The New Economy Is Calling

Everybody is becoming familiar with the violent see-saw that the global economy has become within the last few months. In fact, we've heard about how the economic uncertainty is affecting jobs, fuel prices, and even the presidential election. Point is, these recent economic developments will directly affect the IP communications / convergence industry as well, and in many ways. From my perspective, it's important to note that every submarket can, and will likely be, affected in a different way. There are usually multiple outcomes for the same market scenario. Let's outline a few of these permutations and potential outcomes for the IP / Convergence market in the "new economy" that has become a bit like the Wild West. First, IT spending in general is likely to come under heavy analysis, which usually happens in any longer-term economic downturn. This directly affects telecom spending across all markets, from large corporations to SMBs. We may see project holds on new deployments of wide-reaching technologies, such as continued TDM-to-IP migrations that haven't already been completed. This Hold/Maintain directive immediately relieves project spending for an indefinite amount of time, and reallocation of those resources can occur. Second, for projects not already in progress, new deployments are now more likely to move in the direction of open source solutions than ever before. When organizations are faced with a constant demand for technological development, especially in the areas of telecom / convergence, they will want to maximize the feature/cost benefit to the fullest extent. When an equally, if not greater feature set can be delivered for 30% of the investment, it becomes an extremely serious consideration. Remember, organizations struggling financially STILL have to furnish the basic IT needs - these aren't services that can be cut or abstracted away. Finally, as the market has already proven, expect vendors to continue rallying around standards. Also, expect more and more organizations to accept true standards-based solutions with open arms. There is simply no point for organizations of any scale to buy into a closed or proprietary platform these days, unless they specifically have reason to do so. In the world of IP / convergence platforms and technologies, organizations are realizing the need for standards, and the flexibility it affords. Adaptability will be key in the "new economy". This is simply not the "dot-com" boom of the 90s, and it's not cost feasible for the entire Fortune 500 to do a large rip-and-replace of their telecommunications and network infrastructure. The outlook may be grim, but developers, vendors, and end-users realize that there are many cost-effective solutions to solve IP communications and convergence problems.

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