UC generating ROI, but concerns remain about quality and management costs  


Research from IT-as-a-Service specialist NetEnrich reveals that 58 per cent of respondents said their unified communications (UC) system had been fully deployed and were generating a quantifiable return-on-investment. However, 50 per cent also had day-to-day quality concerns about their UC tools.

The report surveyed nearly 200 U.S. IT executives at mid-market and enterprise companies with revenues between $250 million and $8 billion. The survey, which ran online in October and November, asked IT leaders to share their insights on the state of UC deployments, including what they see as the key challenges facing companies exploring and implementing these systems today.

The results showed that 27 per cent of respondents did not have enough skilled resources (CCIEs, CCNA, Network, VM) to fully manage their UC deployments. Meanwhile, 15 per cent of respondents said that their expenses for UC management are at least 10 per cent too high.

Other concerns revealed by the survey included: 18 per cent feel they spend too much on UC staff resources and retention: 18 per cent find out about UC problems from users, while one-third say they’re the first to know; and 36 per cent spend too much time reacting to UC performance issues, and more than one-quarter of internal IT projects are on hold as a result.

When it comes to UC quality problems, 17 per cent experience voice quality problems in their UC system a couple of times every quarter, while 14 per cent encounter problems a few times each week. Only 20 per cent have automated all their UC support elements, such as monitoring, workflows, user provisioning, process and tasks, while 10 per cent still do everything manually.

In terms of support, 87 per cent have their own IT staff and resources for day to day UC support, 11 per cent use a managed services provider for support, and a further 11 per cent use a PBX vendor.

“There’s little debate among enterprise IT leaders as to the business value created through successful UC deployments,” said Chris Joseph, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at NetEnrich, adding: “The question is whether companies and users can count on UC systems performing as expected, and whether companies have the resources in-house to manage these implementations? As we can see from the data, the answer is not necessarily. It would therefore behoove companies to align themselves with partners, such as NetEnrich, that have extensive experience deploying and managing large-scale multi-region UC deployments.”


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.