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IP Phones - Hoping for a Speedy IP Transition?
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January 14, 2014
Hoping for a Speedy IP Transition?
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Believe it or not, the U.S. government believes in change, especially when that change is good for all involved. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) has launched a national effort to shift all communications to IP, and many an industry provider is on board to make that happen. While some believe the transition is moving at a snail’s pace, there are others excited about the progress.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (News - Alert) is one who is excited about the new efforts for an all-IP environment where IP phones will become the norm and legacy systems will go the way of the VCR. Wheeler spoke one-to-one with Consumer Electronics Association leader Gary Shapiro at CES (News - Alert) 2014, noting that the TDM network in the U.S. is outdated. A move to all-IP, according to Wheeler, is inevitable.

The reality, according to Wheeler, is that communications networks have been evolving since their inception. There’s always a greater need, a better way to do things, greater efficiency and new technology. In the shift to the use of IP phones in an all-IP environment, the main focus is cost efficiencies and greater flexibility. Plus, all-IP ensures the elimination of silos of use cases, like video, voice, data and more. Packets will contain all communications, regardless of their form.

Wanting to make the switch to all-IP and recognizing the benefits doesn’t mean it’s a simple flip of a switch. The move from analog to digital takes some time, planning and focused execution. The transition to new technology has to happen at a pace that ensures a seamless experience for the user and produces a network experience that consumers expect. If the expectation isn’t met in the transition, it could easily fall into disfavor with the consumer base.

A failure to meet expectations could also hurt business performance. While a number of organizations have already made the move to all-IP, those who are still waiting on the transition could find themselves relying on substandard performance if they don’t get a handle on current challenges and opportunities. A failure to interact with clients on the preferred channel or conducting a video conference with sketchy audio or video can damage the experience and the brand.

At the end of the day, however, the ability to streamline all communications across a single platform for optimal integration and management is a good thing. It will not only reduce the overall cost of communications, it will also create an opportunity to connect with clients on a variety of levels, integrate call recording, capture data for the development of business intelligence and so much more. There is significant value in the IP transition – let’s just hope it happens sooner than later. 

Edited by Alisen Downey
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