Home-based firms 'twice as likely' to run VoIP

A US study has lifted the lid on how home-based businesses are driving the uptake of new technologies, particularly in the realm of Web calls or VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol.

Authored by IDC, the study found homeowners who are ‘income-generating’ and have a home-based office are twice more likely to adopt a VoIP system than a normal householder.

Today, almost 40 per cent of corporate home offices and almost a quarter of home-based businesses are interested in or using VoIP.

However among households that are not income-generating and have no office within bricks and mortar the awareness rate of VoIP drops to just 10 per cent.

Although the study focused on US householders, the uniform design of the leading VoIP software indicates the results will be relevant to users outside the States, such as in the UK.

For example, it found that office households are reluctant to rely exclusively on VoIP and tend to add it as a second method of communication, serving as a compliment to the primary landline.

Home-based professionals, whether self-employed or remote employees, cited savings on long distance calls as the key reason they initially turned to VoIP systems in the home, the researchers said.

But Chris Hazelton, senior analyst at IDC said:” Although cost savings are important, features such as convergence with mobile phones will be increasingly important to home offices in the long run."

Her comments come as IDC says VoIP services specifically aimed at businesses are being “primed for mainstream adoption” across Western Europe.

Julie Wall, research analyst at the firm’s European VoIP Services, recently said the gains for business VoIP coincide with a decline in the number of traditional fixed voice connections for enterprise.

“Service providers offering hosted VoIP services to enterprise have the potential opportunity to transform the business voice market,” she said.

Her comments were made as a forecast for how hosted and managed VoIP services will develop until the end of the decade.

 

4th August 2006

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