IP Communications Are Set to Soar
With Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gaining traction in recent years—to the tune of $1.02 billion in revenues in North America alone in 2006, businesses are realizing that the benefits of IP telephony exceed mere cost reductions, according to research by Frost & Sullivan.
The North American enterprise IP telephony end-point market is expected to reach $2.79 billion in 2011 as companies continue to realize that merging voice and data in a single network and integrating multiple applications in a single interface or device provides an enhanced communication experience, the research firm said further.“In order to benefit from the advanced applications delivered by next- generation telephony platforms, enterprises are choosing to upgrade their legacy end points with high-tech IP ones,” notes Frost & Sullivan research analyst Laura Devoto.
Frost & Sullivan’s research also noted:
• To address the growing demand, end-point vendors have been working to better integrate multiple applications by developing technology that provides enterprise customers with productivity-enhancing applications and easy-to-use-and-deploy devices. Desk phone developers have invested time and resources in mastering devices for the multiple roles within companies.
• End points that support extensible markup language (XML) and telephony application programming interfaces (TAPIs) are gaining traction, as these enable independent developers and user companies to build their own customized applications.
• Current market leaders are facing the consolidation of the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), an industry standard for multimedia applications. For the time being, the standard only supports basic telephony features, so to grant all the features that the platform supports, most vendors have extended the protocol to create proprietary versions of SIP or have chosen to support basic SIP and their own proprietary protocols in their platforms.
• Most enterprises deploying a telephony system choose to deploy the same vendors’ end points. However, as the standard matures, it will support more of these advanced telephony features that proprietary protocols support and SIP end points will become more functional in third-party platforms.
“As the SIP standard consolidates, IP telephony end-point vendors will face stronger competition by affordable SIP-based solutions” Devoto explains. “These devices are likely to grant more of the advanced features supported by proprietary protocols nowadays.
“Companies can differentiate from their competitors by focusing on developinghigh-tech, advanced-feature devices,” she continues. “Providing an enhanced communication experiencealong with a different value proposition by using either proprietary protocols or adapted versions of SIP can prove to be the key differentiator in this market.”