UK Organisations Demand Managed Unified Communications, Survey Reveals

Over half (56 per cent) of UK organisations advocate a managed service when introducing a unified communication system, a poll by Siemens Enterprise Communications reveals.

This demand for managed UC services indicates UK plc’s desire to implement technology in a planned and financially viable way. This can be achieved by shifting capital expenditure into operating expenditure, coupled with a predictable pricing model – imperative in the current economic climate. Opting for a managed service also allows organisations access to skilled UC professionals, alleviates pressure on the IT team and enhances business continuity.

Says Tim Bishop, director of strategy, Siemens Enterprise Communications: “Organisations are rightly assessing the benefits of unified communications and the commercial proposition that a managed UC service can deliver. They want to work with a partner that understands the technology and its benefits, who can also implement and deliver on a managed service basis.”

As UK organisations continue to focus on the most efficient ways to support the business, the most likely justifications for considering UC in 2009 are increased productivity (24 per cent of responses) and reduced cost (19 per cent). Improved customer service (15 per cent) and less travel (14 per cent) followed closely behind. Seven per cent of respondents are also actively making video calls.

The biggest selling points for UC as a technology were identified as flexible mobile working (25 per cent or responses) and a single number for all contact (19 per cent). A further 12 per cent of responses suggested the best thing about UC was the ability to integrate the technology into an existing communications platform.

Just over half (51 per cent) of organisations are using unified communications (UC) system in some capacity and 17 per cent of organisations are using a full unified communications system. Fifty one per cent of organisations believe that UC capabilities will be standard in the enterprise before 2012.