Unified Communications Featured Article

Most Companies Not Using UC Plan to Implement it Soon

April 02, 2014

Based on the way the unified communications space has been growing lately — the U.S. SMB UC market alone is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.8 percent over the next couple years — it’s not hard to guess that UC is fast becoming essential to every business and enterprise. It’s always better to get some hard research on the subject. Fortunately, Cloud services company Evolve IP has done just that.

The company has released new research suggesting that IT professionals and executives are “predominately considering implementing unified communications for their organization.” Indeed, based on a survey of 1,000 respondents, 84 percent of organizations that haven’t already deployed UC features are looking to do so within the next one to three years.

For the purposes of this study, Evolve IP defined UC as "the concept of consolidating phone, email, fax, chat, video, and collaboration into a single unified channel, either on a device or on a computer."

The study also broke down the components of UC and found that audio/Web conferencing is the most requested feature, as identified by 51 percent of respondents. In second place is unified messaging at 46 percent, followed by instant messaging and presence at 40 percent.

Despite the growing demand for, and interest in, UC, there are some obstacles standing in the way of its success. Most notably, about six in 10 respondents said that selecting the right system is a “difficult or major challenge,” while 55 percent feel that identifying the right vendor is equally difficult.

"The problem with approaching UC as an 'all-in' vendor solution is the level of compromise you need to make at the organizational or user level; whether it's an expensive forklifting of a current system or simply not getting all of the features you want, " said Scott Kinka, chief technology officer for Evolve IP, in a statement. "We tell our customers to first define a strategy that is based on the tools and systems that your associates use today and then build a solution from there. The last thing you want to do is force a Microsoft product on a Google-based company and vice-versa."

Edited by Alisen Downey