More managers than ever are moving over to IP-based telecoms to get the best from their networks, according to the latest IDC user survey.
One in eight of the firms surveyed by the analyst were already running a combined voice and data network, with another third planning to install such a network within the next two years. The survey of 625 European firms also found 15 per cent were already using a pure or hybrid IP-PBX.
Controlling costs was no longer the prime concern of Wan managers, according to the research. Quality of network traffic and security were the main worries.
"I don't think this is a sign that budgets are freeing up across Europe," said Jill Finger Gibson, programme manager at IDC's European telecoms services group.
"In the past people's primary concern was always about how to save money. Now people are thinking about how to improve the overall performance of their networks."
Cutting bandwidth costs with increased use of broadband and cutting leased line costs were seen as driving managers to try out new applications, such as voice over IP (VoIP).
Pawan Goswami, pre-sales technical consultant for reseller ALLnet, said: "IP telephony has now matured, on both Wans and Lans.
"Cost saving is always a key element and will always remain the case. There is [a business case] for IP. Merging the two networks and using the bandwidth more efficiently is a strong business driver."
The VoIP market will receive a boost in December when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is expected to ratify the 802.af standard for Power over Ethernet.
This makes it possible to power IP phone headsets via a standard Cat 5 cable, reducing the cost of running such a network, compared with a typical PBX system.
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany