The Channel Embraces Enterprise Communication Megatrends

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The channel community has highlighted the consumerisation of IT, federated presence and virtualisation as key customer drivers in purchase decisions. These findings were revealed at the Siemens Enterprise Communications GoForward!Live! event held last month, which saw 150 channel resellers and distribution partners come together to understand the refreshed Siemens Enterprise Communications channel approach. The overwhelming acknowledgement of these customer drivers is in line with the key megatrends in enterprise communication identified by Siemens Enterprise Communications during the event.

The research revealed that an overwhelming 74% of the delegates felt the pressure of consumerisation, 75% highlighted virtualisation as a key driver of channel business in 2011, and 77% stated that federated presence is an important tool for resellers. These results demonstrate the shift in customer expectations and both Siemens Enterprise Communications and the channel have to maximise opportunities in these areas, in connection with enterprise communication.

Adrian Brookes, VP, Strategy and Technology Office, Siemens Enterprise Communications echoed these findings and the important role they play in end user communications through his speech at the event, which highlighted the key megatrends in enterprise communication. These included:

The consumerisation of IT – A change in the demands and behaviours of workers has brought about a shift in the way they need and use technology, and the evolution of cloud computing is making possible the breaking of barriers between the home and the office.

Virtualisation – Within enterprise communications, cloud computing has influenced a new generation of technology ‘native’ end users keen to adopt flexible working behaviours to improve productivity, and industry analysts Gartner predicts that the adoption of cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will treble by 2014. For businesses, the flexible deployment of cloud solutions is becoming an important tool in achieving cost efficiencies, regardless of an enterprise’s size or physical location. The provision of flexible deployment options is essential to better meeting the needs of the customer.

Federated presence – In the enterprise, we are no longer a one device society. End users demand and expect more from their technology and in the mid-market in particular, federated presence will drive increased productivity and collaboration. Not only is multi-device access and usability crucial, it is important that platforms are compatible and the integration seamless to enhance the user experience.

Social networking – Social media attracts over 500 million users worldwide and 70% of consumers prefer to deal with a company through social media than through the traditional contact centre method. However, according to Siemens Enterprise Communications’ research, only 30% of companies are ready to adopt social media into their customer-facing operations, yet the 58% of companies that have begun using social media have seen a dramatic increase in customer loyalty.

Reliability and security – Reliability and security has had to be redefined to support cloud communications, the proliferation of integrated devices and the effect this has on the enterprise. Channel players must recognise that cloud technology delivers financial benefits for customers because it enables them to service thousands of global locations with only a handful of data centres. This demands superior availability and reliability of services to provide unwavering resilience and productivity of operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Adrian Brookes, VP, Strategy and Technology Office, Siemens Enterprise Communications commented that : “The survey results demonstrate that resellers and distributors are waking up to the opportunities that cloud technologies present to them in supporting customer demands. The rapid development of cloud computing technology offers a wealth of new opportunities for channel partners and we are excited to be at the forefront of this shift, providing platform neutral, enterprise level communication. Siemens Enterprise Communications works closely with its channel partners to champion a layered approach for customers: one that delivers scalable, fully integrated services with seamless collaboration options and the highest level of security.”