Unified Communications Featured Article

Need For IT Cost Reduction Driving Demands For UC - Azaleos Survey

September 15, 2011

In an effort to provide an overview of the current and planned UC usage trends among corporations, Azaleos Corporation, the provider of managed email, collaboration and unified communications services via cloud or on-premise infrastructure, recently sponsored a survey.

 Azaleos said in a press release that the survey, which was conducted at the recent VMworld 2011 Conference, interviewed IT professionals on unified communications (UC) usage trends.

UC is a technology that combines the functionalities of email, instant messaging, IP voice services, audio conferencing, and video conferencing. The technology has the great potential to improve collaboration and productivity, while helping to reduce IT management costs associated with maintaining disparate systems for each of these functions.

According to the survey, the UC technology is experiencing rapid adoption as it is increasingly being viewed by the IT departments as a means of IT cost reduction.

31 percent of the organizations surveyed revealed that they are considering a switch to new UC system. 27 percent of them justified the switch on the ground of cost saving.

In addition, one quarter of all respondents reported that UC outsourcing represents up to 30 percent of their overall IT cost savings.

So far as the top UC evaluation criteria went, 27 percent respondents emphasized on the importance of the security, while only 8 percent found “cloud-ready” feature to be an essential selection criteria.

As mentioned above, 31 percent of all companies surveyed are currently considering switching to a new UC system. According to the survey, 45 percent of the organizations using Cisco are looking to switch, while it is 44 percent for the organizations using Microsoft Exchange 2007 or lower. 60 percent using Groupwise and 50 percent using Notes are also looking to switch.

The survey revealed that 46 percent respondents were using SharePoint confirming the market momentum reported by Microsoft and its partners.

According to the survey, the primary applications/functions driving the switch in UC are       

Email VOIP/Enterprise voice and Audio/Video Conferencing.

“Although conventional wisdom in the past suggested that IT struggled with justifying the cost of new UC purchases, it was interesting to see that for many respondents outsourcing of unified communications systems represents a significant share of their projected overall IT cost savings,” Scott Gode, vice president of product management and marketing for Azaleos, commented in a statement.

In June, Azaleos Corporation announced the launch of the second generation of its Azaleos Managed HybridService (MHS). The launch is aimed at enabling organizations to deploy and maintain centralized control over a blend of private cloud or on-premise and online UC capabilities, the company said in an earlier press release.

Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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