There’s no wrong or right way to integrate unified communications (UC) into your business phone system. UC is not, in other words, an all or nothing enterprise technology.
Instead, your company can implement a little UC functionality or a lot.
Where will various levels of UC adoption leave your business? First, let’s take a look at the status of UC adoption today. According to an early 2015 study of 400 U.K. small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by PwC, adopters are currently broken into two camps:
UC employed in a limited capacity, but only minimally integrated, that is, UC adoption encompasses either a degree of integration between fixed and mobile telephony routing and billing—known as Fixed Mobile Convergence, or FMC—or a desktop-based UC application that offers minimal integration with the company’s directory (55 percent of U.K. SMEs); and
Both FMC and desktop-based UC apps are present, with the desktop (and/or associated mobile device) typically now the hub for office communication via a mix of real-time (e.g., videoconferencing) and non-real-time (e.g., IM and presence) modes of communication (21 percent of U.K. SMEs).
While businesses have been slow to adopt UC for various reasons (buyer inertia, lack of a provider-driven value proposition), the UC market is set to experience impressive expansion. In fact, today’s $21 billion UC market is set to grow at a CAGR of 11 percent through 2018, according to the aforementioned report.
Momentum around UC will be forwarded by users’ own personal experiences in the workplace, forcing IT managers to follow through on providing access to new age technologies that include multiple channels for communication. To date, productivity has been cited as the primary financial benefit of UC adoption, followed by OPEX savings and efficiency gains. But “soft” benefits such as collaboration and employee morale are equally prized nowadays. According to the PwC survey, fully 93 percent of buyers saw some benefit from a UC deployment.
So, where does that leave your business, as we asked above? With UC adoption expected to reach 100 percent by 2020 per the survey, your competitors will leave you in the dust if they get these productivity tools, like unified messaging and audio/Web conferencing, into the hands of their employees ahead of you.
Move now to more fully integrate UC into your communications infrastructure; click here to learn how.