Traditional telephony is dead

Swyx, an operatior in the IP communications field, launched an initiative to assist both SMEs and larger corporations make the transition from traditional telephony systems to the new fully integrated communication offerings.

In 2006 the deployment of new IP-based communication systems finally overtook the deployment of traditional telephony systems. Traditional telephony and the traditional telephony network architecture are effectively on the way to extinction. Today it is communications as an integrated business software application that is the core of all business activities. And it is this that has caused the telephony revolution"?

Businesses now require an integrated application that manages and organises all forms of communications and interaction across the workplace. It must also manage the rules for locating and contacting employees in a multi-channel communication environment (e.g. instant message, email, voice mail, mobile services, SMS and presence) and integrate the communications process in to all business processes.

The new initiative will provide access to an information based web-site and a free downloadable pocket guide, both of which will explain the advantages of the new technologies in the market, the many ways in which it can enhance the efficiency of a business and tips how to make the transition.

Swyx identified three elements to the telephony revolution, the key being to effectively combining them together.

The first element is to combine the key functions of traditional telephony on a single and scalable software platform. This includes all the main features of a telephone system, such as call forwarding and voicemail with the ability for organisations to manage communications in and outside of the firewall. This also provides a framework for users to operate in and ensures the required level of security.

Voice is still the most intrinsic communications tool, yet with greater adoption of collaboration and integration with business processes, it becomes more of a strategic asset. Therefore the second element is to provide the user with multiple collaboration services direct to the desktop including instant messaging, email, voice mail, mobile services, SMS and presence.

This allows users to optimise their workflow and communicate how they want, where they want and when they want, within the given framework. The key to this is a centralised control framework with centralised management capability. IT and policy decisions need to be managed centrally and not left to the end user.

The third element is to integrate the communications application with core business processes to enable productivity gains, better customer services and increased competitive advantage. Communication applications can essentially be treated as middleware providing the increased value of seamless integration.

However the current approach of many, including the traditional vendors, is to develop these applications into their PBX, which is constrictive. It should take account of scenarios where innovative use of technology can provide a competitive advantage. Companies need to consolidate their communications and telephony with programs for email, ERP, CRM and other business application software.