By Daniel Hunter

A recent global survey by Frost & Sullivan for Jabra has identified a clear trend that remote workers in companies utilising unified communications solutions are not being adequately supported.

Overall the survey focused on the attitudes of influencers and decision makers involved in UC deployments in over 300 companies, (of which 52 were from within the UK). It discovered that while mobile workers and professionals in dispersed teams, (what Jabra calls ‘GenM’ workers), are the early adopters of UC in the enterprise, their employers are failing to provide the support they need to generate improvements throughout the business that the technology provides.

Only 39% of businesses in the UK rated the leveraging of a ‘dedicated IT helpdesk’ as effective in supporting users of UC applications, while a mere 33% of UK businesses thought training was important in order to achieve positive use of UC.

Another likely reason for any potential shortfall in the uptake of remote UC could be a distinct lack of provision of dedicated mobile devices. Although GenM workers tend to be early adopters of UC and businesses anticipate a growth in the use of mobile devices, 30% of UK workers that use a smartphone for work purposes still have to use their own phone and will be unlikely to take advantage of the full range of UC options available.

This trend towards increased employee use of mobility-enabling devices can also be seen in the rapid proliferation of tablets, with 45% of UK employees already using tablets for business purposes. Of those that have to use tablets at work, 39% of employees are using their personal tablets. And at the same time, nearly seven out of 10 organisations expect the use of smartphones and tablets to increase over the next few years.

Similarly 75% of UK companies agreed that headsets play an important role in successful employee adoption of UC technologies, yet only about 45% are supporting them as part of their Unified Communications strategy, (despite clear recognition elsewhere that such devices encourage closer engagement with UC).

“As we see from the rapid explosion of smartphones and tablets in the workplace, today’s employees are crying out for increased mobility in their work activities,” says Rob Arnold, Programme Manager, Frost & Sullivan. “We fully expect that companies that understand this and embrace UC-compatible tools to enable increased mobility will be the clear winners of achieving the increases in efficiency and also retaining and attracting top talent.”

“In this volatile economic era, there’s no question that the ROI of UC lies in the last three feet between the end-user and the promise UC offers,” says Andrew Doyle, Jabra UK Business Solutions Managing Director. “At the end of the day this is really the end-user’s call and we need to focus the entire headset development and UC roll-out around them."

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