Deployment confusion harming unified communications adoption rate

    Industry experts have frequently touted unified communications as a viable option for companies seeking cost effective technology solutions. However, a recent study conducted by managed service provider Calyx found that many organizations are confused regarding UC deployments, resulting in slower adoption rates, ITPro reported.

    Of the 100 business and IT decision-makers surveyed by the firm, more than 50 percent named unified communications as the most beneficial technology to improve their agility, compared to 23 percent and 13 percent who cited cloud computing and virtualization, respectively. Calyx found that some participants cited costs and implementation as areas of confusion regarding UC solutions, the news source reported.


    "IT professionals understand the importance of unified communications, particularly for employees who often work remotely," Toshiba business communications division sales manager Daniel Fuller-Smith said, according to the ITPro report. "However, its implementation is often held back by a company's lack of initial understanding of the technology and what it can do."


    ITPro also reported that Piers Linney, joint chief executive of Outsourcery, asserted that unified communications, virtualization and cloud computing should be considered an integrated solution.


    "UC needs to be cloud-based to ensure users can communicate and collaborate from anywhere or any device," Linney said, according to the news source. "A credible supplier should be able to provide an end-to-end service that includes design, implementation, integration and support."


    Many see value in UC


    Other industry research has highlighted the effectiveness of unified communications deployments. IT nonprofit CompTIA recently released results of its Second Annual Unified Communications Market Trends report and found that 80 percent of organizations believe UC offers significant value to their operations.


    The study also said that 85 percent of businesses cited rising communications and collaboration budgets and keeping pace with competitors as forces that are fueling unified communications investments.


    Seth Robinson, CompTIA's technology analysis director, noted that companies are turning to unified communications for a variety of benefits, including improved customer communication, worker productivity and lower operating costs.


    However, implementation challenges still exist. CompTIA said some organizations are struggling to integrate unified communications with their existing IT infrastructure, as well as to determine an accurate assessment on their investment return. Other companies are do not know how to successfully incorporate video conference, social networking and mobility into their UC deployments.