By Daniel Hunter
The recession has been one of the leading drivers in the uptake of Unified Communications within global businesses, according to a new survey undertaken by analyst house Frost & Sullivan for Jabra.
Of 352 individuals responsible for the implementation of Unified Communications in businesses, 57% stated that the recession was a major influencing factor in their decision to implement UC. Nearly 80% expected ROI on their investment within two years, with a quarter expecting ROI within as little as 6 months.
It is clear from the results of this survey that businesses recognise Unified Communications as an appropriate reaction to today’s harsher financial environment and a way to foster better, more competitive working practices. 56% of the total survey base claimed that IP telephony and PC-based soft-clients had already generated better communication within their workforce. 41% claimed they were seeing more collaboration and 36% had already seen increased productivity.
'Pharmaceuticals and healthcare' were most likely to see the recession as a deciding factor in their decision to implement Unified Communications, (67%), followed by the Technology sector (62%). The highest proportion of companies with existing UC implementations can currently be found in the UK and US (60.3% and 58% respectively).
Of those polled, an average of 69% of the workforce were using smartphones for business purposes, with a further 57% of the workforce using tablets. A staggering 52% of worldwide respondents had already removed their company desk-phones altogether and of those who hadn’t, 70% were planning to remove desk-phones within the near future
Headsets were by far the most popular device among companies that replaced their desk-phones. According to the companies that have made the transition, this has already improved the work environment for their employees; from having their hands free when on calls (58%), to reducing noise in the office, as a result of the improved sound quality (41%), which helps employees concentrate on the task at hand, as well as improving the engagement and collaboration with off-site workers (26%).
“What we have here is clear evidence that businesses recognise that implementing Unified Communications can be a serious cost-cutting and productivity-boosting exercise,” said Andrew Doyle, MD, Jabra UK Business Solutions, “The Frost & Sullivan research also confirms that the typical computer-and-headset or mobile device-and-headset UC set-up brings a huge number of benefits to companies via improved performance, collaboration, greater customer satisfaction and improved ease-of-use.”
The study also confirmed that the need to make general ‘cost savings’ remains an important consideration for Unified Communications, cited by 57% of the companies polled, while a further 52% also listed ‘productivity increases’ as something they were looking to achieve. 42% were seeking to use UC to ‘become more agile through improved collaboration’.
Andrew Doyle concludes: “The productivity and cost benefits of UC, whilst key within this economically turbulent time, will also remain central to business growth once the economy stablilises and will drive smarter working practices in the future.”
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