Calculating the true size of the Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) market has never been easy as many organizations are still operating a multi-vendor mix of communication and collaboration solutions, and so the data is scattered all over the place. However, there is one key area of UC&C that has shown steady growth over the years, and it’s poised to grow even more in the coming years.
IDC forecasts that UC&C services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are set to rise from $7.7 billion in 2012 to $11.7 billion in 2016, but more importantly that the main driver for this growth is mobile UC. Most other think tanks agree that mobility is arguably the fastest-growing component of UC&C. IDC, for its part, has calculated a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% per year. However, the mobile UC ecosystem is still a fountain that sits largely untapped.
There is no independent research on mobile UC client uptake, but some industry watchers estimate that mobile UC clients have had less than 5% success rate in UC&C deployments worldwide. This, despite a long list of benefits that we will discuss further down below. Integration concerns (legacy infrastructures) are said to be the main barrier to UC adoption.
Take the office with you
For a deployment effort to work, UC&C needs to extend to most, if not all of the devices used by a workforce – including mobile phones and tablets. For example, deploying VoipNow in conjunction with its iOS-based sibling VoipNow Mobile improves on aspects like productivity, customer service and speed to market, by enabling teams and individual employees to work remotely and / or collaborate from disparate locations. Countless studies focusing on mobility have revealed that mobile UC clients can provide a significant return on investment through improved workforce productivity.
BYOD (bring your own device) policies sit at the heart of corporate mobility, as employees feel more comfortable using devices and solutions that are familiar to them. Corporate-issued devices work similarly well to spur adoption, especially if the bill is footed by the company.
A recent study by Ovum shows how this trend is visible in decision-maker BYOD planning. 46% of large enterprises offer support for corporate-approved employee-owned devices, and 20% of enterprises that don’t yet support employee-owned devices plan to do so in the near future. The trend is fueling market demand for all-new mobile UC applications, mobile device management (MDM), security solutions and of course, mobility services. However, anyone looking to dip a toe in the mobile UC ocean should know that BYOD support plans for enterprises vary greatly by country. For example, decision-makers in Brazil and Singapore have no interest in BYOD, but business leaders in Spain and China are avid fans of the practice.
Wooed by IT-literacy
Market research further shows that people value an employer who leads by example in the IT realm. Employees usually associate this with open mindedness, flexibility and a good work-life balance. This drives greater operational efficiency and higher employee satisfaction.
BYOD users report that the UC&C functionality of their personal device is directly beneficial to their work. Corporate-issued device users report an even better experience in terms of UC&C applications. The reasons vary from company to company, however users generally tout the matching features across devices, as well as the comfortable feeling of being part of a broader managed mobility framework which handles support and costs.
More businesses and their employees are embracing BYOD, making it a market to tap and to be tapped. So, do you provide VoipNow Mobile to your customers yet? 🙂