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Are deskphones dead in the enterprise setting?

Zafirah Salim | July 23, 2014
Jan Zuurbier, head of Global Sales at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, discusses how the evolving enterprise infrastructure accommodates the mobile landscape, and why deskphones are still of relevance in the corporate world.



Jan Zuurbier, head of Global Sales, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Deskphones will cease to exist in offices by 2017.

More than half (65 percent) of 500 polled UK CIOs made such a prediction in the 2012 study conducted by market research firm Vanson Bourne, which aimed to find out what technology CIOs expect to be using over the next few years.

Some reasons cited with regards to the demise of deskphones were the declining costs of corporate mobile plans, as well as increased behaviour among the staff to make calls on business mobiles even when they are seated at their office desks.

With the advent of mobile revolution, it is reasonable to think that deskphones will grow to be obsolete over time. However, two years after the prediction was made - and halfway into 2014 - it seems that deskphones still remain to be an indispensable entity in the enterprise infrastructure.

In this interview, Jan Zuurbier, head of Global Sales at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, discussed how the evolving enterprise infrastructure accommodates the mobile landscape, and why deskphones are still of relevance in the corporate world.

Can you briefly describe the evolution of the communication landscape in the enterprise setting?

We are entering an era where the customer is reshaping the enterprise landscape. Customers are now driving technology changes both at home and in the enterprise. Social networks, mobile devices and the burgeoning use of visual content will continue to redefine the way people communicate in their personal lives as well as at work.

Gartner calls the four major dimensions of this revolution the Nexus of Forces - comprising mobility, social networks, the cloud, and information. A result of this consumer revolution is the 'bring your own device' (BYOD) trend, which is in essence an extension of the Personal Cloud, where everything is available at any time, from anywhere, on any device.

With employees now bringing in their personal devices within the enterprise and using them to perform business tasks, businesses now have to transform the way they operate. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is at the forefront of this development and addressing the personal cloud through its enterprise network and communication solutions. Software Defined Networks (SDN) that boost network utilisation and efficiency, automate provisioning and management, and improve efficiency is one other strategy Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise advocates helping organisations, big or small, to adapt to the evolving enterprise communications environment.

The "death of the deskphone" debate has been going on for a long time, fueled by the proliferation of mobile devices. How has the enterprise infrastructure evolved in order to accommodate the mobility trend?

For the past 30 years, enterprise communications has been built around the personal computer. During this time, the traditional PC became central to our professional, and eventually, our personal lives. Today, we're seeing a role reversal where communication methods used in our personal life are driving changes in the workplace.

 

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