As the migration to IP telephony systems continues, many businesses will needlessly spend $20.3-billion on expensive IP screen phones from 2005 through the beginning of 2010, according to Gartner.
In the EMEA region, it will amount to more than 5 billion Euro. 

“Many companies are replacing old phones with fancy, screen-based IP phones and IP/PBXs with related hardware, however, most users continue to use the new phones like their old phones, only with a few new capabilities, such as viewing missed calls or for directory dialing,” saysd Bob Hafner, managing vice-president for Gartner.
“Ironically, in most businesses, the IP screen phone is placed on the desk beside a PC that has a much bigger and higher-resolution screen.”
During the next five years, Gartner estimates that businesses worldwide will buy more than 150-million IP phones, while in EMEA they will buy more than 50-million IP phones.
In both regions, for 75% of those purchases, companies are spending at least $150 (117 Euros) more than they need to as they focus on purchasing IP screen phones when a better solution might be buying low-end IP phones without a screen and logically tying the PC to that phone with unified communications (UC) applications.
With the money saved on the lower-cost IP phones, Hafner says companies should purchase UC applications.
This option enables the user to improve productivity integrating communications applications with services such as instant messaging, unified messaging, presence, personal agent, conferencing and mobility services to create a converged desktop with the voice communications on the phone.
These applications are far more productive than the screen on an IP phone and are about the same cost.
Gartner analysts say IP screen phones can provide new and productive applications for users, but usually at a much greater cost than could be done on a PC.
Companies with employees that do not have a PC on their desk, such as retail, healthcare and manufacturing are the sweet spot for these devices. If there is a PC on the desk, then companies should consider a low-cost IP phone.
“In the interim, companies must think about how they communicate and how this will change in the coming years,” says Hafner. “We are not saying that you don’t need an IP phone on your desk, but with limited budgets, companies should immediately reset their priorities from having high-end IP screen phones to having a low-end IP phone and UC applications that improve productivity.
“They should only consider IP screen phones when they have the UC applications and there is still money left in the budget.”