Friday, March 24, 2006

The Business Case for Enterprise VoIP

Intel recently completed a detailed study of a pilot program that integrated VoIP into its production enterprise environment in Parsippany, NJ (the old Dialogic headquarters building). The report can be used as a model for a VoIP deployment plan and includes a discussion of methodology, hard-cost savings, and productivity gains.

The Business Case for Enterprise VoIP

My friend Ken Hilving of Hilving Associates had these pointed comments on the report:

"A big chunk ($312K for a 650 person site) of the ROI is tied to projected productivity gains. The approach used supposes that a reduction in task time will result in either an increase in tasks accomplished or that new tasks will be completed. Unless the study includes a control group (same tasking, but not provided the new technology) the projected productivity value is suspect.

The value also relies on a per hour cost of employee time. This is valid for hourly employees. It is not valid for salaried employees.

The range of "new" features represents a failure to use existing features. I am referring to the chart on page 7. It is common with new systems to "discover" capabilities or to be trained on capabilities that were present but unused in the imbedded systems. To be fair, SIP has made the implementation of these features significantly easier.

The hard dollar costs are reasonable, but perhaps slanted to justify the conversion to VoIP. For example, data center footprint savings apply only if the space is redeployed or new space implementation is avoided. Outsource models may very well generate higher cost savings regardless of technology. MAC is one very real issue, and in the enterprise environment a 50% churn (MAC equal to half the employee count) or higher is common.

The case for moving to VoIP really is made on one fact, given on page 4 under Industry Landscape. End of life and end of support notifications are making the TDM a poor business choice. Either an internal VoIP or an external service provider agreement is the wiser choice today when needing to expand, replace, or make an initial telephony investment."

For a business considering deploying an enterprise VoIP system I recommend getting help from an unbiased technical advisor...particularly for those tough decisions on bandwidth requirements and IP PBX service provider. Here's one I endorse highly for businesses located in the USA...and their services are no cost:

Business VoIP Solution

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