shouldn't be many.

Of course I'm dreading the day when my shiny new IP phone catches a bug. :-)
technoboy 12/5/2012 | 1:46:06 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast Re post 11

IP sets may be low when you compare them to analog but most vendors are now selling a family of IP phones that range from 120.00 to around 1000.00 on the high end with additional modules. You can find essentially equivalent pricing between IP and digital at each level.

Agreed on corporate network upgrades but mostly on the WAN side of the equation. However, these networks are constantly being upgraded in support of faster speeds and better pricing from the vendors and the carriers.

I dont agree that it costs more to power the phones through an outage. If your building is on backup power and your ethernet switches are on the same power backup you are good to go. This is not anymore expensive from the projects we have worked on.

No Killer apps. I think this is an old argument. If a vendor is leveraging SIP and presence in their offering than there are applications that are of value to the enterprise. If not for all users certainly for a subset of those users specifically mobil users. Things like presence enabled networking and personal portals are of value to the mobil worker.
Milano 12/5/2012 | 1:46:20 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast A few things to consider:

- IP sets are still more expensive than non-IP
- Generally you need LAN/WAN upgrade
- Determining the origin of 911 calls
- Lots of $$$ to power the sets through a power outage
- No killer apps

I guess for this year will settle for Frame to MPLS migration to keep busy...

fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:46:27 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast I'm sure that P-to-P VoIP will cost the telephone industry something, but "free" bandwidth is still more of an accounting trick than reality.

What's clear is that the telephone industry's 75-year-old "station to station" accounting technique is obsolete. (This dates back to the 1930 Smith v. Illinois Bell decision of the US Supreme Court, which held that local loops, being used for interstate calls, were partially under federal jurisdiction. Other countries found other means of using LD to subsidize local.) Designed to subsidize (non-luxury) local telephone service from (luxury) long distance revenues, it was useful for decades, helping promote "universal service", but got out of hand years ago. What parasitic (i.e., using bandwidth paid for for a different purpose, namely data) VoIP services provide is, in effect, "board to board" accounting for bandwidth. No contribution to the local loop.
Which quite frankly is fine, if one accepts that Smith is obsolete or at least needs to be handled differently.

But the bandwidth is not free. It's a step function. You buy x bps of Internet service, and if you don't use it up, it's fine, but if it gets full, you need to buy a bigger pipe, at a much higher monthly price. Telephone service, on the other hand, is paid for by the call. More visibility, to be sure. But not all that different in practice. Remember WATS lines? Calls were "free", but telecom managers had to size up their WATS groups. The net per-minute rate was only a modest discount. (Been there, done that.)

The less that the subsidy system distorts things, the more accurately people will choose technologies on their merits. Right now VoIP benefits from arbitrage. It will still have a market without arbitrage, but remeber why Vonage shouldn't be pronounced VON-idj, but voh-NAZH. Even if they don't go along. ;-)

BTW, y'all, the FCC's VoIP Docket closes in a couple of weeks, and not many comments have been put on ECFS yet. (Look for "04-36".)
aswath 12/5/2012 | 1:46:29 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast who will be more willing to pay for a VOIP service, especially as functions and features increase.

My point of departure with some ofthe VoIP proponents is regarding the aspect that I have highlighted in this quote. As I see it true P2P is the only way to deploy VoIP. The service provider model will have distinct disadvantage over PSTN for a long time to come.

All the applications and services (including those mentioned in Msg. 7) can be realized in PSTN as well, if we grant computing power and display devices to the end-points. For example, Messaging and contact list is included in the telephone application that came with my Gateway computer.
gbennett 12/5/2012 | 1:46:31 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast Hi fgoldstein,

Not sure I like the English car analogy (probably 'cos it's true :-) , but I do agree with you.

I don't see Skype as a phone replacement. But actually it's fine for business calls - in some ways better and more conventient than a PSTN link because it's driven from the PC, so messaging is included, there's a contact list etc.

My future phone bills will keep the line rental component, but the amount for chargeable calls will drop dramatically I suspect. And that's bad news for my telephone provider.

[email protected] 12/5/2012 | 1:46:31 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast IG«÷m not too sure about the drug analogy. Perhaps the residential VOIP we have now is a G«£gatewayG«• drug that introduces the opportunities that G«£harderG«• options offer, but itG«÷s not quite hit dependency levels yet. (Then again, I could just be an addict in denial)

The key thing for me is that VOIP services like Skype will go someway to convincing the naysayers who have previously not given VOIP the time of day (I know of plenty already) These attitudes will filter through to business users, who will be more willing to pay for a VOIP service, especially as functions and features increase.
fgoldstein 12/5/2012 | 1:46:43 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast Much of the positive press on parasitic VoIP comes from people who tried it and initially liked it. Hmmm, that reminds me of something. Ever hear a junkie talk about their experience? They tried it, they liked it, and the world didn't end right away. Then they were hooked; when the bottom did fall out, they were in real trouble.

Parasitic VoIP can work pretty well. But it's like an English car: Fun when it works, but don't count on it. Since there is no reserved bandwidth, the call gets through by the grace of the available bandwidth not being heavily utilized at that moment. So the test drive is great, but you may have second thoughts later. (In Skype's defense, though, the price is right.)

I visited a friend over the weekend who had tried Vonage. He had to drop it, because the other end couldn't hear him speak whenver he was uploading stuff from his computer. His complaint was about the cable modem network, naturally, for having too low an upstream cap. He didn't quite realize that packet discards are normal in IP networks. He had the newer Motorola adapter, which does voice priority, but that didn't do the trick.

Skype and Vonage and their ilk can give you a nice high, but they are not a good long-term way of life. At least not if you depend on them for reliable telephony. That kind of VoIP is, however, a good CB simulator or voice-chat system. It's useful for casual conversation, but probably not lifeline or business. PacketCable is a different animal altogether; it has reserved bandwidth (from DOCSIS 1.1+), so the voice and data are, effectively, separated below the IP layer. But of course cable ops aren't giving that away for free.
PO 12/5/2012 | 1:46:57 AM
re: Enterprise VOIP: Not So Fast They hate Centrx because of high prices for routine work, and minimal and out-of-date feature sets. The telcos have been proclaiming the rise of Centrex and the end of the PBX for decades. However in all that time Centrex has remained the uncompetitive service that it is.

Herein lies the rub which I think the article correctly addresses: where is the breaking point between internalizing and outsourcing tech infrastructure management? The line keeps moving as new technologies both simplify and complicate the task. And as the companies start small and grow to medium-sized and large companies.

How well the carriers compete in the IT outsourcing game will go a long way in determining their future shape, as VoIP becomes just another task for Information Systems groups.

Then again, this is all IMHO.
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