SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Michael Finneran
Michael F. Finneran, is President of dBrn Associates, Inc., a full service advisory firm specializing in wireless and mobility; services...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Michael Finneran | May 27, 2013 |

 
   

UC Adoption: Not So Fast

UC Adoption: Not So Fast While overall deployments seem to be growing more slowly than we would like, it is encouraging to see such a high percentage meeting their predicted ROI.

While overall deployments seem to be growing more slowly than we would like, it is encouraging to see such a high percentage meeting their predicted ROI.

For the last two years I've had the opportunity to run InformationWeek's annual survey on the State of Unified Communications. One of the great things about this project is they've been doing it for a few years so we can track the progress of UC adoption along with user attitudes towards the technology. By that measure, UC had a slow year in 2012.

One of the first questions we ask is, "Is your organization currently deploying, or planning to deploy, unified communications?" In April of 2010, 30% of users reported some deployment, and that number climbed to 36% by the September 2011 survey. However the number barely budged after that, growing to only 38% by the February 2013 survey. The percentage with no plans to deploy UC dropped from 39% in 2010 to 33% in 2012, and stayed roughly the same at 32% this year. Given the diversity of opinions regarding what constitutes "UC", it's difficult to tell precisely what those companies have implemented, but we do collect data on what are considered the most important UC capabilities.

Even with 38% of companies reporting some level of UC deployment, those deployments are clearly "targeted." Almost two-thirds (64%) report that UC is deployed to less than 50% of employees; that's virtually the same percentage we found in 2011.

When we asked about the importance of various UC functions, audio conferencing led the way followed by unified messaging, and company-wide directory. There were also a lot of votes for the other collaboration capabilities including Web conferencing, IM, and Collaborative Workspaces. In one surprising result, Desktop Video Conferencing beat out Room Size Video Conferencing.

Probably the most challenging task for UC vendors showed up when we asked users who had not deployed UC, "What factors contributed to your organization's decision not to deploy unified communications?" The top three answers in both 2011 and 2013 were:

* Other projects have higher priority
* Lack of in-house expertise
* No definitive business value

What is particularly galling about that is that we asked those organizations that had done a post-installation ROI analysis on their UC deployments, and found that 82% either met or exceeded their ROI predictions--which kind of shoots a hole in that "No definitive business value" complaint.

We also asked users who they considered to be the top UC suppliers, and Cisco was way out in front, with 83% of the respondents choosing them, and Microsoft tied with Avaya for second at 47%; up to three responses were allowed. Things fell off rapidly from there, and in something of a surprise, Alcatel-Lucent finished next in a tie with Google at 16%. Among the other IP-PBX vendors, only ShoreTel came in at over 10% of responses.

What is abundantly clear is that the decision to deploy UC is being driven by IT rather than telecom. When asked "Which group played the greatest role in developing the strategic vision for UC in your organization?" 66% of respondents identified the CIO or IT Director while 13% said it was the Telecom Manager/Director.

So UC is continuing its slow march to widespread adoption, but there was a clear slowdown between 2011 and 2013. It's also the case that a relatively small percentage of users within organizations get UC: For 31% of UC deployments, that's less than 10% of users, and almost half have it deployed to 25% or less. So in roughly half the deployments it would be rather wasteful to go all-in on a UC deployment if 75% of your users aren't going to be using it.

Those rather thin deployments would seem to suggest that the best way to get UC would be to leave the existing telephone system in place and overlay UC, possibly in a cloud deployment, only to those who actually need it. So while overall deployments seem to be growing more slowly than we would like, it is encouraging to see such a high percentage meeting their predicted ROI. Hopefully that's a message that the UC vendors can get out to their prospects.

Follow Michael Finneran on Twitter and Google+!
@dBrnWireless
Michael Finneran on Google+





COMMENTS



August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.