Corporate Australia remains wary of VoIP despite the hype with few roll-outs actually taking place.

Essential Utilities Corp (EUC) has contracts with 60 of Australia's top 100 listed companies (ASX100) and the company's CEO Blair Pocock said, "We can categorically state that we have seen only one or two major roll-outs of VoIP."

Pocock said the take-up of VoIP has been minute despite the general perception that the technology is mature.

"This perception, which is being reinforced by the many vendors of VoIP, is highly misleading," he said.

"Corporate Australia remains unconvinced that the technology is mature enough or that it actually delivers the benefits heralded by its proponents."

Scepticism vs hype
Lindsay Gorrie, St John of God Health Service information systems manager, has paid little attention to the hype and says he is sceptical of the new technology.

"It's absolutely hyped; from what I've heard of VoIP results they turn out to be too intensive, and too fiddly," Gorrie said.

"I'd much prefer to have a whole heap of copper in the ground, or fibre optic cable if you can afford it, I don't need a VoIP implementation chewing up my bandwidth."

Gorrie said he's unaware of any organisations considering VoIP.

"It seems that everyone is waiting to see what happens, to see if the technology is going to improve," Gorrie said.

PSTN costs are falling too
Gary Trewin, EUC accounts manager, said traditional infrastructure costs are falling dramatically as a result of fierce competition among providers of traditional telephony.

This trend, he said, is eroding the potential financial benefits of VoIP.

"Only those corporations with substantial internal traffic between connected branches and offices will experience any significant benefits, financial or otherwise. Also, these benefits have to be offset by the risks inherent in adopting a new type of infrastructure."

Trewin said there were several more years of gestation for VoIP to go before there is sufficient take-up.

Still not widespread
"Most players wait for a few market leaders to adopt the new technology and then observe their experience. We are at least two years away from widespread adoption," he said.

"Providers are already reducing their prices in anticipation of being undercut by VoIP."

Gadens Lawyers CIO David Stevens said security concerns need to be addressed before deploying VoIP and it needs to be carefully costed.

However, IMB IT manager Johan Reyneke said VoIP is not over-hyped and will be the preferred method of communication in the not too distant future.

But his faith in VoIP doesn't mean he has any plans to invest in the technology just yet, and he's unaware of any organisations considering an implementation.