Adoption of Unified Communications Slowed by Maintenance and Cost

According to a new piece of research by a unified communications expert in the UK, IT leaders in the industry feel that relying on the most up to date collaboration and communication tools is more important than working with a range of tools from one single vendor.

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A UK based unified communication expert has found the cost and budget play a part in adopting unified communications (UC), but not the biggest one. In fact, what is slowing adoption down is that many do not feel UC is a ‘must have’ priority. This came after they surveyed some 250 IT managers.

In conducting the survey, Nexus OS found that less than 25% of all IT managers saw cost as a main reason to wait with adopting UC. Around a third stated that they did intend to either expand their video capabilities or introduce them in the next three years, but they said that the technology was currently too complex in order to be properly maintained by IT departments.

A representative from Nexus OS said: “Initially, when video was deployed, it required complex, dedicated and large systems in order to run, and these were hard to deploy and even more difficult to maintain. Because of this, most IT professionals did not have the necessary core skills requirements to actually manage it. Back then, it came with end to end deployment solutions. In so doing, the environment was wholly homogeneous. However, we live in 2016 now and UC has moved into the domain of regular IT. Video is just a kind of data now, and it is far more common.”

Over the past few years, various desktop solutions have started to appear and these have made the entire system more flexible, as well as much more affordable. Furthermore, it enables employees who operate outside the enterprise to access it. The representative added: “We now have many intermediaries on the market and this has enabled businesses to have meetings using blended technologies. This means that they can work with different clients with different requirements, using a centralized hub. This means that, while the system remains complex, it is now completely different. Businesses seem to struggle to identify who controls it and how it will be implemented.”

Over 50% of those surveyed stated that they felt it was far more important to have the best in class collaboration and communication tools, than to have a range of tools from a single vendor. In fact, just 15% of those taking part in the survey felt that vendor continuity was more important than working with the most cutting edge solutions.

The research revealed a number of other interesting points as well:

  • Only around 50% of businesses with a $26K to $100K budget had implemented UC tools other than basic email and audio solutions.
  • As much as 89% of businesses with a budget of more than $5 million were able to give their employees cutting edge solutions above and beyond voice and email.
  • 49% of the companies that had an IT budget below $25K did offer audio conferences. Yet, only 39% of businesses with that IT budget also offered video conferencing. In the same category, just 49% used some type of IM service, but 56% do have the ability to share a screen when they take or make a conference call.

What we know is that the technology adopted by larger budget organizations will eventually reach the smaller companies as well,” ends the representative. “This will ensure that they have improved communication overall. However, it will take quite some time.”

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