• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Enterprise IT, News - Written by on Monday, March 19, 2012 9:52 - 9 Comments

    Companies forgoing corporate UC for Skype

    news Australian enterprises have started using more public telephony and softphone services as part of their voice and video communications mix, analyst firm Telsyte has found — with commodity platforms like Skype winning out ahead of more premium enterprise IT-focused offerings from the likes of Cisco and Avaya.

    A study published by the firm last week covered interviews with more than 300 CIOs. Telsyte found that key trends were the increasing use of IP-based communications, software-only telephone systems, and cloud services for voice and mobile unified communications. Thus, consumer-grade services like Skype, a leader in public VoIP software, were being used for videoconferencing in 30 per cent of the companies that had this technology.

    Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Gedda said traditional enterprise telephony equipment was up against fast-paced consumer products and services readily available on people’s devices of choice. “Advancements in cloud and consumer-grade systems allow workers bypass an organisation’s existing investments in enterprise communications systems and software,” said Gedda, adding: “The use of mobile devices instead of company handsets can also impact enterprise communication requirements. For example, if a consumer-grade UC app is available on a smartphone and an enterprise vendor app is not, people will choose what is available.”

    There were more software-only communications systems available today, and the choice tended towards what software or cloud system IT leaders were comfortable with, over the traditional hardware PABX. Since CIOs were receptive to these changes, the market was competitive. Defining the hosted telephony market as ‘cloud’ telephony, CIO’s have found that business processes could be performed effectively in the cloud. Consequently, as cloud telephony services matured, there would be fewer compelling reasons to invest in on-premise systems.

    According to Telsyte, the market opportunity for telephony vendors and service providers was linked to a lengthy sales cycle, because organisations, on an average, upgraded their telephone systems once every five years. It also found that 37 per cent of organisations had no plans to deploy UC and a further 6 per cent had a five-year roadmap, indicating CIOs were reluctant to take on a UC project. The void was being filled by various public communications tools.

    Australian businesses were already looking at mobile UC as the next aggressive business tool. A majority of the organisations surveyed had integrated mobile devices with their UC implementations, but the total number of deployments was still low. Gedda said the leading type of videoconferencing was software on a regular PC or notebook with a video camera. This indicated a preference to use videoconferencing along with regular applications instead of only a dedicated system.

    Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype was an endorsement of the reach of consumer-oriented communications software. The company had already started integrating its Lync server with Skype. Other UC vendors too, could increase their relevance by integrating with popular consumer communication services.

    Skype has long been the favourite tool of small businesses looking to collaborate cheaply. It’s not the best tool in the world, but it’s pretty cheap and easy to set up, and it’s brain dead to use. Plus, when you start using it, you quickly discover that there’s a wide ecosystem of others using it — which is all the more incentive to jump on board. Free calls and videoconferences are free calls and videoconferences, after all.

    For these reasons, I’m not surprised at all to see the tool percolating further into the enterprise. One of the longest trends within enterprise IT has been users covertly deploying tools which their IT department won’t, in order to gain higher levels of efficiency and productivity from their workplace technology systems. I personally have bucked the system at most of the organisations I’ve worked at to deploy software like Mozilla Firefox, in order to avoid having to deploy legacy browsers like Internet Explorer 6.

    Companies such as Jetstar, which are moving away from having physical telephone handsets on desks, have for several years been showing large Australian organisations that in many cases, they may not actually have to deploy much of the physical infrastructure commonly believed to be necessary for unified communications in enterprises. And now vendors such as Skype — which after all, is a globally scalable system with millions of users — is showing the potential of cloud telephony. Many workers, put simply, will never need complex enterprise-grade UC technology, when so much of that functionality is available via platforms like Skype.

    Of course, all of this will make IT departments very uncomfortable. Skype does have some corporate management tools, but they’re very immature. However, the future of technology in large corporations simply does not revolve around the IT department — a fact technology workers will have to get comfortable with ;)

    Opinion/analysis by Renai LeMay

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    1. Nick
      Posted 19/03/2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink | Reply

      Might want to provide a “Source” or “read more” link at the bottom of this article. I mean, google found it for me but it would be nice if it was provided, considering it was the whole basis of this article.


      • Posted 19/03/2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink | Reply

        It’s a press release. We rewrote it into an article. What’s your problem? ;)

        • Thateus
          Posted 19/03/2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

          We look forward to your press release when you migrate from PSTN To Skype.

    2. Posted 19/03/2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink | Reply

      I can’t wait to see what Microsoft are going to do with Skype. This article shows its in direct competition with their enterprise/commercial grade Lync (…like anyone needed to be told that) so I will be absolutely glued to the monitor watching their next moves. It would be classic Microsoft style to do something big and heavy handed and boneheaded with it but I can’t see how they can do that and still keep the existing ecosystem alive (short of changing the license to forbid commercial use or something unfeasible).

    3. Posted 19/03/2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      In a few weeks we’re swapping out about 80% of our physical phones with softphones+headsets. In our case we did go for a shoretel system – so we’re not exactly saving a lot of money, but we are getting a lot more flexibility.

      If we decide to go completely voip, we could probably change to a service like skype in a week. By contrast, changing between hardware phone vendors is a much more involved process.

    4. Posted 19/03/2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      We used to use Skype at our office, but the delay and unreliability of it forced us to make a change. We eventually went with iiNet’s Business Voice set up and it’s awesome! I couldn’t recommend anyone using Skype for important business calls

    5. Thateus
      Posted 19/03/2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Coincidentally I saw this show up on an unrelated news feed – offers a different view of Skype and the business market – http://andyabramson.blogs.com/voipwatch/2012/03/skype-is-out-of-business.html

    6. RobinP
      Posted 20/03/2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’m wondering when Apple is ever going to release the FaceTime protocols as they said they would. I think Skype would be threatened by an open protocol particularly one that comes on every new iPhone.

      • Thateus
        Posted 20/03/2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink | Reply

        Probably same time when Skype (Microsoft) release their protocols…

    Leave a Comment


  • Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

    Follow us on social media

    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT

    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications

    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry

    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights