Survey points to business VoIP and IP telephony helping to lay foundations for unified communications

A new survey has revealed that companies are fast latching on to the benefits of business VoIP and IP telephony, and that many are already looking at innovative ways of integrating these technologies with other communications or IT processes, as part of a strategy of developing unified communications (UC).

The survey, by independent research organisation, Comp TIA, found that 51% of companies questioned had already adopted business VoIP (voice over internet protocol), whilst for most companies surveyed, other internet protocol (IP) telephony applications were also being widely used: video conferencing by 58% of respondents for example, and web conferencing by 64%.

According to the survey, 49% of businesses questioned said that over the following 12 months they intended to build on business VoIP and IP telephony by directing resources towards UC development; and, furthermore, that this investment in UC would grow at a faster rate than that afforded to any other aspect of IT development.

The goal of UC is to allow a user access to various information sources via a single communications receiver; and to use that same receiver as a tool for transmitting information in return. UC is seen as a quicker, more reliable, and much more efficient way of handling business communications.

As the Comp TIA survey implies, business VoIP and IP telephony are often seen as giving companies a head start down the UC route, since they can already allow a user to handle via a single interface, information usually accessed through discreet pieces of hardware. Faxes and voice messages, for example, can usually both be received via the same piece of IP telephony hardware.

The survey however also shows that 32% of respondents remain confused over UC products and services, perhaps suggesting that such development might need to be undertaken with the help of a host business VoIP provider.