Is the 2009 VoIP Surge Theory Correct?

Don Witt, President of cyLogistics, theorizes the stock market meltdown and slowing economy will actually spur faster VoIP growth during 2009, according to an article he wrote recently for TMCnet.

Witt bolsters his theory with many of the same arguments used to promote the idea of a VoIP explosion in the years before the economy started to crumble, namely that competition would lead businesses to cut costs and that one of the easiest places to cut costs was to look to the company phone bill.

He now says “(t)he stock market crash has effectively pulled in the VoIP growth curve by 6-12 months or more!” As identified in the Post-Melt Down chart, above, Dewitt claims “VoIP sales may increase by 200-300% over previous forecasts. Thus, next year’s VoIP growth can be expected to jump from 4% to 8% or 12% or more next year.”

While adopting VoIP technology can, over time, reduce a business’ communication expense dramatically, one big fly in the ointment of Dewitt’s theory is the often large up-front costs of adopting VoIP, whether it’s deploying new communcations hardware or contracting for a hosted service, as well as the costs of training a workforce to use a new comm system.

This is not to say that moving to VoIP is not in fact a good business decsion for many companies, but merely that if it were such a clear-cut winner, one of the many previous predictions of the VoIP explosion should have already come true.

My sense of the market is that VoIp will continue to grow as a business services choice, led mainly by the rollout of VoIP alternatives by incumbent telcos and cable operators, and that cash strapped businesses are not so likely to toss out all their old phones and PBX gear to buy shiny new VoIP products in 2009.

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  • Lonnie,
    When I read Don Witt’s post, I had that same feeling – upfront cost can actually hinder deployment during the state of the economy.
    Regards,
    Tsahi