ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Eric Krapf
Eric Krapf is the Program Co-Chair of the Enterprise Connect events, helping to set program content and direction for the...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Eric Krapf | September 18, 2008 |

 
   

Interop: What's the Future of the Phone?

Interop: What's the Future of the Phone? Allan Sulkin asked the bottom-line question to his panel here: When will 10% of users abandon desktop phones in favor of softphones, mobiles, or whatever else they come up with?

Allan Sulkin asked the bottom-line question to his panel here: When will 10% of users abandon desktop phones in favor of softphones, mobiles, or whatever else they come up with?

Allan Sulkin asked the bottom-line question to his panel here: When will 10% of users abandon desktop phones in favor of softphones, mobiles, or whatever else they come up with?Allan Mendelsohn of Avaya said flatly, "I don't see it." The analogy that Mendelsohn drew was to the calculator: Even though PCs have way more than enough computing horsepower to add up a bunch of numbers, people still reach into the desk drawer and pull out a calculator when they need to perform that task.

His point was that special-purpose devices will always be required, and will be preferred. And it's tough to argue the point when you're talking about people sitting at their desks all day. But if nothing else, I'd say there's a distinct possibility that in a few years, 10% of the people who now work in an office will be telecommuters, and maybe some of these folks will have big, full-function PBX-style phones at home, but I'd think the vast majority won't.

And the convenience factor certainly doesn't favor traditional phones. Even if you could schlep a desk phone with you everywhere, you wouldn't necessarily have the foresight to do that--just like you wind up using your laptop's calculator when you don't have a special-purpose device on you at the moment. Besides, the world is going more mobile all the time, and I think if you step back and look at it, it's tough to imagine this mega-trend not affecting business telephony.

That high-level view is basically what Sulkin's other panelists took in answering his question. James Stark of Microsoft mentioned various large customers for Office Communications Server--Monsanto, Sprint, Royal Dutch Shell--that are using a mix of soft clients and desk phones, and he said, "We see that mix steadily increasing" its softphone component.

And Paul McMillan of Siemens flagged fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) as the other mega-trend that may affect the mix. McMillan also noted that, as functionality is added to the soft client, use will likely grow.



COMMENTS



Who's Who at Enterprise Connect

NEC

Featured This Week:
Sponsored By

April 24, 2014
Small centers are both excited and nervous about the new wave of innovation converging on them as major disruptive forces - cloud, mobile, big data and social - rock the contact center world. They rea...
April 9, 2014
Recent advances in cloud technology have given rise to wide variety of new tools designed to support contact center performance, staffing and reporting. Join us for a live webinar focused on helping c...
March 26, 2014
As more organizations are focused on maximizing customer experience as a key differentiator to stay ahead of the competition and customer expectations, the focus needs to be on interactions across mul...

Sign up to the No Jitter email newsletters

  • Catch up with the blogs, features and columns from No Jitter, the online community for the IP communications industry. Each Thursday, we'll send you a synopsis of the high-impact articles, podcasts and other material posted to No Jitter that week, with links for quick access.

  • A quick hit of original analysis by the experts who bring you Enterprise Connect, the leading event in Enterprise Communications & Collaboration. Each Wednesday, this enewsletter delivers to your email box a thought-provoking, objective take on the latest news and trends in the industry.

Your email address is required for membership. For details about the user information, please read the UBM Privacy Statement

As an added benefit, would you like to receive relevant 3rd party offers about new products/services and discounted offers via email? Yes

* = Required Field

No longer instrested? Unsubscribe here.