Adoption of VoIP Applications in Public and Private Organizations

Adoption of VoIP Applications in Public and Private Organizations

Nicoletta Corrocher, Roberto Fontana, Claudia Parlanti
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-194-0.ch028
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We provide evidence on the determinants of diffusion of Voice over IP (VoIP) applications in a sample of public and private organizations in Italy. We first review the recent developments in the technology in order to identify the current trends and the costs and benefits of VoIP adoption. Second, we discuss the recent policy efforts at the European level toward the implementation of the technology. Third, we present an empirical investigation. Our results suggest that organizations become more likely to adopt as time goes by, and that the decision to adopt is mostly affected by size and availability of financial resources. Organizations can benefit from IP communications systems, because they offer cost savings and enhanced applications facilitating network management and on-line transactions. However, technical shortcomings, established habits and practices, and legacy network investments can inhibit adoption. This explains why firms are more likely to adopt as time passes and why small organizations are more inclined to adopt than larger ones.
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Background: The Characteristics Of Voip Technology

Voice over IP services refer to the transmission of voice and data over the IP network. This application may be also implemented over any form of the IP network, including Local Area Networks and corporate Intranets. VoIP converts the voice from analogue signals to a series of digits, bundles the data into packets and transmits these packets over the network. Early Internet phones evolved either as by-products from the videoconference industry or from companies like VocalTec, the first firm to use Internet telephony in a computer application in 1995. This service was initially available only to users with a computer connected to the Internet. However, following the continuous technological evolution, the cost saving benefits of Internet telephony have become available to any user with a telephone connected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) (Babbage et al., 1997; Ono and Aoki, 1998).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Private Branch Exchange (PBX): A PBX is a premises switching system, serving a commercial or government organization, and usually located on that organization’s premises. PBXs provide telecommunications services on the premises or campus, (e.g., internal calling and other services), and access to public and private telecommunications network services.

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD): In telephony, an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) is a device or system that distributes incoming calls to a specific group of terminals that agents use. It is often part of a computer telephony integration system.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP): Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a protocol optimized for the transmission of voice through the Internet or other packet switched networks. VoIP is often used abstractly to refer to the actual transmission of voice (rather than the protocol implementing it).

Internet Protocol (IP): The Internet Protocol (IP) is a data-oriented protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched internetwork.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN): A Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) denotes those portions of the local exchange carrier networks that provide public switched telephone network services.

Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM): Protocol-Independent Multicast (PIM) is a family of multicast routing protocols that can provide one-to-many and many-to-many distribution of data over the Internet. The “protocol-independent” part refers to the fact that PIM does not include its own topology discovery mechanism, but instead uses routing information supplied by other traditional routing protocols.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a term used to indicate a broad subject concerned with technology and other aspects of managing and processing information.

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