New Survey Shows Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Taking Root in Business

Consumer attitudes and technology drawbacks seen as barriers to adoption,

though high satisfaction and projected cost savings by business users may

potentially seed interest



Mar 14, 2005, 00:00 ET from Harris Interactive

    ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a new nationwide
 survey of U.S. adults, awareness and familiarity of Voice over Internet
 Protocol (VoIP) are significantly higher among businesses than among
 consumers.
 
      * While nearly nine in 10 (87%) business decision makers are aware of
        VoIP (76% at least somewhat familiar), one-third (36%) of consumers are
        aware of VoIP (56% at least somewhat familiar).
      * Furthermore, while 12 percent of business decision makers familiar with
        VoIP currently use it, only three percent of consumers familiar with
        the technology use it.
 
     These are some of the results from The 2005 Telecommunications Report, a
 study conducted quarterly by Harris Interactive(R). The most recent study was
 conducted in January 2005 among a sample of 1,473 U.S. adults and 335 business
 decision makers.
 
     Barriers for adoption
     The survey suggests that there are several barriers to consumer adoption
 of VoIP. Some of the barriers relate to attitudes toward the new service.
 Among those who are aware of VoIP, but do not use it:
 
      * I just don't know much about VoIP (47%);
      * VoIP providers have failed to show me a convincing story (36%);
      * I'm waiting for VoIP to become more mainstream (34%);
      * Recommendations would help me move toward VoIP (27%);
      * Potential savings are just not worth the hassle (25%);
      * VoIP seems too complicated (equipment, installation) (22%); and
      * VoIP is an unproven technology (22%).
 
     Other barriers stem from the perceived drawbacks of the technology. Among
 those who are aware of VoIP, but do not use it:
 
      * VoIP might not support 911 calling in my area (62%);
      * VoIP could be subject to security and privacy issues (60%);
      * In a power failure situation, VoIP would not work (58%); and
      * The quality of my calls could be worse than with traditional phone
        service (52%).
 
     Good news for service providers
     While these barriers obviously pose challenges for VoIP service providers,
 there is some good news about this new technology. Of those consumers surveyed
 who currently use VoIP, many say they are either very (13%) or extremely (27%)
 satisfied with their service while an additional 44 percent say they are
 somewhat satisfied. The same can be said for businesses that use VoIP. Of
 those business decision makers surveyed who use the technology, one-third
 (34%) say they are very satisfied and seven percent say they are extremely
 satisfied with their VoIP service. An additional 54 percent report being
 somewhat satisfied with their service.
     Also, of those business decision makers surveyed who are likely to use
 VoIP technology within the next year, nearly three-fourths (72%) are
 projecting a savings of between 11 and 40 percent in their annual telecom
 budgets. (See Table 8)
     "Addressing the perceived barriers to VoIP technology presents a challenge
 for service providers, but the potential savings by businesses may be the
 leverage providers need to not only attract the attention of more businesses,
 but to seed interest in consumers as well," says Joe Porus, chief architect
 for Technology Research at Harris Interactive. "And when consumers take into
 account the overall satisfaction levels of both businesses and consumers who
 already use the technology, adoption rates may begin to grow."
 
 
                                    TABLE 1
                                 AWARE OF VoIP
  "New technology has come on the scene ... referred to as Internet Telephony
                       VoIP. Are you aware of this term?"
 
     Base: All adults
 
                                                       Consumers     Businesses
                                                       (n=1,473)       (n=335)
                                                            %              %
      Yes                                                  36             87
      No                                                   64             13
 
 
                                    TABLE 2
                             FAMILIARITY WITH VoIP
                "How familiar are you with this new technology?"
 
     Base: Aware of VoIP term
 
                                                      Consumers      Businesses
                                                        (n=637)         (n=297)
                                                            %              %
      Extremely familiar                                    4              5
      Very familiar                                        10             21
      Somewhat familiar                                    42             50
      Not very familiar                                    35             21
      Not at all familiar                                   9              3
 
 
                                    TABLE 3
                             CURRENT USAGE OF VoIP
                        "Are you currently using VoIP?"
 
     Base: Familiar with VoIP
 
                                                       Consumers     Businesses
                                                         (n=580)       (n=288)
                                                           %              %
      Yes                                                  9             12
      No                                                  91             88
 
 
                                    TABLE 4
                          LIKELIHOOD OF ADOPTING VoIP
     "How likely are you (your company) to use VoIP within the next year?"
 
     Base: Does not use VoIP
 
                                                       Consumers     Businesses
                                                        (n=520)       (n=229)
                                                            %             %
      Extremely likely                                      2             2
      Very likely                                           4             6
      Somewhat likely                                      30            21
      Not very likely                                      45            45
      Not at all likely                                    19            25
 
 
                                    TABLE 5
                             ATTITUDES TOWARD VoIP
 Percentages represent combined "4" and "5" responses from a scale of 1 to 5 (5
                              = "very important")
  "Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each of the
                             following statements."
 
     Base: Does not use VoIP
 
                                                                     Consumers
                                                                      (n=520)
                                                                          %
      VoIP providers have failed to show me a convincing story.          36
      I'm waiting for VoIP to become more mainstream.                    34
      Recommendations would help me move toward VoIP.                    27
      Potential savings are just not worth the hassle.                   25
      VoIP seems too complicated (equipment, installation).              22
      VoIP is an unproven technology.                                    22
      I just don't know much about VoIP                                  47
 
 
                                    TABLE 6
                           BARRIERS TO ADOPTING VoIP
     "VoIP offers many advantages, but there are some drawbacks as well. In
   deciding whether or not to adopt this technology, please rate each of the
  following limitations of VoIP in terms of that limitation's potential impact
                               on your decision."
 Percentages represent combined "4" and "5" responses from a scale of 1 to 5 (5
                   = "A Show Stopper" and 1 = "No big deal")
 
     Base: Consumers who do not use VoIP
 
                                                                     Consumers
                                                                      (n=520)
                                                                          %
 
      VoIP might not support 911 calling in my area.                     62
      VoIP could be subject to security and privacy issues.              60
      In a power failure situation, VoIP would not work.                 58
      The quality of my calls could be worse than the
       traditional phone service.                                        52
      I must have a high-speed Internet line and some additional
       equipment to use VoIP.                                            35
      There is not directory (white pages) with VoIP.                    30
 
 
                                    TABLE 7
                             SATISFACTION WITH VoIP
                  "Overall, how satisfied are you with VoIP?"
 
     Base: Use VoIP
 
                                                       Consumers*   Businesses*
                                                         (n=45)        (n=51)
                                                            %             %
      Extremely satisfied                                  27             7
      Very satisfied                                       13            34
      Somewhat satisfied                                   44            54
      Not very satisfied                                   12             5
      Not at all satisfied                                  4             1
 
      * Very small base.
 
 
                                    TABLE 8
                             PROJECTED COST SAVINGS
   "With the adoption of VoIP, what level of cost savings are you projecting
                  with respect to your annual telecom budget?"
 
     Base: Likely to use VoIP
 
                                                                    Businesses*
                                                                       (n=76)
                                                                          %
 
      0 to 5%                                                            11
      6 to 10%                                                           12
      11 to 20%                                                          34
      21 to 30%                                                          27
      31 to 40%                                                          11
      More than 40%                                                       5
 
      * Very small base.
 
     Methodology
     Harris Interactive(R) conducted the online study in January 2005 among a
 nationwide sample of 1,473 U.S adults (aged 18 years and over) and 335 U.S.
 business decision makers aged 18 and over. Figures for age by gender,
 race/ethnicity, education, region, household income and sexual orientation
 were weighted to reflect the total U.S. adult population. Propensity score
 weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
     In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95
 percent certainty that the results for the consumer sample have a sampling
 error of plus or minus 3 percentage points and results for the business sample
 have a sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. Sampling errors
 for sub-sample results (see tables above) are higher and vary. Unfortunately,
 there are several other possible sources of error in all polls or surveys that
 are probably more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error.
 They include refusals to be interviewed (nonresponse), question wording and
 question order, and weighting. It is impossible to quantify the errors that
 may result from these factors. This online sample was not a probability
 sample.
 
     These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National
 Council on Public Polls.
 
     About Harris Interactive Technology Research
     The Harris Interactive Technology Research group doesn't just monitor and
 measure the industry. It interacts with the thought leaders who drive
 technology, telecom and e-business everyday and provides insights from a
 variety of vertical perspectives. Using the group's unique knowledge,
 experience, and expertise in both the telecommunications and information
 technology sectors, Harris Interactive asks the right questions, confirms
 business issues, designs and implements studies to provide clients with
 actionable results.
     A copy of The 2005 Telecommunications Report can be obtained upon request.
 
     About Harris Interactive(R)
     Harris Interactive Inc. (http://www.harrisinteractive.com), the 15th
 largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester,
 N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting
 with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and
 application. Known for The Harris Poll(R) and for pioneering Internet-based
 research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research
 to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
     Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and
 technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned
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 participate in future online surveys, visit http://www.harrispollonline.com.
 
      Press Contacts:
 
      Nancy Wong
      Harris Interactive
      585-214-7316
 
 

SOURCE Harris Interactive