SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Eric Krapf
Eric Krapf is General Manager and Program Co-Chair for Enterprise Connect, the leading conference/exhibition and online events brand in the...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Eric Krapf | February 26, 2013 |

 
   

Quality Matters

Quality Matters If mobile carriers could find a way to charge for better quality, they could make money doing it. And if the quality really were better, enterprises might be willing to pay.

If mobile carriers could find a way to charge for better quality, they could make money doing it. And if the quality really were better, enterprises might be willing to pay.

The desk phone is a dying technology. It's such a dying technology that it won't stop dying and just be dead already.

We hear repeatedly from PBX vendors that, whatever else may be happening in their markets, they continue to grow the number of desk sets that they're selling. And yet, you can't escape the anecdotal evidence--as well as the basic common-sense reality--that people just don't want to communicate using traditional wired phones, at least not to the degree that they used to.

Anecdote #1: At last week's Lync conference, Brian Cantoni of Honeywell described that company's Lync rollout. Honeywell has deployed Lync IM/presence across the enterprise, but is just at the start of a Lync voice deployment that so far has reached just 700 users. Still, one of the notable moments in Brian's talk came when he described how one set of 30 users requested desk phones for their Lync service, only to turn the phones in and demand headsets when IT checked in on the pilot after a month.

Anecdote #2 (which is a data point, but admittedly only one): In a survey that Wainhouse Research did for Dolby, they asked, "What is your preferred way to connect to a conference call?" Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority--69%--answered, "Landline." Twenty-six percent said "Softphone," and just 6% preferred cell phones.

Then Wainhouse asked what the preference would be if there were no difference in audio quality. Once again, "Landline" was the top answer--with 34%. Tied with cell phones. And softphones were close behind at 32%.

These two anecdotes suggest, I think, that people will gladly surrender their desk phones if given half a chance. Give them a system like Lync, which emphasizes other communications channels like IM, and they may very well prove willing to shove telephony into a supporting role, because their work processes make IM/presence more valuable. Likewise, give them the convenience and flexibility of a mobile device, and all you have to do is give that cell phone equivalent voice quality to the landline, and they'll dump the landline.

Of course, that's the catch. The cell phone's quality is terrible. And nobody's really talking about making it better. Mobile World Congress, the world's premier mobility event, is taking place this week in Barcelona. What are the top stories? Firefox OS for mobility; over the top (OTT) services; and tablets, tablets, tablets.

Dolby, which is exhibiting at Enterprise Connect for the first time next month, is talking about improving audio quality on conferencing in general, and that's a great continuation of the discussion about wideband audio that's been going on ever since the transition to IP made wideband a possibility. But improving audio quality, especially on mobile networks, has to be a priority for carriers. With 4G, they'll be able to deliver more bandwidth, but what are the odds that they'll provision their 4G networks to actually allow for better quality? More likely, they'll try to use the additional bandwidth to sell premium, bloated, bandwidth-sucking applications that they hope to use as their own entre into the OTT battle, where they currently are being undercut by application providers.

On No Jitter this week, Michael Finneran has a post up about Samsung's latest enterprise initiative. That drive seems to focus heavily on security, features, and functionality--all critical issues for enterprises grappling with BYOD. But the Wainhouse survey suggests that audio quality is in itself a business issue that's not being adequately addressed. And if it were addressed, it could garner tons of new minutes-of-use for the carriers--minutes that have been running over landlines. If the mobile carriers could find a way to charge for better quality, they could make some money doing it. And if the quality really were better, enterprises might actually be willing to pay for it, because it might make it more practical to dump their wireline infrastructure.

We're going to address the issue of endpoints at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2013. We've got a session on "The Future of Desktop Communication & Collaboration Devices," featuring our friends Steve Leaden of Leaden Associates and Melanie Turek of Frost & Sullivan. They'll be joined by representatives of different vendor companies for what should be a lively discussion. You can get the whole conference program and information here. Hope to see you in Orlando!

Follow Eric Krapf and No Jitter on Twitter and Google+!
@nojitter
Eric Krapf on Google+





COMMENTS



August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.