Enterprise usage of Unified Communications (UC) across Europe is lagging behind demand according to a survey commissioned by global managed services provider Easynet.
Having access to the latest networking technologies such as UC across all business sites was acknowledged by all organisations as bringing important business benefits with 60% seeing improved business efficiency and 45% improved business agility.
The survey was carried out on IT decision-makers at companies with over 1,000 employees across sectors in UK and Europe to gain their perception of the types of services their Communications Service Providers (CSP) are most adept at offering. Companies across Europe manifestly showed their trust in their CSP to deliver UC with 85% of companies across sectors saying they trusted or completely trusted their CSP to deliver it. Notwithstanding this level of trust, and despite requiring the technology, almost one in five companies are still not using their service provider to gain access to this mature technology.
The research showed that less than a third (29%) of organisations’ Wide Area Network (WAN) infrastructure is currently able to fully support UC technology across all sites, while almost half of enterprises surveyed (49%) said they would require network upgrades at some of their sites or locations to fully benefit from the technology.
More significantly, the research revealed that even enterprises that have adopted UC, are not using it to its full potential and therefore not gaining the full benefit of the technology.
The degree of UC network readiness varied across countries but even in the most prepared countries, the Netherlands and Belgium, less than half (40% and 37% respectively) believed they could roll out UC at present. In the UK this figure was a meagre 28%.
The study also disclosed a large diversity in network readiness amongst industries. The sectors most able to roll out UC across the enterprise were telecoms (40%), business and consumer services (41%) and IT/computer services (38%), those with the least UC-ready networks were found to be manufacturing (19%) and banking/financial services (21%).
Adrian Thirkill, UK MD for Enterprise at Easynet said; “Companies across sectors recognise the business advantages of running Unified Communications across their enterprise, yet this research highlights that only just over half of European organisations are currently able to do so. Intelligent or Hybrid networks remove the need for massive upgrades and CSPs delivering these can help organisations make the most of their corporate networks and maximise the return of their existing UC investments in order to be as efficient and competitive as possible.” He continued: “Running services across large, complicated and disperse enterprise networks has become a standard requirement. A CSP with broad range of networks, an understanding of their customers’ sectors and proficiency in implementing the latest technologies can really make a difference to the way enterprises run their business.”