IP-based services on the rise in Europe

25 September 2002 -- Despite the telecoms industry downturn, migration to some IP-based services is picking up speed among European companies, according to IDC's latest European WAN manager survey.

25 September 2002 -- Despite the telecoms industry downturn, migration to some IP-based services is picking up speed among European companies, according to IDC's latest European WAN manager survey.

"For the first time in the six years that IDC has conducted this survey, usage of frame/cell services is declining," said Jill Finger, Research Manager, European Telecommunications Services.

"At the same time, usage of IP-based VPNs continues to increase. WAN managers no longer fear their network security will be compromised if they implement IP-based VPNs rather than PVC-based services. Geographical availability has replaced security as the primary concern of WAN managers moving to IP VPNs."

The survey also found that - contrary to popular belief - there has not been a substantial increase in use of videoconferencing among European companies in the last year due to declines in business travel as a result of September 11 and cuts in travel budgets.

There is, however, significant interest in implementing IP-based desktop videoconferencing solutions, with 8% of respondents currently using the service and an additional 17% planning to use it in the next year. Traditional videoconferencing solutions, such as those based on ISDN, were less interesting to companies surveyed.

In other areas, however, WAN managers are exhibiting increasing caution in making any large changes to their communication strategies. The survey looked at issues such as bandwidth, remote access, broadband, metro Ethernet, voice/data
convergence, videoconferencing, and outsourcing, and found respondents to be wary of planning any significant service migrations or technology changes in the next year.

While this is partially due to tighter restrictions on IT budgets, it also indicates that companies are wary about trusting their communications networks to service providers.

The survey found that 66% of respondents preferred to manage their VPNs themselves, rather than outsourcing that management to a service provider. Furthermore, only 9% of companies currently outsource either their network management, CPE management, or security, with most respondents having no plans to outsource any of these services. The scandals over the last year surrounding some of Europe's largest carriers such
as KPN/Qwest and Worldcom have undoubtedly contributed to this lack of trust in service providers.

The European WAN Manager Survey, 2002 (IDC #HT05J) presents results of a survey conducted among 535 WAN managers of companies with 100 or more employees in 10 countries. Survey results are segmented by country, company size, and vertical sector, and comparisons with previous years' surveys are provided for key questions.

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