Melanie Turek
Melanie Turek is Vice President, Research at Frost & Sullivan. She is a renowned expert in unified communications, collaboration, social...
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Melanie Turek | April 12, 2011 |


Making Collaboration Work: The Case for Managed Services

Making Collaboration Work: The Case for Managed Services Companies must consider integration, mobility, security, scalability and user support and adoption to see maximum benefit and performance.

Companies must consider integration, mobility, security, scalability and user support and adoption to see maximum benefit and performance.

Frost & Sullivan research shows that collaboration can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Of those companies that have deployed collaboration tools, 72 percent say that they have experienced better performance, and 86 percent say the tools have improved innovation within the organization. Indeed, companies that don’t deploy advanced collaboration technologies will be at a disadvantage: Frost & Sullivan research shows that companies that deploy UC & C technology now will see a two-to-five year advantage from using the tools ahead of the competition.

Of course, technology won't create a business case or deliver business impact on its own. Companies must consider integration, mobility, security, scalability and user support and adoption to see maximum benefit and performance. That's a tall order for many IT departments--and it's why managed services can be critical to getting the financial and business benefits of advanced collaboration technology.

Advanced communications and collaboration applications require an advanced infrastructure--one that can be difficult to design, manage and support. In today's global, 24/7 world, it's not enough to simply deploy the right set of software and hardware, or boost bandwidth to carry the load; IT performance is critical to business success. For many organizations, managed services make sense--even if just for the first few years of deployment and use.

Managed services providers can work with a customer to develop a deployment strategy and benchmark existing technology, to see where gaps lie and design a plan that will support new technologies in the future. Proper management ensures the systems will work for every user, every time, and enable better performance and capacity planning in the most cost-effective manner. This is critical in a world in which multiple real-time applications are running on the same network, requiring different resources and prioritization.

Finally, advanced collaboration is new to most end users, and to many IT personnel as well. Many CXOs tell me their biggest concern with deploying UC&C is training--they want to know that end users and IT staff understand how and when to use the new technology. A managed services provider can help not just with the nuts and bolts (to do operation X, perform action Y), but also with the business process integration and broader change management, too.

Frost & Sullivan research shows that 62 percent of enterprises use managed services. To ensure success, companies should work with a managed services provider with deep experience in the UC&C market, and the ability to support a complex infrastructure and varied set of endpoints. But they should also look for a partner that understands specific vertical markets and line-of-business processes. For more on this topic, please join me for a webinar on Thursday April 14 at 2pm ET.


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