Over the near term, operators will deliver bundles of fixed line and mobile services. Verizon Business is planning service bundles that tie in Verizon Wireless's EVDO 3G service with the former MCI's remote-access service. Later this year, AT&T will launch AT&T branded mobile services (on Cingular Wireless' network), which Forrester expects will also integrate into AT&T's remote-access offer to entice enterprises. In 2008, though, look for major integrators, such as EDS, to join the fixed-mobile crowd. EDS already provides a international bank ABN AMRO with a BlackBerry service for the bank's 2,000 users.
So where's the gorilla? Well, also in 2008, expect to see mobile operators deliver their IP Multimedia Subsystem-based (IMS-based) services. IMS is a bugaboo of a specification based on SIP (another bugaboo) that will enable service providers to deliver Centrex-like services to mobile phone users. And there's the beast. With Verizon equipping you with a mobile phone with all of your business telephony features, why purchase a telephony server?
My guess is that while Forrester is dead-on that enterprise will want fixed-mobile services, telcos have a long way to go to prove they can deliver affordable, business-grade PBX-like services. Even then, today's telephony servers are morphing into becoming repositories for presence information and telephony-based Web services for VoIP-enabling corporate applications. I find it hard to believe that fixed or mobile operators will be able to deliver on those sorts of advanced capabilities. What do you think?