Voice Clicks With IT Apps
Roughly half of all business IT applications will incorporate voice services as an embedded technology within two years, with Australia budding into a leader of IP telephony and VoIP adoption, according to Gartner. "Today we dial; tomorrow we click," Geoff Johnson, research vice president at Gartner, said in a written statement. "Voice will be embedded in everything and mobility will be crucial. Calls will be made by clicking through a document or an email rather than dialing a number."
Voice over Everything (VoE), which Gartner contends will save businesses 15 to 30 percent on telephone costs, are voice-embedded IT applications comprising various elements, including voice-activated documents and voicemails in email inboxes. Users also will be armed with the ability to check a person's availability, enabling VoE to take shape as a presence technology, similar to instant messaging, Gartner notes.
More than 55 percent of Australian businesses have implemented or have taken steps to implement VoIP services, about 20 percentage points higher than other Asia-Pacific companies. "With the technology already available, voice-embedded IT applications are well on their way to becoming mainstream in Australia and the Asia Pacific region," Johnson said in the statement. "Traditional telephony vendors such as Alcatel, Avaya, Ericsson, NEC, and Nortel closely guard their existing telephony customers, but they have lost significant market share to Cisco in pure IP Telephony. However, as voice becomes delivered in software rather than hardware, as in a PABX, new players such as Microsoft threaten to gazump the relationship between telephony users and network equipment providers. Voice is becoming a click on the desktop where Microsoft has massive mindshare."
The penetration of IP telephony into organizations also is evidenced by research from Frost & Sullivan, which projects that Asia's call center market is expected to grow from $617.4 million in 2004 to $1.418 billion in 2011, spurred by IP technology, while recently published research from Synergy Research Group reports that the worldwide enterprise IP telephony market experienced year-over-year growth of 30.6 percent.
Business owners and CIOs need to evaluate IP telephony and prepare themselves for VoE, Johnson says. "They need to become aware of the way that voice is becoming embedded into their mainstream business applications such as email, ERP, and voice-escorted Web browsing to aid customer transactions. Similarly, IT application developers must be flexible and prepare as they will increasingly be asked to include voice in their applications."
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