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Hyderabad, Sept. 19

ABOUT 40 per cent of enterprise communications costs concern internal employees and close user groups. These can be slashed significantly using IP (Internet protocol) telephony technologies, said Mr Alok Shende, Director of Technology Practice, Frost & Sullivan.

Since IP telephony is likely to be the base for future application development, it is critical to choose vendors who have a platform that adheres to open standards and provide a clear path for technology integration offering various services, said Mr Shende.

Speaking to Business Line on the sidelines of the `Enterprise Convergence' event here on Monday, Mr Shende said, "Enterprises need to know how they can have just one technology platform for all their applications such as e-mail, telephone, voice and video applications. If you compare with a deregulated market of China, in spite of regulatory concerns, India has made swift strides growing at a fast pace."

The IP telephony market in India is about $54 million in 2005. Out of this, enterprise IP telephony (IPT) applications accounted for $2 million in 2004. However, IPT applications are expected to grow strongly at a compounded annual growth rate of 52.3 per cent between 2004 and 2011.

Mr Shende said applications on the IPT platform promise a vast improvement in the communications efficiency of Indian enterprises. Its adoption will open up newer communication channels. Enterprises in IT and IT enabled services, banks and financial institutions and the fast moving commercial goods segment can all benefit by adopting this for both internal and external communication.

Since IP applications follow IP telephony deployment, the market is in its nascent stage with only regions having large scale IP telephony deployment showing any real penetration. The rising investment in the country's IPT infrastructure drives its mainstream installed base. The regional market will seek returns on investment that will help grow IPT applications.

Answering queries on India operations, Mr Shende said Frost & Sullivan has grown to an about 500-people entity. About 100 are engaged in consultancy related services based out of Mumbai; the rest work on high-end business process services and at the company's global nerve centre in Chennai.

Mr Shende said, "We see a lot of growth across industry verticals covering technology, health care, automotive and process consulting services."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 20, 2005)
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