The convergence of voice and data networking in corporations is being stymied by the failure of vendors to deliver products that provide equivalent functionality to existing systems.
Chris Windley, strategy director at Wellesbourne networking integrator Voyager Networks, told PC Dealer that vendors have failed to convert their talk about convergence into deliverable products.
'We laid down a strategy of convergence about 18 months ago and evaluated all the mainstream networking manufacturers. We found that Cisco was the only one able to deliver product. Since that time, the other vendors have come a long way, but there are still only a few actually bringing convergent products to market.'
Windley also warned that corporates are avoiding convergent products because they lack the functionality of existing infrastructures. 'They made such large investments in earlier technologies that they made sure they used all of their functionalities. Converged products that also deliver those features are not yet available, so high-end companies see no reason to change.'
However, Windley added: 'Medium to large companies have a great need to reduce costs, and their investment in existing PABX technology and other infrastructures is not as high as that of the big corporates. That is the market where convergence activity is happening.'
He said Voyager was finding demand for convergent products particularly strong in housing, local government, health, construction and media organisations. The company has just completed a £50,000 implementation at Liverpool Housing Trust, which Windley claimed was one of the UK's first Cisco-based voice over IP installations.
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