Top reasons for switching to IP voice revealed

TalkTalk Business today announced the results of its first survey into the UK business adoption of IP Voice services.

The research, carried out with Censuswide, into the attitudes of 1,000 decision makers within UK businesses found that 96% of companies that had adopted services such as Hosted Voice or Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking had reduced their total telephony costs.

Ahead of the switch-off of traditional ISDN telephony (i.e. telephone lines which run independently of internet connections) in 2025, TalkTalk Business' research found that key motivations for companies making the switch were down to reducing costs, having greater flexibility, and being able to provide futureproof unified communications.

Reducing costs was the biggest draw, with 55% saying they switched to IP Voice to reduce telephony costs across their business. For the 96% of businesses that made a saving by switching, the business case from a purely cost-based point of view was a no-brainer. Those that had made the switch reported saving 35% on total telephony costs versus their old ISDN lines. 1 in 4 firms said that making the switch had cut their telephony costs in half.

Cost savings are far from the only motivation for businesses making the switch to Hosted Voice and SIP, however. Flexibility both within the organisation and for future business growth were important considerations when adopting these cloud based telephony solutions. 24% reported adopting SIP to enable more flexible working opportunities within their business, while 31% said they had adopted the technology in order to expand their company to new locations more efficiently.

Unlike ISDN, SIP also allows businesses to quickly add or remove additional lines, which has proved popular amongst the 48% of UK businesses that reported paying for telephone lines that they only use for part of the year.

Finally, the research found that businesses were adopting IP Voice services to improve efficiency now and future proof for new technologies in the future. 20% of those surveyed said that they had adopted it to ‘stay ahead of the curve' and 32% to create better unified communications.

Technologies such as SIP, by being more reliable, can also help businesses prepare for the future by reducing the possibility of costly telephony outages. Censuswide's research found that the average business loses £24,621 for every hour their phone systems are down, with the average loss of communications lasting eight hours.

Despite the urgent need to start replacing ISDN, over one quarter of UK businesses are still not aware of the upcoming switch-off in a few years' time. Similar to the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, or when television moved from analogue to digital, organisations need to start preparing now. By moving to IP Voice, organisations can avoid unnecessary disruption and start taking advantage of savings and scalability right away.

Guy Miller, Director of Next Generation Voice at TalkTalk Business commented: "IP Voice products like SIP Trunking and Hosted Voice are essential for businesses looking to not only reduce telephony costs, but also adopt more modern approaches to work, such as those offered by collaboration and unified communications tools.

"Organisations that have made the switch to IP Voice (including Hosted Voice in addition to SIP) have more than justified the business case they made when it comes to reducing costs. Moreover, they've also deployed reliable systems that will reduce the chance of costly outages and provide them with futureproof technology, ready for the workforce of tomorrow."

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