A recent Forrester Research survey of 567 enterprise and smaller business users that already have adopted IP telephony shows that most buyers so far have chosen premises-based solutions.

Just four percent of respondents say they have adopted a “hosted” IP telephony service. Another four percent reported they had adopted a “telephony as a service solution. About five percent said their IP telephony solution was outsourced. Taking all three as a group, just 13 percent of IP telephony solutions were hosted, cloud-based or outsourced.

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That might make a great deal of sense. The economics of IP telephony tend to suggest that small users can benefit from hosted or cloud-based solutions, while enterprises often can justify owning their own solutions.

The study lends credence to the cable operator strategy of targeting businesses with 20 or fewer employees, as those are the venues where the economics of buying a service are best, compared to buying a premises-based solution.

About 71 percent said their IP telephony solutions were self maintained, while 16 percent said they owned their solution, but that it also was managed by a third party.

Respondents were more likely to use hosted web conferencing solutions. Some 18 percent reported they use a hosted solution, 25 percent said they used a “conferencing as a service,” nine percent said their solution was on premises, but managed, and seven percent used an outsourced solution of some sort. About 40 percent of respondents said they maintained their own solution.

Forrester Research defines an enterprise as any entity with 1,000 or more employees, while a small or medium business is defined as an entity with 20 to 999 employees.

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