Europe Continues to Lead the IP Charge
Mobility, the move to Internet Protocol (IP), and the related security concerns around the two are dominating European enterprises's 2006 telecom plans. According to "The State of Enterprise Telecom and Network Adoption: Europe," a Forrester survey of 301 IT decision-makers at European enterprises, 50 percent plans to increase spending on IP telephony and VoIP technology, while another 40 percent of companies will increase their spending on IP and mobility-related security devices.
The adoption of IP in Europe has soared in recent years, to the point that Europe has taken a significant lead over North American businesses. The fact that Europe continues to lead the North American market in the adoption of these technologies comes as no surprise to many. "The North American market currently is more focused on acquisition and consolidation, and exploring various new technologies," says Luke Thomas, research analyst for wireless technology at Frost and Sullivan. About half of European companies have fully deployed IP-related technologies, while 33 percent of North American enterprises have deployed IP technology.
In Europe technologies like MPLS (multiprotocol label switching, which is infrastructure technology designed to rout IP calls properly), and SSL (secure sockets layer, a security protocol developed by Netscape designed to transmit private documents via the Internet), and other IP security systems continue to drive telecom budgets. The number of European companies with no plans to deploy MPLS has dropped from 37 percent to 16 percent, according to the report.
"Compared with 2005, the percentage of companies increasing their spending on legacy, land line data services has declined by 9 percentage points to 22 percent," says Phil Sayer, senior analyst, European telecoms and networks, at Forrester Research and author of the report. "In contrast enterprises plan increased spending on newer voice technologies like VoIP."
The continued adoption of IP related-technologies is also driving investments in mobile networks, according to the report. For devices such as Palm and BlackBerry, the European market has focused on many of the same areas as the North American market. Personal information management, such as calendars, personalized contacts, and document storage, and access to wireless email has received the most attention in recent years, but European enterprises are preparing to take it up a notch. Today, mobile products and services account for nearly one-third of European enterprises' telecom and network budgets, according to the report. Now, mobile business applications, such as CRM and ERP, are gaining momentum thanks to the data benefits that IP offers.
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