Are Small and Medium Companies in Latin America Ready for IP Telephony?

Published: 30 Oct 2006

By Gloria Inés Santander, Research Analyst, ICT, Latin America

Before immerging directly into a discussion on whether or not Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) are ready for IP Telephony, let’s take one step back and identify what we’re talking about and how end users view it. In simple terms, a company uses IP Telephony when it utilizes their PBXs, which could be IP enabled, converged or pure IP, through an IP-based network, with an IP Terminal or softphone at the end point of the communication. While the technology can offer several benefits such as mobility and more advanced features, companies tend to see it merely as a cost-reduction tool, hence often don’t have their expectations met in the short term.

When a company decides to migrate to IP Telephony, it is important for them to have it clear that they are giving one important step towards improving their business as they will be implementing a platform in which Internet Protocol plays a preponderant role. It is not only about enabling more efficient communication, but to take advantage of different features an IP solution can offer. By implementing IP Telephony, companies obtain higher productivity, based on having mobile workers, interaction with other means of communications and even conferencing and contact center features, with the additional advantage of lowering costs of calls at crescent rates through time. Nonetheless, the perception of these benefits varies according to the size of company and historical investment in IT, in which prospects with budget constrains might look at it as a high investment for their CAPEX and not as a business driver technology.

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