Survey validates VoIP's mass migration

A recent survey shows that VoIP and VoIP management solutions are continuing to mature.

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Any uncertainty about whether VoIP is really taking hold in the enterprise was snuffed recently when Integrated Research released its global 2005 IP Telephony Market survey.

Although VoIP revenue and sales have progressively climbed, there was always the lingering question of whether adoptions were occurring at the rates anticipated, forecast or rumored.

With its survey of 1,230 IT and business executives in SMBs and enterprises, though, Integrated Research found that 42% of respondents had successfully deployed an IP voice solution into a production environment, while 16% had rolled it out into a test environment. Another 19% said they were planning to deploy within the next six or 12 months. The total number of deployments in production or testing is up 11% from 2004.

Sixteen percent also said they have no short-term deployment plans for VoIP, while 1% said they tested or deployed, but unsuccessfully.

"The statistics clearly show IP telephony has firmly moved into the mainstream, with only 16% of all respondents claiming no short-term plans to deploy IP telephony, compared to 20% of respondents in the 2004 survey," the report states.

Of the unsuccessful deployments and attempts, 55% said failure occurred during pilot and testing; 36% said the deployment failed early in the process, when only a few phones were rolled out; and 9% said the system was deemed a failure late in the game when a large number of phones were deployed.

Integrated Research dug further into the deployment failures by asking survey respondents the reason for the deployment failure. The reasons for failures and abandoned deployments include bad call quality, 55%; bad call setup and delays, 18%; negative impact on existing applications, 18%; the cost of upgrading the network to support VoIP, 27%; and frequent failures of solution components, leading to service outages, 18%.

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The survey also found that Cisco Systems Inc. continues to have a stranglehold within VoIP deployments. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they use or plan to use Cisco CallManager, while 11% said the same for CallManager Express; 13% plan to use another Cisco voice product. Those responses give Cisco the lead, with 62% of those surveyed saying they use or plan to use Cisco equipment. The next closest was Avaya, which 16% said they use or plan to use, with 13% selecting Nortel. The remaining vendors, among them Siemens, 3Com and Alcatel, each have an average of about 4% of market.

Cisco's share represents a 19% increase from the 2004 survey, while Avaya and Nortel saw increases of 9% and 6%, respectively.

Along with pointing out which vendors are topping the market, the study also looked into an emerging trend – VoIP-specific management tools, which help maintain the performance and availability of voice deployments.

More than 60% of respondents said they use or plan to use a management tool, while 23% said they either do not or will not use one. Also, 44% of those who use management tools said they bought one when the company budgeted for VoIP, 20% bought it pre-deployment, 14% during pilot testing, 14% during deployment, and 5% after something went wrong with the voice system.

"Of those who do have an IP telephony-specific management solution, these results point to a maturing of the market and the understanding for the need to budget for management tools," the report states. "The increase in successful deployments can be attributed directly to this increase in awareness and preparedness."

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