Fixed Mobile Convergence in the Enterprise Starts at the IP PBX, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 30, 2006 – A recent IDC survey found that enterprise telecom managers believe 28% of their employees are using their mobile phone as their primary work phone. These employees are managing multiple messaging pools and are outside the reach of policy and security control. This reality has enterprises searching for solutions that extend enterprise PBX and desktop phone functionality out to mobile devices, further enabling employees to work everywhere and anywhere while the enterprise retains control over phone numbers and other calling policies.

Against this backdrop, enterprises can now buy off-the-shelf products that grant more desktop phone functionality to the mobile device. These solutions also provide the initial steps towards the enterprise's ability to regain control of wireless voice usage, as well as promote employee productivity by enabling single number contacts to eliminate multiple communication channels.

"The adoption of mobile PBX extensions provides users with a remote control to their desktop phone," states Nora Freedman, research analyst with the Enterprise Networks group. "Features such as single number dialing, corporate directory access, and a common voicemail box for mobile and desktop phones are just some examples of how these solutions empower knowledge workers and increase productivity from their mobile device of choice."

Although services from mobile and fixed-line service providers that provide similar functions are being trialed, the adoption of these services will be hampered by the looming battle between enterprise communication networks and wireless carriers to determine where the line of demarcation should exist so that seamless handoffs between networks can occur.

"Mobile operators will offer new enterprise services in the future; however, enterprises can use mobile PBX extension solutions to empower users and improve productivity today," says Freedman.

IDC's study, Extending the Enterprise PBX to Mobile Communications: Single Number Dialing (IDC #201463), examines the increasing dependence on mobile devices as the primary business communication device and the emergence of mobile solutions to extend enterprise IP PBX and desktop phone functionality out to those devices.

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