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Historians of communications technologies will likely refer to the era from 1997 to 2007 as the Decade of Infrastructure Readiness. Beginning with a select group of global enterprises who sought to decrease operating costs by merging their telephony and data infrastructures, the migration into the 21st century has seen companies of all sizes and types embracing IP-based networks for their inherent cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and ability to support business-driven applications. In a 2007 retrospective study1 of enterprise technology priorities, industry research firm IntelliCom Analytics documented the evolution of business leader thinking during this time. From an initial focus on deploying "Future-proof" communication infrastructures, IntelliCom found a gradual shift to the adoption of productivity- and efficiency-enhancing applications able to leverage these new, "Built out" network assets.
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