Why are enterprises clinging to legacy phone systems?

Many enterprises are still clinging to legacy phone systems. What has been holding back IP telephony adoption? Does it come down to industry knowledge and acceptance, or is it more of a technological hurdle?

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IP telephony adoption will remain slow and steady for a variety of reasons, but the main factor is the reliability of legacy phone systems. Most businesses move to IP to reduce telecommunications costs, and they usually do this when something happens to trigger the change, such as an end-of-life for the phone system. With a weak economy, the IT community is happy to get as much mileage as possible out of their existing infrastructure, and if the legacy phones are working fine, they'll need a really strong reason to change. Of course, the richer communications value that comes from Voice over IP and unified communications is the best reason to adopt IP telephony, but the benefits are hard to quantify. Also, most IT decision makers still have a hardware-based mindset in regards to measuring the value of telephony. Over time, this will change, but it's a key reason why legacy phone systems continue to endure.

For more information, view's PSTN vs. VoIP tech comparison.

This was first published in April 2013

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