Making phone calls is an obvious requirement for IP telephony, but taken to its natural conclusion, it brings new capabilities and new features to an organization. These new capabilities, as noted in the education example in Chapter 3. "But What About All My PBX Features?," tend to be focused on and customized to a particular organization and their requirements.
Although manufacturers of an IP-PBX tend to view the IP network as nothing more than plumbing, manufacturers of true IP telephony see the network as the reason for moving to telephony in the first place. That is where the applications are, and applications will be the defining factor for most organizations looking at IPT in the future.
Consider the three widely accepted benefits of an IP-PBX. It reduces costs associated with system maintenance, system administration, and Moves, Adds and Changes (MAC) for user administration. It reduces long-distance charges and it potentially helps consolidate resources between the IS and telecom departments.
Notice, however, that each of these benefits target resources and budgets within the IS or the telecom department. Rarely do these benefits step outside the budgets of either one of these departments. The following examples show how IPT can benefit areas outside of the IS or telecom departments.
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