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What is Lacking in Unified Communications (UC) Today?

July 29, 2015 / Mike Hamilton

A survey of nearly 1,000 businesses conducted by Evolve IP found that 40 percent of participants are already using elements of a Unified Communications (UC) solution – and 84 percent of those not using any UC features now are considering implementing UC features in the next three years. That study also determined that the majority of the participants (71.5 percent) were not very familiar with what “Unified Communications” actually is.

The survey results validated what we see at Evolve IP every day. Here, we’ve identified the top three aspects:

1.) The biggest thing that’s lacking is the strategy surrounding Unified Communications. Decision makers and IT directors have many different communications applications that they offer to their end users, but the biggest challenge is in formulating a strategy around what they’re offering to various functional areas in their business in a way that makes it easy for them to use. In order to gain adoption, as there are many different applications and silos of applications all running on the desktop at the same time, offering them in a seamless fashion to end users is the crux of the strategy.

2.) The next biggest thing lacking in UC today would be mobile device integration – cell phones and tablets. Evolve IP’s 2014 Mobility and BYOD Survey revealed that almost all businesses (95 percent) either support or enable mobility, work from home, and/or BYOD programs. For associates that spend time on the road, it’s become common practice over the last decade or two for the company to reimburse associates or provide a company-issued cell phone. That was a great solution in the past, but now organizations are asking, “How are those calls actually reported upon, tracked, and captured on the enterprise phone system for accountability for those calls?” This is becoming increasingly more important in regards to organizations that have compliance requirements, especially those that are required to have calls recorded for compliance, as well as the ability to prove whether calls have been made in legal situations. Another critical situation is when a key associate leaves the organization and their key customers leave along with them, because the contacts are still calling the former associate on their cell phone.

3.) The third aspect that is lacking in UC is easy-to-use video for the end users. With associates working from locations around the world – from their homes, satellite offices, from the road, and headquarters. End users need to be able to easily establish a video call for better associate engagement while performing from any location. Many video solutions on the market today just sit in the conference room and collect dust. But, when an associate is enabled to launch a video call with a click of a button, from the device of their choice, the conversation is much more productive.

This month, we are conducting our second Evolve IP UC survey, and it will be interesting to see how UC adoption has grown in the past year and a half since our last survey. If you are interested in the results, please let us know.

Categories: Unified Communications
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