UC Moves Past The ‘Tipping Point’

New research commissioned by Azzurri Communications has shown that unified communications (UC) has moved past the ‘tipping point’, with 76% of respondents saying they are now pursuing a UC strategy. The research, carried out by market research firm Vanson Bourne, interviewed 200 senior IT leaders from medium and large UK-based organisations, across a number of market sectors.

The intention was to establish levels of uptake of communications technologies, the key reasons for investment and spending priorities for 2012. As well as showing a shift in attitudes to UC, the research found that technology and business strategy cannot be separated: 70% of respondents said communications technologies are a key, strategic element for the overall success of their organisation.

Rufus Grig, Chief Technology Officer, Azzurri Communications, explains: “UC as a concept has a checkered history. It’s often seen as a buzzword created by vendors to sell their own proprietary products, rather than for customer benefit. But IT leaders in the UK are filtering out the hype and pursuing their own vision of UC, mixing and matching communications technologies and choosing the ones best suited for their own requirements. They’re still cost-conscious, but are seeking to improve employee productivity and to demonstrate tangible benefit back to the business.”

Key findings:

Uptake/views of UC technologies

• The technology which respondents are most likely to consider part of a UC solution is VoIP telephony (84%). Fewer than half (48%) selected conventional fixed line telephony.

• Other technologies viewed as most likely to form part of a UC solution include video conferencing (74%) and instant messaging (64%).

Reasons for greater UC adoption

• Half of respondents consider improving productivity (51%) and flexible working/mobile working (50%) essential for investment in UC technologies.

• Achieving greater efficiency (59%) was the most important area to gain from any technology investment.

UC spending plans for 2012

• Respondents said collaboration tools (31%) and ‘presence’ tools (29%) are their biggest spending priorities for 2012.

• 20% of respondents (if they aren’t already) intend to be using mobility, IP telephony and document management in a year’s time.

Azzurri has used the findings from the research to develop a UC Maturity Model, for IT leaders to benchmark progress they’re making in using technology to achieve greater efficiency and productivity. Four specific types have been identified: Crawlers, Toddlers, Walkers or Runners. IT leaders can take the survey at http://www.ucmaturitymodel.com to find out which type they are and to receive a personalised set of recommendations.