Businesses are blind to benefits of Unified Communications despite user demand
Date: Wed, 07/07/2010 - 17:38 Source: Brocade press department
Nearly three quarters of U.K. businesses have yet to take advantage of the business benefits of Unified Communications (UC) technology, despite pressure from senior management, according to the latest research conducted by Brocade.
Of those companies that have deployed or are in the process of rolling out UC solutions (28 percent), action was being driven by the Board as a result of pressure from end users within their organisations
When asked what business benefits were gleaned from UC, respondents indicated productivity as the greatest advantage (29 percent). Following close behind, respondents felt that UC helped them reduce operating costs (14 percent) and 11 percent stated they had reduced travel costs and cut their carbon footprint.
“After a stop-start existence, Unified Communications is slowly gaining increased presence in the workplace, and the business benefits on offer are starting to grab senior management’s attention,” commented Paul Phillips, Regional Director - UK & Ireland, Brocade.
“According to our research users – including the C-level – are driving adoption as they are experiencing a multitude of benefits including time savings, productivity improvements and the reduced need for business travel. However, many companies are still missing out.”
However, critical to any successful deployment is the network foundation upon which UC tools are deployed, and almost half of all respondents stated that network service reliability and quality were top of their list when developing UC infrastructures.
Phillips continued: “It is clear that there is a tremendous market opportunity for vendors in the UC market. This is growing as the direct result of the business benefits that end users and business managers are reporting. Enhanced collaboration, increased productivity, improved personal and business performance as well as reduced costs, are driving adoption here in the UK. However, to fully embrace UC businesses need to get the basic network foundation right in the first place. Without this, the best UC plan on paper will fail.”
Other key findings included:
- The Board directly drives UC strategy in a third of business, IT managers take the lead in 41 percent of firms with business managers responsible in 17 percent of cases
- But while the Board is taking responsibility for UC strategy it is the end users within the organisation that are driving demand. Across a fifth of companies questioned this was the case, with a further 21 percent driven by IT managers
- 30 percent of businesses are currently reviewing options and are in planning phase for UC roll-out within the next two years.
“These findings indicate that UC is enabling smarter communication and better ways of working. Employees are working out which is the best method for reaching their working colleagues before even initiating contact, thereby improving efficiency. Ultimately though it is the time and cost savings that are driving demand for UC and real-world users’ experiences are indicating that these applications provide both employee productivity benefits and direct cash savings,” Phillips concluded.
The Brocade study of 100 companies was conducted at UC Expo, which took place at London Olympia in March 2010.