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Slide towards IP gathers pace

But fixed line telephony not dead yet

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The drift towards IP technologies is accelerating faster than anticipated, at the cost of security and stability, according to survey from Dimension Data.

The survey suggests companies are failing to unify their IP-technology policies.

Thirty-seven per cent of the 390 companies surveyed are already using VoIP, with 34 per cent looking to invest in the next two years. In the UK the figure is closer to 42 per cent, and as much as 85 per cent in India.

The survey didn't differentiate between cheap-and-cheerful products such as Skype and enterprise-ready services such as BT's 21CN, which should be indistinguishable from traditional telephony.

Dimension director Mike Robinson said companies know Skype and its ilk weren't developed with robustness in mind, and it's often used as a backup system in parallel with more reliable technologies.

Only 20 per cent of the 914 people surveyed (390 of whom were IT managers) have given up fixed-line telephony completely, relying on VoIP, instant messaging, and email for all their corporate communications, despite the fact that such technologies aren't always as efficient as picking up the telephone and talking to someone.

Video conferencing seems to be finally taking off, in Asia at least, where 51 per cent of companies are using it - the rest of us still want to touch the flesh when doing business.

Seventy per cent of Indians are using blogs at work, compared to only 25 per cent in the UK, though given the quality of most blogs it's hard to see how that is a bad thing for Britain. ®

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