Research done by Vanson Bourne indicates that Enterprise use of Unified Communications (UC) across Europe is lagging behind demand. Because of issues that lie at an infrastructure level, less than a third of organizations are able to fully support UC technology across all sites.
Commissioned by Easynet, a managed services provider (MSP), the survey was carried out in late 2014 across Europe on IT decision-makers of 660 companies with over 1,000 employees across all sectors. The targeted countries were UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Here are the major findings in a few bullet points for easy reading:
- All organizations aknowledged that UC brings important business benefits with 60% seeing improved business efficiency and 45% improved business agility.
- Companies manifestly showed their trust in their Communications Service Providers (CSP) to deliver UC. 85% said they trusted or completely trusted their CSP to deliver. Despite requiring the technology, almost one in five companies are still not using their SP to gain access to UC.
- Less than a third (29%) of organizations’ Wide Area Network (WAN) infrastructure is able to fully support UC across all sites, while 49% said they’d require network upgrades to fully take the plunge.
- The “readiness” level for the Netherlands and Belgium is estimated at 40% and 37% respectively, while the UK sits at 28%. The business sector and consumer services are the most able (41%) to roll out UC across the enterprise, followed by telecoms (40%), IT/computer services (38%), banking/financial services (21%), and manufacturing (19%).
- Perhaps more disturbingly, enterprises that have embraced UC are not even close to leveraging the technology to its full extent.
Spiraling into failure is easy
Adrian Thirkill, UK MD for Enterprise at Easynet, said this much about the study:
“Companies across sectors recognize the business advantages of running Unified Communications across their enterprise, yet this research highlights that only just over half of European organizations are currently able to do so. Intelligent or Hybrid networks remove the need for massive upgrades and CSPs delivering these can help organizations make the most of their corporate networks and maximize the return of their existing UC investments in order to be as efficient and competitive as possible.”
Thirkill stresses that it’s imperative today to run services across vast and disperse enterprise networks. Enterprises can see an incredible uptick by tapping a CSP with a broad range of networks, but also with an understanding of their customers’ proficiency, he says.
So, bad management creates entropy challenges for big organizations. This isn’t something new, though. In a brief post for InformIT, infomajic co-founder Jane Carbone outlines ten major aspects that tell you if your enterprise architecture is in dire need of an overhaul. Here’s the interesting bit: the article is 11 years old but all its points are still valid to this day. Some of the items on that list also suggest that that the idea to streamline operations with better communication/collaboration tools was seeded long before UC had become a thing.
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