Unified Communications on the upswing

The survey, commissioned by Avaya, was conducted in key markets across the Middle East and included responses from CIO’s and IT decision makers representing various industry verticals.

“The research reveals current awareness levels for Unified Communications solutions at more than 80%, while actual adoption of the technology was still in its early stages. This clearly shows that there is significant need to educate enterprises about the integration of UC into their business processes and demonstrate the benefits UC applications,” said Anand Rangachary, MD, Frost & Sullivan South Asia & Middle East.

“Although there is increasing interest from enterprises across the region in understanding the value proposition of UC, adoption is taking place in phases, with enterprises picking applications based on their business and user needs. Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the biggest obstacles for deploying UC, followed by interoperability. Enterprises often need to be educated and convinced about ROI factors before taking the plunge and those that have already deployed UC and are currently seeking technology upgrades or expansions consider interoperability as a key deterrent. End-users expect to see vendors map their business needs to UC applications,” added Rangachary.

Almost 60% of companies surveyed reported that the global economic downturn had no impact at all on their decision to deploy communication and collaboration tools. In addition, enterprises are optimistic about the increase in IT budgets with 65% expecting their IT budgets to increase over the next two years.

The research also revealed that more than 59% of enterprises in the Middle East extensively utilize some form of UC, with senior management in more than 30% of enterprises utilizing video and web conferencing and presence information while conducting business. Currently, large enterprises contribute 52.3% of UC revenues, while 47.7% of revenues come from the SMB sector.

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