Majority of businesses understand UC benefits, but employee reluctance still a challenge


The majority of companies (70 per cent) agree on the benefits that unified communications bring. However, half of all companies state that employee resistance to giving up existing ways of working is the main barrier to UC adoption, according to a new report from UC provider, Arkadin, a division of NTT Communications.

The survey, entitled “Arkadin Unified Communications Report: The Missing ‘U’ in UC”, interviewed 200 businesses and found that 67 per cent of companies have already started their UC journey, but that challenges still prevent optimal deployment of UC technologies.

According to the report, the top perceived benefit of UC deployment was increased productivity (81 per cent), improved support for mobile workers (47 per cent) and better customer service (43 per cent). A sizable number of businesses expect to secure these perks quickly, with 40 per cent anticipating a positive ROI in the first year, and 70 per cent within two years.

However, the survey highlights that, as well as user resistance, a further 41 per cent of companies see reluctance by employees to relinquish existing tools as holding back UC adoption. The report goes on to suggest that a lack of simplicity and a user-focused experienced could be to blame for user reluctance to embrace UC tools.

“It’s gratifying that the large majority of organizations understands the productivity benefits associated with UC, however, unless they put the user at center stage and quickly and decisively communicate the benefits they won’t reap these advantages. A distressingly low (12 per cent) of companies are doing this today which suggests the need for a radical change in how the industry approaches UC,” said Hugues Treguier, Arkadin Director of UC.

Value and cost

Further findings from the report reveal that over a quarter (26 per cent) of companies have still not set out on the UC journey, with the main complaint being confusion around the value of UC to the business. Complexity was another issue cited by 65 per cent of survey respondents, citing the lack of a single UC solution as a major obstacle for deployments, while over two-thirds (70 per cent) of companies cited cost as the main inhibitor to deploying UC solutions.

“While progress is clearly being made, it’s imperative for the industry to overcome the challenges to UC adoption so that more businesses can benefit from it. Fortunately cloud-based UC helps to eliminate many of the barriers to adoption, by making implementations more cost efficient, simple and scalable, compared to the traditional on premises solutions,” Treguier concluded.

About Author

Gary Eastwood

Gary Eastwood has over 15 years of experience as a technology and business journalist and editor. He has held editorship positions on customer magazines for Microsoft, CSC, and EDF, as well as on B2B magazine Mobile Enterprise. He is the former Deputy Editor of Computer Business Review. In a freelance role, Gary has contributed numerous features and articles to a broad range of publications, including New Scientist, Computer Weekly, MIS, Marketing Week, Corporate Financier, Real Business, Wireless Business Review, and driven marketing communications projects for clients, such as Intel, the Confederation of British Industry, IBM, Logicalis, the Department of Trade & Innovation, and many others. Gary has written many white papers on a range of ITC subjects for Datamonitor. He is also an editorial photographer and business videographer, and has authored and ghost-written four books on photography. He is the Co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, which provides contract/customer magazines for a growing list of clients, and publishes the B2B magazine for business leaders, Strategist.