UC Migration Strategies: The Survey
Video conferencing and mobility seen growing the most, with large enterprises outpacing medium.
What are your plans for Unified Communications? Will mobile users be a great influence? Will video conferencing expand significantly? These and other questions were asked by the T3i Group in a recent survey.
The report is the "InfoTrack for Unified Communications: Analysis of Enterprises' UC Migration Strategies" by the T3i Group LLC. The full 56-page report, published in April, is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. You should compare your present and future UC implementations with those who responded to the survey to determine if you are optimistic or cautious compared to the respondents.
The InfoTrack UC program conducts market research to analyze factors and opinions that drive the adoption and usage in six UC apps:
* Instant messaging and presence
* Web conferencing
* Audio conferencing
* UC video conferencing
* UC client apps
* UC mobility
The full report delivers answers to these questions:
* Which UC applications will experience the highest growth rate over the next three years?
* What are the key usage and migration factors driving the growth?
* How do the migration strategies differ between U.S. large enterprises with 2,500+ employees and medium enterprises with 500 to 2,499 employees?
The first chart from the report shows the present and future use (in the next 3 years), of these six applications for both the large enterprise (LE) and the medium enterprise (ME). For the large enterprises, five applications are expected to experience double-digit growth. The one application with slower growth is IM and Presence, which has already had a number of years of double-digit growth.
The medium enterprises were less enthusiastic, with UC video conferencing growing at 14% but the other five applications expected to have 8% or less growth. The medium enterprises are approaching the UC application implementation with some reserve and are not ready to implement the applications quickly.
Overall, it is video conferencing and mobility that are expected to grow the most over the next 3 years. It may be that video conferencing is the easiest application to imagine as useful and productivity-enhancing. The mobility growth is probably being driven by the BYOD movement and the issuance of enterprise tablets--and enterprises are responding to this growth rather than driving it.
The growth of mobile applications can be assigned to both cellular and Wi-Fi/DECT access and utilization. Tablets and phablets (a phone tablet like the Galaxy Note II) running softphone clients are the primary mobility drivers, with an expected growth of 24% for the large enterprise but only 10% growth for the medium enterprise.
At present, the smartphone is most popular, but the percentage of smartphone users will probably decline as more users move to tablets and phablets. The medium enterprise segment is expected to experience slower mobile growth.
The growth of mobile usage has two major drivers. First, many large enterprises are implementing Wi-Fi networks internally, and it is then easy and inexpensive to add voice and video over Wi-Fi. Secondly, the use of tablets provided by the enterprise makes the addition of voice and video incremental and not expensive.
The medium enterprises also feel that cellular coverage within many of their buildings is spotty, therefore Wi-Fi networks are more attractive and provide full coverage. My own case is a slight variation: I have a DECT phone and love the sound quality and coverage range. However, medium enterprises are opting for Wi-Fi for wireless voice coverage, rather than DECT.
UC and Communications Enabled Business Processes (CEBP) can be coupled together for improving business productivity. CEBP is the integration of UC software into the business operations. More than 60% of responding enterprises indicated that they use CEBP; 16% of large enterprises have been using CEBP for more than two years. At present, about 50% are recent CEBP users. Of those large enterprises not yet using CEBP, 24% expect to be using it in the next two years.
62% of medium enterprises are currently using CEBP, with 15% using it for two years. 31% plan to incorporate CEBP in the next two years. The slightly higher penetration of CEBP in the medium enterprise may be due their smaller size, making it easier to implement and demonstrate the business value.
The integration of UC and CEBP brings two major benefits independent of the enterprise size: The integration produces better application optimization and also better utilization of their resources. The benefit I see is the rapid delivery of useful and actionable information. This leads into the last chart, which shows the extent to which enterprises have been able to achieve measurable savings when implementing CEBP.
About half of the enterprises that have embarked on CEBP implementations report they have had measurable savings from these projects. 50% of the large enterprises report measurable hard or soft savings while another 22% reported soft savings which have not been measured. 41% of the medium enterprises reported measurable savings. What is interesting is that with 65% of the enterprises using CEBP, about 45% had measurable savings even though the majority were recent CEBP implementers. The report recommends that manufacturers and business partners use these CEBP results when they propose budgets for implementing UC.