Almost half of the IT organisations around the world have a VoIP network, according to a British Telecom study.

BT’s survey of 267 global IT professionals showed that 48 per cent have a VoIP network at their work, up from 31 per cent in 2007.

The UK telecoms company also found that a further 20 per cent are in the process of deploying VoIP solutions, with 71 per cent of these expected to be operational within two years.

While most firms gradually replace their existing telephony systems with VoIP hardware, some install VoIP products or PBXs to replace ageing traditional PSTN systems.

The survey found that the most important factors for firms considering a VoIP system are security, quality and reliability – a similar finding to surveys in 2005 and 2007.

Demonstrating the ROI of moving from a PSTN system to VoIP services was listed by the highest percentage of respondents (27%) as the biggest hurdle to adoption of VoIP systems.

"Cost is a critical factor when building a VoIP business case, but other criteria must take higher precedence when evaluating various implementation strategies and solutions," BT noted in its report.

"Make sure you understand what your top requirements are, be they network reliability, voice quality or security, before committing to a strategy."

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