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IP telephony and Wi-Fi must tie the knot

Converged communication strategies the secret of wedded bliss

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Vendors should stop pushing IP telephony and Wi-Fi technology in isolation and put forward converged communication strategies instead.

Analyst Butler Group reckons suppliers are letting end users down by failing to help them migrate to converged communications and allowing an ad hoc approach to technology deployment to become commonplace.

Butler forecast that over the next five years businesses will complete the migration to converged communications. Converged communications bring real business benefits (such as making an organisation more flexible and reducing IT costs) but the move is been badly handled in many instances.

"Vendors must abandon their current approach of adopting technologies such as VoIP and Wi-Fi in isolation. While such technologies can bring short-term benefit, they are not in harmony with the real business challenges facing enterprises today and totally ignore the advantages of merging voice and data networks," Butler opines.

Businesses will adopt one network for voice and data as previous hurdles such as security, immature standards and cost have disappeared, according to Butler.

"It will take five years before converged communications is commonplace but vendors risk losing their ability to compete if they focus on short-term cost saving implementations," it adds.

Butler predicts that major players in the communication and network industry that offer the prospect of end-to-end converged solutions, seamlessly roaming from one transport technology to another, will be the most successful in the medium to long term. Currently, BT and Cisco lead the market for convergence but over the next few years Alcatel and Siemens will join them, the analyst house forecasts. ®

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