LEXINGTON, Kentucky–April 18, 2007–More than 90 percent of higher education communications technology professionals say vendors of Voice over IP equipment are over-hyping the technology, according to a detailed survey by ACUTA, the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education.
ACUTA today publicly released some of the key findings of its survey, which was conducted earlier this year and revealed to attendees at its recent IP Summit in Baltimore. ACUTA is the only international association dedicated to serving the needs of higher education communications technology professionals, representing nearly 2,000 individuals at some 770 institutions.
The survey, conducted among more than a third of ACUTA´s member colleges and universities, contained both good news and bad news for proponents of VoIP on campus. Even though 92 percent of respondents think vendors are pumping out hot air when it comes to VoIP, there is still tremendous interest in the applications that VoIP makes possible.
For instance, desktop video and videoconferencing is a VoIP benefit seen by 85 percent of respondents, with 83 percent seeing emergency notification as a plus. Seventy-nine percent of respondents anticipate campus benefits in audioconferencing, while 77 percent like the idea of IP-based security cameras. Other applications receiving sizable interest are interactive voice response, directory services, and voice over wireless.
At the same time, there are serious concerns among the communications technology members of ACUTA when it comes to VoIP. Four out of five survey respondents don´t believe the benefits of VoIP are compelling, nor do they believe it makes sense to spend money to replace equipment that is currently working well. A similar majority of respondents are concerned about security as well, fearing that their IP PBX could be hacked or become a target of a distributed denial of service attack.
Despite their reluctance regarding VoIP, 60 percent of ACUTA survey respondents realize that they need to embrace it as their traditional equipment comes to the end of its useful life. And despite their distrust of vendors´ VoIP claims overall, the college communications technology professionals say those vendors with whom they have a good history and a strong installed base have positively influenced their VoIP sentiments.
Jeri Semer, executive director of ACUTA, said the survey provides great insight into the outlook toward VoIP by the people who run campus communications networks. "ACUTA members are a very technology-aware group, and the industry can learn a lot by understanding the elements of VoIP that they value, as well as their concerns about IP technology and its applications," Semer said. "We look forward to continuing to survey our members as their outlook evolves."
A detailed 47-page report of the survey is available for a nominal fee to non-members of ACUTA. Visit www. acuta.org or call 859-278-3338 for more information, or see the executive summary online at www. acuta.org/?1779.
ACUTA, the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher education communications technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents nearly 2000 individuals at some 770 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the 50 largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA´s Corporate Affiliate members represent all categories of communications technology vendors serving the college/university market. For more information, visit www. acuta.org or call 859-278-3338.