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'UCC spend at risk without employee adoption'.

IT decision-makers in large organisations are predicted to spend $53m on services to support unified communications and collaboration (UCC) over the next two years, as uptake in UCC as a strategic business opportunity increases. However, this spend could be at risk without user adoption according to new research released yesterday by solutions and services provider Dimension Data.

Earlier this year, Dimension Data commissioned research firm

Ovum to conduct a global UCC survey (Dimension Data 2013 Global UCC Study) across

the Americas, Australia, Asia, Europe, and South Africa. According

to Dimension Data, over 1,320 enterprise ICT decision-makers and 1,390

employees in a broad spectrum of industry verticals in 18 countries were


The study found that over 78% of IT decision-makers have a

current strategic plan and budget to implement "select components" of UCC.

Additionally, 43% have a budget for "most components" of UCC, while 42% of

decision-makers indicated they have a budget to proceed with investment in "all

or most aspects" of UCC.

"This is a surprising shift," said Craig Levieux, Dimension

Data's Group general manager for Converged Communications, "especially when

economic conditions and operational constraints normally put the brake on

enterprise communications investment. Typically, UCC has not been the subject

of strategic ICT planning. In fact, until recently, UCC was largely synonymous

with the corporate PBX, and the idea of formulating and rolling out a UCC

strategy - even among large organisations - was alien.

"Of those IT decision-makers who had made major UCC

investments in the past two years, a high 61% cited measurable cost savings,

employee uptake and employee productivity. This sends a strong message to

organisations that don't recognise unified communications as a strategic

productivity and cost-saving weapon."

Meanwhile, the UCC aspirations of organisations don't match

those of their employees. "Our research tells us that organisations are failing

to profile and assess their employee requirements," explains Levieux. "This

lack of employee awareness could pose a risk to the success of those UCC

investments on today's boardroom agendas - especially since decision-makers

expressed that they are basing their UCC investments on improved business

processes and productivity.

"When we analysed the strategic approach that enterprises

are taking towards UCC, the BYOD trend, the focus on mobilising UC and social

collaboration, and aspirational goals to increase business agility, we were

surprised that only 38% of large enterprises reported that they profiled their

users. Of those who don't profile users, around 20% have simply not thought of

doing it. More alarming is the fact that 21% believe their employees all have

the same requirements, while 13% did not see the value in profiling.

"For organisations looking to formulate or refresh a UCC,

employee feedback is critical. In a world where more employees bring their own

devices to work, a gap in understanding between decision-makers and employees

could come at a very real cost. User uptake is a critical success metric for

UCC investments, especially as more UCC applications will be delivered to

employees, who expect multiple device support and applications that match their

requirements. If not, uptake will continue to lag behind aspirations, as has

been the case with many standard UCC applications to date," explains Levieux.

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Date:Apr 10, 2013
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