17 December 2004 The use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is set to soar in Europe in 2005, and VoIP systems will be commonplace by 2008, according to analyst group Forrester Research.
Businesses are increasingly evaluating VoIP as their ageing private branch exchanges (PBX) reach the end of their lifecycle, says Forrester. As a result, it expects the VoIP market in Europe to grow at a rate of over 50% for the next three years. By 2008, it says, all end-to-end enterprise fixed voice traffic will be carried over an IP network.
A recent CIO survey by finance giant Merrill Lynch, however, paints a less positive picture. It found that 63% of European CIOs had no VoIP plans for the next year, compared with 42% of US CIOs.
But Merrill Lynch may have been asking the wrong people. According to Lars Godell, a Forrester analyst, there will be a greater propensity within Europe to outsource VoIP deployment to external specialists, rather than using the IT department. “More firms will realise that voice is a very special application that requires skills not found in many IT departments,” he said.
Businesses including Lloyds TSB, Barmer, and DaimlerChrysler have already begun widespread VoIP deployments.