Telephony solutions confuse IT staff

Vendors are keen to sell voice over IP (VoIP) systems and other converged voice/data solutions but there seems to be limited interest from IT managers.

IT managers turn their noses up at converged voice and data solutions at Network Telecom show.

Vendors are keen to sell voice over IP (VoIP) systems and other converged voice/data solutions but there seems to be limited interest from IT managers.

Last week's Network Telecom show saw a large number of firms demonstrating VoIP and IP telephony solutions, but visitors were scarce. Meanwhile, new research indicates that IT managers are unsure about the exact nature of VoIP and IP telephony.

Of 200 respondents, 77 percent were unable to give a full definition of VoIP and IP telephony, and only 19 percent said they had integrated some form of IP telephony into their network. Tim Nelson, VoIP portfolio strategy manager for BT's Business Information Systems (BIS) division, which commissioned the research, said he felt the nineteen percent figure was surprisingly high, and was actually closer to 10 percent.

"A lot of IT managers don't really understand what you mean by IP telephony," explained Nelson. "They think that it's using a Cisco router to take standard voice traffic from the PBX, but they don't have any idea of LAN telephony." The survey also indicates that the high cost of implementation is a concern to many firms, though 38 percent said they were likely to adopt IP telephony at some point in the future.

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