Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Switch From TDM To IP Is Slow Coming

Why is the much anticipated change from TDM to IP taking so long? Well .....

As with any change of this nature, there has to be a compelling reason to change. That compelling reason is ALWAYS money. Change for the sake of change sounds good, but if you have billions invested in hardware, software and training, you are not just going to throw it out and buy new. You are going to milk it for every dollar you can before it goes away. Circuit switched technology will be with us for many years to come

The main reason, in my opinion, is confusion. To all of the points above, if you have ever reviewed an IP-based voice solution ROI that involves a hardware purchase, few look as solid under a microscope, and even those that do are challenged by the fact that some of the financial benefits often appear on a non-IT balance sheet or budget (productivity and capabilities).

The other challenges are based in the lack of consistency between service offerings (i.e. premise based, versus partially hosted, versus completely hosted, etc.).

What will be most interesting to watch is whether the adoption of Cloud Services outpaces the adoption of IP-based voice services, as the final challenge is a general disinterest in voice services by many IT Decision Makers - who are more and more handling the voice networks for their company, and the consequential lack of understanding.

Money is a great motivator to make changes, which makes the cost-savings associated with IP-based voice systems so appealing. As previously suggested, confusion and TOO MANY options and variables are to blame for the delay...

In order to achieve the very attractive ROI by moving to an IP-based (or cloud based) voice system, you have to potentially replace your last-mile carrier, your phone system, your phone system maintenance vendor...and even your high-bandwidth internet provider in order to find a solution that really works. This ends up being a very large under-taking...and most IT Decision Makers are more interested in the stability of incremental upgrades rather than a complete over-haul. Fear of the Unknown/Difficult is a powerful de-motivator.

It used to be that you could make these incremental ROI improvements, like finding a new transport carrier or phone system maintenance provider, but now it seems that the only logical next-step is to adopt an IP-based or cloud based solution. So, since it is so confusing and complicated with so many variables, the whole-sale adoption of these newer voice solutions is taking time.

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