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Mobile-Only Workforce In the Cards? BroadSoft Survey Finds Out

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December 12, 2011

Mobile-Only Workforce In the Cards? BroadSoft Survey Finds Out

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Recently,  BroadSoft (News - Alert) announced results from the BroadSoft 2011 Mobile Enterprise of the Future Survey, confirming what many have suspected from anecdotal evidence -- there is an unmistakable shift to mobile-only communications.

And it’s happening faster than you might think.

The survey talked to respondents with significant input in IT purchasing decisions. Equal samples of 200 information technology leaders in the U.S. and 200 information technology leaders in the U.K., completed the same survey from web panels maintained by SSI.

It found that 25 percent of enterprise IT decision makers believe desk phones will be replaced by mobile phones within two years. Not just “used less than mobile phones,” but “replaced by.” As in, the desk phone will be gone.

Leslie Ferry, vice president, marketing, BroadSoft, cautioned that “mobile network operators have a compelling, but closing window of opportunity to be the preferred provider of choice when it comes to delivering unified communications services that keep mobile employees connected."

Mobile VoIP is also growing: TMC’s (News - Alert) Rajani Baburajan recently wrote,  that the number of mobile VoIP subscribers is estimated to grow from 47 million in 2010 to almost 410 million by 2015, driven by increased smartphone and mobile broadband adoption, according to recent research by Infonetics (News - Alert): “The research also predicts that TDM voice, which is a $500 billion-a-year business, will soon migrate to VoLTE as LTE becomes the universal mobile infrastructure.”

And fully 82 percent of enterprises have employees currently using mobile applications for communications and collaboration. Overall, the survey found, enterprises are “increasingly supporting a diverse mobile workforce and a challenging range of mobile platforms and are rapidly prioritizing the expansion of their unified communications capabilities.”

More specifically, some enterprises are already going exclusively mobile -- 44 percent of enterprises surveyed have at least one-quarter of their workforce operating solely using a mobile phone, the survey found, and 30 percent of enterprises support tablets, 51 percent support BlackBerry devices, 40 percent support iPhones and 31 percent support Android phones.

With the entry of companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google (News - Alert) and Yahoo!, the market is gaining ground and the use for mobile VoIP is growing.

Noting how support for mobile UC and mobile apps is growing, the survey found that 62 percent of IT leaders are expanding their enterprise's unified communications capabilities, and taken as a whole, they think instant messaging, web collaboration and videoconferencing are the top UC services they’ll have to support on mobile devices over the next three years.

And videoconferencing is looking up, a bit more on this side of the pond -- “72 percent of IT decision makers in the U.S. are looking to deploy videoconferencing across their organization in the next year,

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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