Unified Communications (News - Alert) as a service (UCaaS) is going global, as a survey reveals that more than ¾ of the multinational companies in Europe are looking into it. A study by Cisco (News - Alert) and Orange Business Services has polled the companies to determine which are planning on or considering using UCaaS, while finding out what features and services are the most desirable.
Mind you, this is just in regard to companies who want to use Unified Communications-as-a-Service. At the moment, only around 8 percent of the companies surveyed are actually deploying UCaaS, while even less are currently using it. However, more than 60 percent of the companies stated that they were evaluating whether or not to sign up.
While there are many services available through Unified Communications, voice continues to be the most important function to the companies looking into it, followed by Web conferencing, then voice and audio conferencing.
All this is to be expected; without voice, video becomes much less useful, and companies would want the clearest communication possible. Even if a video conference has high-definition images, or voice conferences can include unlimited participants, it doesn’t mean anything if the audio is faulty.
When it comes to instant messaging, however, most of the respondents would prefer the solution they use integrate the services they already have. Again, a reasonable expectation, as having to set up every employee with new accounts on a new program would take time and effort made unnecessary by using existing services.
Yet in spite of the spread of BYOD, mobile integration isn’t a high priority for most of the company decision makers surveyed.
For those who were considering adopting UCaaS, the survey asked IT managers about the most important or compelling features. Most of them found scalability to be compelling, as adjusting the number of users when needed is more helpful than one might think, while changing from hardware to operational expenses was considered desirable as well.
But there are some challenges for those who want to start using UCaaS. As I’ve explored before, it’s hard to quantify the financial benefits of Unified Communications. Most of the respondents believe that UCaaS can improve productivity and cut costs, but the benefits of UC aren’t in the form of profits, so it’s a hard sell to the financial divisions. In spite of that, many of the IT decision-makers are confident that UCaaS will be very beneficial to the company, and are hoping to get solutions in place soon.
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Robert Pleasant is a writer for TMCnet, covering new news in the world of technology and communications. A graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Literature, Robert has been writing for years, but has only recently had his reports start appearing on websites such as TMCnet and UCStrategies.
Edited by Braden Becker