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South African UC Adoption Reflects Global Trends

June 09, 2015

South Africa is wholly embracing unified communications (UC), according to new research from ITWeb. The firm conducted a UC survey and found that 42 percent of organizations plan to implement a UC strategy within the next six months to a year. The trend is reflective of the global push toward mobility, workplace collaboration and more flexible and cost effective communication practices.

According to the survey findings, 46 percent of South African organizations queried put UC among their top 10 business priorities, while 15 percent list it among their top three priorities. And organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of UC, from a technology perspective as well as an operating and budget expenditure.

"Cost consolidation and rationalization are two of the benefits brought about by UC within an organization," said Paveshen Govender, senior manager, unified communications at Telkom Business, which collaborated with ITWeb on the survey. "Service improvement and better overall user experience when using technology for business is another benefit which should be highlighted."

Globally, the UC market is growing at a rapid pace as organizations look for flexible and cost effective ways to improve corporate communications. TechNavio expects the worldwide UC market to grow at a healthy 14.08 percent CAGR from 2014 to through 2019, with forecasts for the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) market even more aggressive. The global market for hosted and managed UC will boom at a nearly 28-percent CAGR from this year through 2019, according to forecasts.

“Increased focus on user preferences, use of mobile devices and mobile workforces are all widening the adoption of the BYOD model,” states the TechNavio report. “Increased use of smartphones is driving the demand for UCaaS, as these devices make workforces more mobile.”

The ITWeb survey results certainly echo these global findings with regard to UC adoption. And most importantly, UC is being seen as a competitive differentiator for many organizations, enabling better and more effective communication with clients as well as among employees.

"With the current challenges in the marketplace, it's becoming tougher for organizations to excel or remain competitive,” said Govender. “UC can help organizations rationalize costs; consolidate infrastructure; as well as become more collaborative, which leads to a leaner, more agile organization. This will go a long way to help the organization to succeeding despite the current challenges."

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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