Enterprises should not convert to an IP telephony (IPT) environment simply for the sake of cost saving, analyst Gartner has advised.
Corporates should wait until productivity benefits brought on by voice and data convergence can be clearly quantified, the firm said.
Before 2005, almost all IPT projects will be justified on cost savings because few enterprises will be able to translate IP telephony capabilities into business value, according to Gartner.
"Organisations have stopped asking why they should implement IPT and are now focusing on when to implement," said Jeff Snyder, research vice-president of Gartner.
"When considering when to implement IPT, enterprises should look for tangible benefits beyond simple cost savings by understanding the needs of the business units, and they should not invest in any new products or architectures that cannot support upgrade to IP."
Manny Pinon, sales and marketing director at Norwood Adam, said: "If that's the case, someone needs to tell Cisco about this, because it has just launched a big advertising campaign.
"If IPT is not taking off, how come Cisco is about to overtake Ericsson in terms of the number of lines shipped in the UK?
"There is an element of the corporate market that will find it difficult to turn down some of the deals that Cisco will put on the table next year."
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