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How Long Until Voice is Just Another Critical Application?

Today, voice is the most expensive application within an IT organization, consuming 6- 10% of the annual IT budget. In the future, voice will just be another critical application that runs on the shared enterprise IT infrastructure. This will cut the cost of voice services by 50% and enable easier integration with other applications. This integration will empower a business to operate more efficiently, grow top line revenue, while quickly adapting to an ever-changing global marketplace.The first step in the migration to voice as just another application on the shared IT infrastructure started with the move to IP Telephony. The second step is the centralization of all voice services/infrastructure into the data center and running on standard hardware. The third step is moving to IP/SIP trunking to the carriers. The final step is using SIP to integrate voice with other applications. There is a fair amount of overlap in these steps, but the end result is that voice services are treated like any other mission critical application within an enterprise.

While the technology and products are becoming ready for prime-time, this is a huge paradigm shift for most IT departments, especially the voice folks. Does voice have any requirements that truly justify it running on its own infrastructure with equipment in every office? While voice is a critical application, so are point of sale applications. While 911 needs to be available all the time, when true disaster strikes, cellular networks have a better track record than land lines.

A friendly remember to all Telecom managers; The incumbent vendor, who buys lunch all the time, wants to keep things as they are today. But, keep a CXO on an old cell phone or old voice infrastructure too long and...