If you haven’t yet launched a VoIP
pilot, then your company is doing without productivity enhancers like GUI-based soft phones that are able to integrate with desk phones and address books. The same application can also provide information about the availability of others on the system. Many IP
PBXs allow you to contact a cell phone if, for example, the office phone isn’t answering. Some can even call an office phone and a cell phone simultaneously.
Right now, it's a buyer's market for VoIP systems. Sales of new IP-PBX
systems have been surpassing those of conventional PBXs for several years, and it’s predicted that IP-telephony products will most likely represent 90 percent of new system sales by 2010.
Not long ago, Cisco (News - Alert) Systems dominated the VoIP market, thanks to its 1998 purchase of Selsius. Legacy providers were initially thrown off guard, but the tide later turned. By the end of 2004, Avaya (News - Alert) was leading Cisco in large IP PBX shipments, with Nortel a close third. And that tally didn’t even take into account hybrid systems from Avaya and Nortel (News - Alert) that combine TDM
and VoIP ports. There are also smaller players to choose from as well. Although cost is usually cited as the main obstacle to VoIP adoption (with the need to upgrade networks a close second), competition shows no signs of trailing off--and that's always good news for consumers.
Brian Solomon is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Brian Solomon’s columnist page.
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