Unified Communications Featured Article

Survey: Mobile Device Integration Second Most Important UC Capability

October 11, 2011

Infonetics Research, a market research firm, has released excerpts from its new Unified Communications: North American Enterprise Survey. The survey has been conducted on the plans of organizations integrating multiple types of communication like IP telephony, e-mail, and instant messaging (IM), into a unified and cohesive communication experience, commonly termed "UC."

In a statement, Diane Myers, directing analyst for VoIP and IMS, Infonetics Research, said, “Companies think of unified communications as much more than just integrating voice, e-mail, and presence/IM. Creating flexibility and improving productivity by providing employees with a set of devices that allows them to work efficiently regardless of location has become absolutely critical and a huge driver for implementing UC. Along those lines, the strong theme threaded throughout our new survey is the importance of mobility; vendors that effectively integrate mobility into their UC solution in a simple and easy-to-use manner will be best positioned for success in this market.”

The survey mentions that Microsoft received the highest marks from medium and large businesses, followed by Cisco, based on unified communications buyer criteria, including service and support, technology, price-to-performance ratio (value), and other criteria. Mobile device integration is the second most important UC capability after collaboration tools. Smartphones, tablet computers, videophones, and audio conferencing bridges are the fast-growing devices being deployed in unified communications architectures. By 2012, 80 percent of survey respondents plan to use video as part of their unified communications architecture. With higher-quality video capabilities coming out and declining costs, video is becoming a viable mechanism for enhancing employee interactions and reducing travel.

Infonetics surveyed 121 unified communications purchase-decision makers at medium and large enterprises that use IP telephony (VoIP), e-mail, and instant messaging. The report includes analysis and end-user responses to questions about UC communication devices and types, reasons for and against deploying UC, top criteria for choosing a UC solution, mobile and video requirements for UC deployments, importance of video communication features, and brand awareness. The report features enterprise ratings of 10 unified communications vendors: Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Avaya, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Mitel, Shoretel, Siemens, and Verizon.

Infonetics was in news when a survey by the research agency found that majority of service providers have or plan to add caching capabilities on or near routers and/or Carrier Ethernet switches to address network congestion, much of which is caused by exploding video traffic.

Sujata Garud is a unified communications freelancer with three years of writing/editing experience and two years of market research experience. As an editor she has covered the IT, electronics, banking, pharma, construction, mining and healthcare industries. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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