One of the most astute observations I heard at the IP Telephony Expo in Fort Lauderdale this week came from the personable and visionary (rare combo) Brett Shockley, Founder, CEO and chairman of integrated IP communications and solutions provider Spanlink Communications.
One of those industry thought-leaders able to take a ground floor and a "30,000-foot" view of major IP deployments and the blend of vendor offerings and infrastructure necessary to makethis work, keynoter Shockley really hit home with the following observation:
When it comes to upgrading legacy phone systems to IP-PBX, "75 percent of people duplicate what they (did) in the old days," he said. "In other words, (they upgrade from) 10 PBXs to 10 IP-PBXs."
Shockley is totally on target with that one. He then went on to argue that the enterprise needs to think bigger, how a converged network and perhaps even a data warehouse will not only make existing business functionalities easier, but will enable the company to grow with more functionalities. Make your solid case, and then when you have that, bring your senior, budget-approving executive management in to the point where they are familiar with, and are more likely to approve, more expansive deployments.
"You have to get people working together," Shockley said. "Then you have to do your ROI. Traditionally (non-tech execs) have been about expenses. You'll want to get your CEO to be excited about big improvements in revenue."
Well, maybe we're getting there. Shockley thinks so.
"I've been seeing more earnings releases in which the CEO is talking about big (technology) products we are implementing," he said enthusiatically.