Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Resistance is Futile: IP PBX Has Killed TDM

Forrester Research recently interviewed 516 landline voice decision-makers in North America and Europe and found that enterprises plan to increase budgets for IP telephony or IP PBX systems and services during 2007.

This is not surprising, nor shocking. It is getting hard to buy systems based on older platforms, just as it now is very hard to buy a new PC that doesn't have Vista loaded as the operating system.

New shipments of IPT outpaced those of traditional PBX systems three years ago, and the installed base of IPT lines is expected to outnumber traditional PBX lines within the next few years.

North American and European enterprises indicated that in five years most will have completed their migration to IPT. All of which continues to create a window of opportunity within which non-telco providers can sell hosted VoIP services into the consumer and smaller business markets without fear the telcos will massively convert to VoIP.

Someday, when they have lost enough share, telcos indeed will stop offering POTS and themselves become VoIP providers. But only after VoIP has completely reshaped customer expectations about what a voice service is, and how it should be packaged.

The SME customer segments remain the most promising opportunities for most competitive providers, though the cable companies have real advantages in the consumer markets.

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