On LinkedIn, one of the LinkedIn Answers (actually a question) from Steve Griffin at T-Systems was: Will data / voice convergence be a main IT cost saving driver in 2008?
While writing my answer, I figured I would share it with you:
I think the market is tired of hearing how they can save money in telecom. Internet pipe, voice costs, and now mobile expenses have driven up the telecom budget line items.
As to CLEC's selling the Integrated or Dynamic T1 as a converged data/voice solution, we are fast approaching where the 1MB limit on these pipes is insufficient for video conferencing when piled on top of the current uses. (And Cisco is driving that train too).
When selling a Hosted VoIP (PBX) Solution, the TCO needs to be integrated with the productivity gains as well as the communications needs of the whole business (like tele-workers, mobile salesforce).
The only CLEC giving guidance to its investors is Cbeyond, who has warned its investors through its SEC filings that a slow down may be coming. Cbeyond sells Dynamic T1 with a cellular component, so if any telco should be driving sales, it is them. Even the Big Boys (Sprint, AT&T and Verizon) are starting to see the credit crunch. (T-Mobile seems to have a handle on the credit and the churn based on its latest figures).
Certainly, salespeople will be chirping about "Cost Savings" but that doesn't mean businesses will BUY it.
The IT cost savings MAY be seen in SAAS as IT talent becomes either scarce or too expensive. Medium sized businesses will look for managed solutions for software and Voice.
In the coming crunch, many salespeople will be swinging the "savings" pitch, we'll see how many people bite. I don't think it will be effective.
Right now, businesses are worried about 3 things:
- How do I keep my business efficient and productive;
- How do I continue to bring in (enough) revenue;
- How do I retain talent.