Logo
BodyBGTop
Companies Scale Back UC Implementations
Citing the economy, new research finds unified communications vendors must convince organizations of the potential benefits during a recession.
Posted Oct 30, 2008
Page 1



There's been a flurry of news lately about unified communications (UC) indicating that the integrated approach was becoming a critical part of many companies' customer service strategies -- by one measure, 65 percent of enterprises are engaged in a UC initiative. It turns out, however, that the UC trend is no more immune to a down economy than other technology initiatives, according to new research from Parsippany, N.J.–based analyst and consulting firm T3i Group. According to T3i's findings, approximately one-quarter of UC-enabled enterprises have reduced their spending on the technology in 2008.

According to Terry White, senior program director at T3i Group and author of the study "InfoTrack for Unified Communications: 2008 Enterprise Market Analysis," the shift is undeniable. "We're seeing a clear cutback in terms of Internet Protocol Telephony (IPT) implementations as well as UC applications as a result of the economy," he declares.

The recent crisis in the financial markets, White says, seems to have reversed a trend toward expansion in UC investments. "The [situation] seems to have gotten more severe compared to [earlier in the year]," he says. "We had been seeing constant growth in IP telephony and in the applications space, but there is some uncertainty as to where companies want to put their money right now."

According to the study, 6 percent of respondents have put IPT plans on hold, while 18 percent report a "major reduction" in implementation plans. The results are similar for UC, as 7 percent have put deployment plans on hold and 16 percent have drastically scaled back their intentions.

The study delineates three stages of UC deployments:

  • system-centric—implementing IP Telephony based on hard savings and focusing on attributes such as reliability and security;
  • application-centric—bringing in UC applications focusing on business value derived from productivity savings; and
  • process-centric—implementing UC based on business process improvement through communications-enabled business processes.

Of the companies surveyed, White says the majority of those holding off on UC were still in the planning stage. "Most [companies] that are already implementing UC said that they were going to continue without any major change in their plans," he says. "For those who haven't gotten started, they are rethinking whether they want to start now or just continue with [current technology]."

Acting as a thin silver lining, results did show that companies were cutting back on UC now but plan to boost investments again by 2012. According to the study, enterprises expected equal or higher attach rates -- percentage of IPT shipments including a specific UC application -- in 2012 for six out of the eight UC applications the study examined, including:

  • desktop videoconferencing;
  • IP contact centers;
  • real-time audio conferencing;
  • UC client;
  • unified messaging; and
  • Web conferencing.

White was quick to note, however, that the expected rebound by 2012 is dependent on improved financial circumstances. "Companies are betting the economy will come back," he says.

White advises UC vendors to go on the offensive with current and prospective clientele. "The opportunity is here for [solution providers] to take their case to customers," he says. " 'Some of these applications actually work to your advantage during tough economic times.' Enterprises believe in the idea of UC, but when you ask if they're actually doing it, many say no. They're waiting for vendors or early adopters in their industry to prove [these applications] work first, and then show them where the best opportunities are."

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.

Page 1
To contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com
Every month, CRM magazine covers the customer relationship management industry and beyond. To subscribe, please visit http://www.destinationCRM.com/subscribe/.
Learn more about the companies mentioned in this article in the destinationCRM Buyer's Guide:
{0}
Related Articles
Alcatel-Lucent, Microsoft, and Nortel retain their positions as leaders, but Cisco Systems and Siemens fall out of the top quadrant; Interactive Intelligence moves up a notch.
In an increasingly global economy, unified communications should be on the top of the to-do list for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), according to a new report.
Contact center solutions vendor Aspect Software has a new UC strategy -- and the company says it starts with the customer.
While other vendors are still just announcing plans to deliver UC capabilities, Siemens Communications announces two UC-enabled contact center packages and a voice-portal solution for its SIP-based OpenScape UC Server.
Unified communications has the potential to drastically alter the business landscape -- assuming vendors really can get their collective act (and your communications) together.
New research from Aberdeen finds unified communications is on the minds of many, but more work needs to be done to clear up misconceptions.
Spanlink's prepackaged solution targets small and midsize businesses that think UC is too complex or costly to implement.
New research finds the market for enterprise unified messaging and voicemail systems continues to grow, particularly abroad.
New research shows confusion among users over what unified communications really means.
 
Search
Popular Articles
 

BodyBGRight
Home | Get CRM Magazine | CRM eWeekly | CRM Topic Centers | CRM Industry Solutions | CRM News | Viewpoints | Web Events | Events Calendar
DestinationCRM.com RSS Feeds RSS Feeds | About destinationCRM | Advertise | Getting Covered | Report Problems | Contact Us