Home & Office

Convergence a reality, though security fears persist

And old-school voice PBXes aren't going away for some time
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

And old-school voice PBXes aren't going away for some time

Converged communication has gained a significant foothold in UK companies and look set to be even bigger in the future, research has revealed. A survey of Nortel Networks customers, commissioned by the firm itself and undertaken by Mindwave Research, has shown 30 per cent of enterprise customers have already converged some of their voice and data systems and another 61 per cent expect to do so in the next five years. The popularity of converged communications seems to be down to two reasons – ease of use and cost. Not only do synchronised systems cut down on administration and wiring costs, they also mean the expense of up or downscaling, changing and moving are reduced. So is converged communications the new black? Although wireless LANs and converged comms are enjoying a big love-in with businesses at the moment, security worries are still present among tech buyers, with 71 per cent currently investing in bolstering their IT security. The favourite solutions to protecting networks are firewalls, intrusion detection systems, application proxies and virtual private networks. However, despite techies' best efforts, 15 per cent of those surveyed confessed to rating security as their top IT worry. Nevertheless, tech types are feeling the fear and doing it anyway. LANs are now rolled out companywide already among 14 per cent of those polled, with an additional 20 per cent employing them in selected areas of their businesses. While the future looks rosy for converged communications, it is not an altogether bleak picture for old-school communication methods. Around two-thirds of survey respondents said traditional enterprise voice products are 'critical' and have no intention of relegating their PBX systems to the circular file just yet.
Editorial standards