State of VoIP/Video Management - Part I

Highlights of best practices research

EMA recently conducted a survey of IT practitioners, looking to understand current practices for managing real-time IP communications like VoIP and IP Video Conferencing technologies such as telepresence. Remember why these are so interesting – they require protected/prioritized bandwidth and are latency-intolerant, and thus often drive changes in your network architecture plus your planning and management regimes. While the full research report will be published shortly, I’d like to share a few interesting highlights that have emerged. This will take a couple of posts, so for the initial pass I’m going to look at some adoption results as an indicator of just how big the management challenge is. First, everyone is using VoIP, right? Well, wrong. There are still an awful lot of organizations out there that are far from finished with their VoIP rollouts. Our research showed that only 6% of participants indicated that they have achieved 100% VoIP coverage, and those were all in the mid-sized (1000-2500 employee) organizations. Overall, mid-sized organizations were much likely to have a high degree of VoIP deployment than their larger or smaller brethren. What does this mean? Well, VoIP is still a work in progress, especially in the largest organizations, where penetration averaged less than 50%. And that means that the work of integrating configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting is also, most likely, a work in progress. When it comes to IP Video Conferencing, we’re much earlier overall in the adoption cycle. Again, the highest rates of utilization seem to be in the mid-sized organizations, although the big shops are more in the picture this time. The really big organizations, those with 20,000 or more employees, are all looking at it but on average have only covered about 25% of their organizations. Equally interesting is the balance of IP Video conferencing technology types being used. Over two thirds of respondents indicated that they were using Desktop conferencing, but more than half were using room-based systems, with a slight edge of non-HD over HD systems in use (where HD was defined as 720p resolution or higher - the realm of Telepresence systems). What does this mean? Well, it’s early in the adoption curve, so we haven’t seen the full impact of real-time video conferencing in most operations environments. But remember – these are going to be some of the bigger bandwidth hogs in your network, so you best wax your surfboard and start preparing for the wave. Next time, we’ll look at who in the IT organizations are carrying the load for managing real-time IP comms.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022