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Electronics Association leader Gary Shapiro at CES (News - Alert) 2014, noting that the TDM network in the U.S. is outdated.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