Enterprise Communications

A Snapshot of UC in the Enterprise, from the SP's Point of View

by Melanie Turek 03 Jun 2010
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I recently spoke with the CTO at a service provider that offers a wide array of unified communications applications and services, and he shared some interesting insights into trends in user uptake of UC. Here are a few highlights:

Among mid-size organizations, mature companies are more likely to go with a single vendor for their UC needs. Companies that expect to see significant growth in the near future are aggressively persuing best-of-breed applications from a variety of vendors. As he put it, "These guys are looking at where the puck is going, not where it is right now."

At least 75% of the UC projects today are for dial tone replacement. But with the improvement in the economy, companies are starting to consider limited integration with other communications applications, especially videoconferencing.

He’s amazed by the apparent lack of interest in IM and presence, given how much it can save a company, and how it boosts productivity.

Video conferencing has been a tough sell historically because there is no one person within any given organization who is likely to buy it--that is, videoconferencing vendors don’t have a consistent job title to speak to in any given company. Once video went to SIP, it became the domain of the network guys, and the videoconferencing vendors really haven't had a channel for that. This is, in his mind, an opportunity for Cisco, since it can presumable drive adoption of Tandberg products with that acquisition.

This CTO says when it comes to UC, the cultural barriers are huge. Everything is changing, across the organizations: who buys this stuff, who manages it, who supports it. Then, he says, you also have to get the line-of-business managers on board for the business changes.

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