Survey points to misplaced hesitancy among small firms in adopting IP telephony


A survey by management consultants, Inzenka, has found that whilst take up of internet protocol (IP) telephony has increased over the last few years, many smaller firms are still failing to capitalise on the trend, with a good proportion expressing misinformed reservations about the technology.

The survey, carried out in the US, found that between 2008 and 2010, IP telephony take-up by small and medium sized enterprises increased from 17% to 27%; a rise of 59%. Most of the take-up however was made by businesses with over 100 employees.

Although the survey found that about 66% of those firms employing between 20 and 100 staff were planning to incorporate IP telephony into their business phone systems by 2013, it also revealed several misconceptions regarding IP telephony and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) among many of the firms questioned.

Of those businesses yet to adopt IP telephony, 39% told Inzenka that they had doubts about the quality of the calls made over internet channels when compared with those made over their current standard telephone line connections. Similarly, 17% said they believed that switching to IP telephony would mean presenting staff with inferior telephony features than they were currently used to.

26% of respondents meanwhile said they believed that IP telephony adoption would lead to more management and administration headaches; whilst 12% were under the impression that IP telephony would actually increase their phone costs.

The survey however also found that of those businesses which had actually adopted IP telephony, 67% said they were now benefitting from reduced phone costs; 76% commented that their IP telephony user features were superior to those of their old telephony system; 73% reported their new system to be easier to administer and manage; whilst 53% commented that quality of calls through IP telephony were actually an improvement on their old system.