IDC’s European IT Forum 2006: Convergence in the Future of Successful Enterprises

(PresseBox) (Frankfurt am Main, ) Cost savings, more efficient network management, increased employee productivity, enhanced customer service, and improved business processes — these are the main benefits expected by companies implementing voice-data convergence. This is shown by IDC's recent European end-user surveys, such as the yearly WAN Manager Survey, which will be presented at the 16th European IT Forum. The Forum, which is taking place in Paris on September 25 and 26 at Le Meridien Montparnasse Hotel, is the main IT event aimed at analyzing market trends, future perspectives, and macroeconomic dynamics.

IDC can confirm the growing attention towards convergence, a topic that will be widely discussed during the Forum's plenary sessions. The WAN Manager Survey has confirmed that the adoption of converged networks is being driven primarily by expected cost savings over traditional voice networks, with 54% of WAN managers citing savings as a reason for adoption. The survey also shows that convergence will impact on managed services, which should be implemented by 39% of the large companies that were interviewed, thanks also to service providers and vendors that offer financing, making it possible to invest in new technologies while reducing costs and minimizing risks. According to the survey, medium-sized companies are the most likely to buy a managed service, aiming to improve their networks and management and cost structures. The most frequent reason for outsourcing some or all of the convergence process is the lack of in-house expertise and the assertion that implementation would be quicker if some or all of the process was outsourced.

"As voice and data convergence hits the mainstream market, enterprises are placing emphasis on experience and proven technical excellence in selecting providers, therefore looking for strong partners to implement the change," said Chris Barnard, research director, European Telecommunications and Networking, IDC. "Even before innovation, what is asked for is stability and proof points. This means that vendors must be prepared to demonstrate their experience, using case studies and reference clients to illustrate their capabilities."

Among the keynote speakers who will attend the Forum are Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, Luke Georghiou, Professor of Science and Technology Policy and Management, Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Humanities and Director of PREST, Michael Jackson, VP Telecom & Skype for Business, Jeff Sampler, Professor of Strategy and Technology, Oxford University, Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, John Gantz, Chief Research Officer, IDC, Frank Gens, senior vice president, Research, IDC, and the top managers of the following sponsor companies: AMD, HP, Intel Corporation, 3Com, AT&T, Hitachi Data System, Siemens Communications, Xerox Global Services, SAP, and Aldon.

The IDC EMEA 2006 Award for ICT Innovation and Business Transformation, a prize for those European companies that showed leadership in using ICT as a tool for business innovation and/or transformation, will be presented during the Forum by the founder of IDG, Pat McGovern.

For further information about IDC's European IT Forum, please visit http://www.idc.com/....

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