American Companies Want Secure Wireless Environments

Setting wireless policy and centralizing management of mobile devices are the top two telecommunication projects for 2006, according to a Forrester Research, Inc. survey of 1,500 telecom decision makers. Companies are willing to dedicate resources by spending one-third more in 2006 than they did in 2005. Fifty-six percent of large companies expect to spend more on mobile voice applications and 63% expect mobile data spending to increase.

Regardless of company size, mobility, security, MPLS and VoIP are the top concerns. Wireless services occupy almost 25% of companies' telecommunication budgets. Small-to-medium businesses (SMB) expect 23% of their workforce to use mobile data by the end of 2006.

Looking to the future, 26% of SMBs surveyed will pilot wireless email adoption in 2006. Larger companies (70%) have already adopted mobile email and are now moving to mobile sales force automation, logistics and customer relationship management (CRM) applications.

In the area of security, large companies show a 66% increase in spending over 2005 on network security. Forty-eight percent of SMBs use outsourced antivirus technology. Content filtering is outsourced by 30% of large companies and by 34% of SMBs. Firewalls are outsourced by 26% of large companies and by 42% of SMBs.

Mulitiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) adoption is surging -- especially among enterprises with 20,000 or more employees -- as 52% plan to increase spending in 2006. Through 2005, 17% of large companies completed migration to MPLS, and another 22% plan to move this year. For SMBs, site-to-site virtual private networks (VPN) are the preferred form of broadband networking technologies with usage at 48%, compared with the 16% currently using MPLS.

Migrating voice to an IP network is a critical priority in 2006 for 17% of enterprises and for 10% of SMBs. With 45% of SMB telecommunication budgets consumed by landline services, many firms are looking to VoIP to reduce those costs. Fourteen percent of large enterprises have fully deployed IP-PBX with another 32% rolling out or in partial development. SMB adoption is progressing, with 15% already using VoIP as a replacement for traditional PBX, and another 35% reporting interest. Adoption of VoIP for interoffice voice communications is taking hold with medium-size companies leading adoption at 25%, followed by enterprises at 16%.

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