Vendors love to talk up the benefits of Unified Communications, but an exclusive study of small and midsize companies by bMighty.com suggests that many companies are not yet getting the message.
Vendors love to talk up the benefits of Unified Communications, but an exclusive study of small and midsize companies by bMighty.com suggests that many companies are not yet getting the message.Despite the best efforts of vendors ranging from Cisco to Avaya to Microsoft and more, the bMighty.com research reveals that more than two-thirds of small and midsize companies still draw a blank when confronted with the term "unified communications."
Yet when provided with a definition -- the integration of multiple modes of communications (voice, e-mail, instant messaging, etc.) with business processes -- nearly three-quarters indicate familiarity with the technologies involved.
But familiarity doesn't necessarily lead to desire. Two-thirds of SMBs say that UC is more expensive than traditional telecom options, while a slight majority say it's too early for smaller companies to implement UC. Concerns about integration and complexity also crop up, along with the difficulty of calculating ROI when any benefits are spread throughout the company.
While UC proponents such as Don Van Doren, principal of Unicomm Consulting, like to pitch UC's ability to save up to $200,000 per user by transforming business processes, eliminating communications bottlenecks, reducing cycle times, eliminating process steps, and lowering staff requirements, smaller companies aren't yet buying in. Only 16% see UC as a way to gain competitive advantage.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?