Mobility, the move to IP, and related security concerns dominate the 2006 telecoms plans of European enterprises, according to a recent survey of 301 telecoms decision-makers by Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR). The survey published today shows that more than 40% of companies will increase their spending on SSL and IPSec equipment this year, and about half of the firms interviewed plan to increase their spending on IP telephony and/or site-to-site VoIP. Many companies have adopted these newer technologies and are now looking to fully deploy MPLS IP VPNs in the WAN ¿ albeit slowly.

Enterprise mobility rollout so far has focused on simple SMS alerts and personal information management (PIM) applications and wireless email. Forrester¿s survey also found that Europeans firms¿ attitudes toward using managed telecommunication services remain positive, especially for network security.

Phil Sayer, Senior Analyst, European Telecoms and Networks, at Forrester Research commented: “Compared with 2005, the percentage of companies increasing their spending on legacy landline data services like Frame Relay has declined by nine percentage points to 22% ¿ but the bulk of enterprises’ telecommunications and network budgets goes on landline services. In contrast, enterprises plan increased spending on newer voice technologies like site-to-site VOIP: 47% of firms report planning an increase in spending, compared with 30% in 2005.”

IP Adoption Has Soared ¿ Europe Is Ahead of North America

The uptake of MPLS IP VPNs has soared: Almost half of companies have fully deployed MPLS VPNs. Europe is ahead of North America, where just 33% of enterprises have fully deployed MPLS VPNs. The number of European companies with no plans to deploy MPLS has also dropped from 37% to 16%. The deployment of VoIP in enterprises in Europe has reached ¿ and passed ¿ the tipping point. More than 40% of enterprises mentioned moving voice traffic to IP networks as a priority for 2006. Although currently 11% of companies we interviewed have fully migrated to IP telephony, 30% plans to complete their migration in 2007.

Enterprises Plan Increased Mobility Spending In 2006

Mobile products and services account for one-third of the telecoms and networks budget across enterprises today. Enterprises expect to spend more on mobile voice and data in 2006. The applications that enterprises have mobilized so far are simple SMS alerts and personal information management (PIM) tools like calendars, personalized contacts, and Blackberrys for checking email while on the go. At the same time, mobile line-of-business applications struggle to gain momentum. More than one-third of European enterprises say that a combined service for mobile and WLAN is a priority for 2006, and almost 60% of firms are evaluating or rolling this out. Why? The high spend on mobile voice calls in Europe ¿ led by sky-high roaming charges ¿ and the requirement from CFOs to get the mobile bill under greater control.

Enterprises Show Modest Interest In Managed Services

Overall, European enterprises have a positive attitude toward using managed network services: Just 18% don’t use managed services, compared with 53% of North American firms. Around half of enterprises are very or somewhat interested in acquiring VPNs or IP communication technologies as a managed service in the next three years. Sayer commented: “This is good news for telcos: The majority of enterprises would look to their service provider to provide managed network services.”

The Data Overview mentioned in this release, The State Of Enterprise Telecom And Network Adoption: Europe, is available to Forrester WholeView 2¿ clients.