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Pure IP infrastructures can offer enterprises a 43 percent annual savings compared to traditional PBX (Private -Automatic- Branch Exchange) systems, according to March 5 study released by Siemens Enterprise Communications. The savings was one of three key points to come from the study, which surveyed more than 1,000 IT decision makers around the globe about their communications decisions and resulted in a snapshot of a market in transition.

While the financial benefits of a pure IP environment were made clear, so was the reality of getting there. The vast majority of enterprises - 91 percent - currently have a hybrid approach in place, with IP communications running alongside a legacy PBX. This mix, according to Siemens, can help to "mitigate risk and protect existing investments."

With employees so widespread, 45 percent of survey respondents said that cloud-based services were a part of their 2012 communications plans, during 16 percent already have a cloud solution in place. More than 90 percent of respondents named Web collaboration, unified communications and video conferencing as the applications they're planning to look to the cloud for, and private cloud solutions were favored over public cloud solutions at a rate of near three to one.

The skills necessary to deploy newer technologies

"Respondents have found that IT staff often lacks the skills necessary to deploy newer technologies, especially cloud computing," Siemens said in a statement on the report. "More than half of respondents feel that the IT landscape has become too complex, which, combined with narrow skill sets and high turnover rates, can easily hamper cloud and UC adoption."

• "Embrace IP-based enterprise communications," which can be simpler and cheaper than "stitching at the same time point solutions or 'bolt-on' capabilities to legacy architectures."

The costs of a combined PBX

• To mitigate the costs of a combined PBX and IP infrastructure, consider a centralized session management server. As with managed services, it can help to pool resources and skill sets to lower overall costs.

The gains of moving to IP communications are clear, Rick Puskar, Siemens senior vice president, global portfolio management, told eWEEK. "People say, 'No pain, no gain,' however I like to say, 'The pain is optional.'"

The solution now scales from 100 to 500,000 users

The solution now scales from 100 to 500,000 users and delivers to the user's mode of choice, helping to support bring-your-own-device programs. Other new features include a unified user experience for presence inside and outside the organization; a Mac OS client with a Microsoft Outlook plug in OpenScape Web Collaboration; and "zero touch" deployment capabilities that automatically recognize and configure phones from the cloud in the OpenScape Voice and Management Suite.

More information: Eweek
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