Enterprises could save millions of dollars by migrating their traditional private branch exchange (PBX) voice systems to packet-based systems based on IP (Internet Protocol), according to a report published Tuesday by the Cambridge, England, consultancy Analysys Ltd.

Companies with 500 or more employees can save up to 32 per cent in capital expenditures and operating costs by investing in an IP-based PBX system. The savings would be up to 15 per cent when opting for a hosted IP-PBX system, the report said. The savings were based on the ten-year life of a traditional PBX.

In addition to cost savings, the report lists several other incentives for enterprises to take the risk of migrating their voice systems to new IP-based technology:

– Increased mobility

– Integration of voice system and databases

– Unified messaging

– Speech-to-text and text-to-speech capability

– Time-zone flexibility

– Reduced cabling costs.

While modern PBX systems may already provide some of these benefits, VoIP (Voice over IP) systems tend to be simpler for employees to operate and can be managed by IT staff, according to the report’s author, Margaret Hopkins.

Analysys forecasts the corporate VoIP to reach US$7.3 billion in 2007.

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