Voice Virtualization High on SMB Agendas: Survey

Ninety percent of survey respondents said virtualization will take on greater importance in their network in 2011.

In the future, mobile phones will dominate, with businesses moving to a "bring your own device" strategy and voice virtualization will take on more importance in business' networks, according to survey results taken by business communications and collaboration software and services provider Mitel Networks. The survey found 53 percent of respondents felt that, in the future, mobile phones would become the dominant communication device in the workplace. These same responders also stated that their organizations would move to a "bring-your-own-device" strategy in the future.

In addition, 90 percent of respondents said that virtualization will take on greater importance in their network in 2011, with 34 percent of these saying that voice virtualization will take on the greatest level of importance. Cloud virtualization and desktop virtualization followed in priority at 31 and 25 percent respectively, while 74 percent of respondents said they believed they could achieve a stronger ROI using a best-of-breed network approach versus a single vendor.

"These survey results demonstrate that the Mitel Freedom architecture is in direct correlation with addressing the communications needs of customers," said Stephen Beamish, vice-president of marketing and business development for Mitel. "With Mitel Freedom, organizations have the flexibility to break free from the 'walled garden' vendor model and design a communications network based on best-in-class technologies. It also allows organizations to deliver a tailored, in-office experience to all employees, extending UC features to any device, enabling the 'bring your own device' approach which we believe will become more prevalent in the future."

Frost & Sullivan's recently released survey on mobility usage supports the Mitel survey findings. It showed that 49 percent of respondents identify mobile phones as primary endpoints used for business communications. Frost & Sullivan further reported that more than 90 percent of large and 75 percent of small/midsize companies would describe their communications infrastructure as multi-vendor as opposed to end-to-end single vendor. According to the survey, this trend will continue over the next 24 months with the majority of businesses shifting to more tightly integrated multi-vendor environments.

"Organizations are driving the use of mobile unified communications applications to help reduce cost, enhance mobile worker productivity, enable work/life balance, provide better customer service, reduce travel, and increase collaboration across distributed teams," said Elka Popova, North American program director of unified communications and collaboration for Frost & Sullivan. "Survey participants indicated that in 2011 they intend to increase their spending across a broad set of communications and collaboration technologies, including mobile devices and applications. Mitel's Freedom architecture provides flexible, easy-to-manage solutions to address the trend toward increased mobile integration."