WAYNE, Pa., Jan. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Evolve IP®, the world's leading provider of Purpose-Built® cloud solutions, today announced the results of its survey on collaboration and communications noting a number of key insights. Major findings of the study point to Microsoft Teams being the preferred collaboration service for businesses going forward with 67% of respondents indicating they will deploy the solution. Additionally, 70% of respondents noting an integration preference said their next collaboration service must be unified with their communications system.

The survey, conducted in the fall of 2019, was completed by more than 300 IT, Executive and Operations professionals and revealed a number of insights. One potential risk for businesses found that on average, organizations are already running 2.5 different collaboration tools. Just about a quarter of those services, 24.5%, were implemented by 'shadow IT' (i.e. individuals / departments), not corporate IT. However, as businesses begin to look at collaboration more strategically, it is likely that the number of services inside an organization will fall. 54% of those surveyed want just a single collaboration service and only 13% indicated they want multiple solutions.

Microsoft and Cisco currently dominate the collaboration landscape with Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Webex deployed by the majority of businesses. Teams was noted by 47% of firms, Skype was active in 46% of businesses, and Cisco WebEx was identified by 36% of firms.

The survey also revealed that the strategy of including Teams in Office 365 is paying off for Microsoft. In the survey group, 68.5% of organizations had adopted Office 365 and Microsoft Teams was far and away the preferred collaboration service for businesses looking to deploy a new solution at 67%. Other leading services being evaluated for deployment include Cisco Teams along with Zoom, Slack and Atlassian. While the number of overall solutions is expected to decline, we believe vendors with deeply embedded solutions and hardware, such as Cisco, will find opportunities to integrate and capitalize on the Microsoft Teams wave.

When the new tools are deployed, businesses also expect them to integrate with their communications system. Today, 47% of respondents noted that their systems integrate. However, 70% of respondents noting an integration preference said their next collaboration service must work with their communications system. This presents some challenges for enterprise and mid-market businesses as the Microsoft PBX doesn't provide all of the features needed by those organizations or deliver the five nines (99.999%) reliability they have come to expect.

"This is a time of tremendous change, as well as opportunity, as collaboration and communications can finally be truly unified; realizing the promise of business efficiency and even greater employee productivity," said Scott Kinka, Chief Technology and Product Officer for Evolve IP. "Evolve IP delivers on that potential by unifying collaboration services like Microsoft Teams and WebEx with enterprise quality voice communications and allowing employees to work anywhere, anytime; securely and efficiently."

Additional findings from the survey include:

The top three reasons for investing in new collaboration tools are:

  1. Operational efficiencies
  2. Greater employee productivity
  3. Improving customer experience

The top three features businesses are looking for in their collaboration tools are:

  1. Group sharing of files
  2. Instant messaging and presence
  3. On-demand video meetings/video conferencing

About the Survey

The online, unbranded survey was conducted by Evolve IP in the fall of 2019. 70% of respondents were from North America while 30% responded from the EU / UK. 80% of survey respondents worked in IT, 11% were C-suite executives and 9% worked in operations. The majority of businesses responding were mid-sized businesses (57.5%) with employee sizes from 100 – 4,999. 31% were smaller businesses with 1 – 99 associates, while 11.5% had over 5,000 employees.

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