Unified Communications Investment Rises

July, 2011

Unified communications is a technology that promises vast business advantages, but it remains a maturing technology in the enterprise.

Our study, Unified Communications Adoption and Experience, finds that while investment rates in the technology are strong, adoption rates generally have been lagging. Figure 1 shows that 40% of organizations are investing in unified communications, up from 35% in 2009. Another 27% are adopting the technology, which is about the same level as the previous year, when 25% reported having the technology in place.

UnifiedRB Fig1 - Unified Communications Investment Rises

Some organizations are struggling to realize the full benefits of this technology and are not deploying the full range of functionality available in their UC solutions. In many respects, this is because organizations treat unified communications as a technical initiative without paying attention to the business process transformation it enables.

At a basic level, unified communications promises to simplify and integrate disparate communications technologies and allow for greater collaborative, immediate and efficient interaction among the internal workforce and external customers, suppliers, and partners. Unified communications also can be seen as an inevitable technological advance—as organizations replace expensive, inflexible PBX systems, they will naturally gravitate to the advantages unified communications and IP telephony offer.

The full study shows adopters are achieving positive results, both in return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO).  This report assesses the growth in unified communications by analyzing current adoption activity and provides a view of the ROI and TCO experienced by adopters. We also examine adoption by organization size and sector.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Unified Communications Adoption and Experience. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).