If you're in IT resign yourself to IP

Can anything in IT ever be taken at face value? Rarely.

Less than two years ago I was inundated with reports on the benefits of VoIP, a technology that was hailed as the Second Coming.

It was to be the technology to revolutionize the enterprise.

But now that a decent size pool of deployments have been completed, more recent reports aren't so glorious, and the praise not as forthcoming.

Even analysts are revisiting their initial estimates.

Nemertes Research was the first to save face, admitting that VoIP projects take more than twice the time for planning, installation and training than initially expected. Oops! You didn't hear that in the vendor pitch did you?

In 2004, planning and installation was 52 minutes per user; this increased to 133 minutes in 2005.

Not surprisingly, costs are rapidly increasing too. We didn't hear about this a few short months ago, only that VoIP would generate huge savings and save the world from starvation.

Is this CRM all over again? Remember when CRM was going to change the world? That is, until there were a few, large-scale deployments; then the pundits weren't so enthusiastic.

But to be fair, Nemertes found that companies are trying to accomplish much more than setting up VoIP; this could mean adding extras like network management software which may not have been planned early on.

So what we're really talking about here is major convergence projects.

Cost isn't being mentioned as much these days by the vendors; now they are talking up business processes as the main driver for VoIP adoption.

Or it's all about security. Integ released a report claiming 97 percent of organizations do not have sufficient security measures in place when they implement IP telephony.

So, as you can see it's not all good news. Not that this is likely to stall adoption.

In Australia alone, Market Clarity said this week that even at the small end of town (SMEs and consumer space) VoIP will attract six million users by 2011. So if you are in IT, resign yourself to IP telephony, but don't take anything at face value.

What are your phone lines up to? E-mails to Sandra_Rossi@idg.com.au

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