SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Melanie Turek
Melanie Turek is Vice President, Research at Frost & Sullivan. She is a renowned expert in unified communications, collaboration, social...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Melanie Turek | January 16, 2014 |

 
   

The Future of Enterprise Communications: A Customer Perspective

The Future of Enterprise Communications: A Customer Perspective A few findings of Frost & Sullivan's annual end-user survey may come as a surprise, including significant confusion over the meaning of "UC" and "UCC."

A few findings of Frost & Sullivan's annual end-user survey may come as a surprise, including significant confusion over the meaning of "UC" and "UCC."

Frost & Sullivan has published the results of our annual end-user survey on enterprise communications, and some of the findings may surprise you. For starters, 42% of the 1,028 respondents--IT decision makers in the U.S. and Europe--say they have a limited understanding of the meaning of the terms "UC" and "UCC." This is especially true for small organizations and those in government and manufacturing. This is a significant challenge for the market and for its prospective customers, since IT managers and end users can't benefit from UC if they don't even know what it is, let alone what it can deliver.

Video, Web and audio conferencing, as well as mobile apps, top the list of UCC applications in use within businesses today. Many respondents, however, expect to see a decrease in the use of video and audio conferencing within their organizations over the next three years. We believe this is due to the growth in use of Web conferencing, which increasingly includes built-in audio and video capabilities. Business-grade softphones, tablets, and UC clients are expected to experience the most significant increases in demand over the next three years, and cloud computing is expected to increase by 20% over the same time period.

The cost and complexity of deploying and managing multi-vendor communications solutions continues to compel businesses to consolidate and integrate their disparate platforms and applications or switch to single-vendor communications solutions. Then again, IT managers have been telling us this for years; whether they will actually make the dream of unification a reality in 2014 remains an open question.

The cost of supporting new business needs, such as an increasingly distributed workforce, is more significantly felt by IT decision makers in the U.S., larger organizations, and companies in the financial and manufacturing sectors. The largest proportion of IT decision makers agree that new regulatory requirements are driving up IT costs for their companies, but this issue is more pressing for U.S. companies and those in the financial and healthcare sectors.

The rise of the virtual organization and the need to support remote workers, mobility, and bring-your-own technology (BYOT), along with the growing demand for social networking, visual collaboration, and a more personalized experience, are top of mind for IT decision makers and having a considerable impact on IT investment decisions. Overall, the largest proportion (62%) of the workforce operates out of office locations, while 22% are mobile workers, and the remaining 16% are remote employees.

Clearly, vendors, consultants and analysts must continue to educate the market and take a more consultative approach to their sales efforts, focusing on business needs and value instead of the technology itself. Vendors should also deliver UCC solutions and specific vertical applications that improve regulatory compliance at a lower cost, and help customers consolidate their UCC infrastructure through the use of open standards and advanced technologies.

The full report--which includes breakdowns of responses according to region, industry and company size--is available now. Please contact me (Melanie.turek@frost.com) for more information.

Follow Melanie Turek on Twitter and Google+!
@melanieturek
Melanie Turek on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017
March 27-30 | Orlando, FL
Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Special Offer - Save $200 Off Advance Rates

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 8, 2017

Enterprise IT's ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business -- 80% of CIOs agree. But the CIO role has never been more challenging than it is today, with rising operational respo

February 22, 2017

Sick of video call technology that make participants look like they're in the witness protection program? Turns out youre not alone. Poor-quality video solutions can give users an unprofessional ap

February 7, 2017

Securing voice communications used to be very simple since it was generally a closed system. However, with unified communications (UC) you no longer have the walled protection offered by a dedicate

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.