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Business Value Analysis Cisco Unified Communications Manager Phybridge PoLRE

Author: Robin Gareiss, President & Founder

Though IP telephony has been available commercially since the mid ‘90s, it remains an emerging technology for many organizations. Only about 28% of companies have moved all endpoints (handsets, softphones, audio bridges) to IP, according to Nemertes’ research data. The rest of organizations are either in the process of migrating fully to IP, stuck in a hybrid rollout requiring them to manage typically multiple TDM and IP providers, or firmly planted in TDM.

Inhibitors toward moving to a full IP deployment include lack of business case or budget, no user demand, cost of network upgrades, and physical building issues. As organizations run disjointed telecommunications infrastructure, their costs are higher and efficiencies lower than those who have moved or are moving to a full IP environment, according to the research data.

Through interviews with 10 companies, Nemertes has identified and measured the following benefits of moving to an all-IP environment:

  • 22% reduction in Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) required to manage the systems
  • 34% reduction in the cost of equipment maintenance
  • 31% reduction in the cost of Moves, Adds, and Changes (MACs)
  • 71% reduction in Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

Though full IP may be the goal, some IT leaders believe it never can be reality. That’s because their buildings or budgets may not accommodate the migration. In those cases, companies have found success using Power over Long-Range Ethernet solutions (PoLRE). Among the 10 companies interviewed, three are using or evaluating switches from Phybridge to bridge the gap between TDM and IP, and two are evaluating the technology (layer 2 switches that deliver Power Over Ethernet over a single pair of wires with four times the reach of traditional switches, transforming TDM voice infrastructure into an IP path with power). Among the anecdotal benefits identified:

  • Reduction in cabling and hardware costs to upgrade LAN infrastructure
  • Reduction in labor for those infrastructure upgrades
  • Less disruption to the physical building normally required for full LAN upgrades

This report reviews the issues and benefits associated with moving to an all-IP environment, based on interviews with IT professionals who have moved to all IP or are in the process of doing so.

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