June 2, 2009

Unified Communications: Holding Its Own in Tough Economic Times

  • A Webtorials Analysis
  • Steven Taylor and David DeWeese
Members of two Nortel user groups - the International Nortel Networks Users Association (INNUA) and the Nortel INSIGHT100 large-campus user group - were invited to participate in a survey about Unified Communications (UC).

The key findings of this analysis are:    
  • UC is still a priority for the vast majority of today's enterprise organizations.
  • Green IT remains important to UC customers despite changing economic conditions.
  • A strong correlation exists between how important users think an aspect of UC is and how satisfied they are with the capabilities UC provides.
61% of the respondents reported that they already have or will have begun deploying UC within two years (Figure 1). This is essentially unchanged from last year when 60% reported plans to deploy within two years. Of course, this does indicate some delay, which is to be expected due to expenditures being frozen or reduced.

Significantly, though, in terms of relative importance for expenditures, UC moved from fifth out of ten options in 2008 to third out of eleven options this year.

Furthermore, only 6% of the respondents described themselves as being among the first to implement new technology, while 81% of the respondents were more mainstream adopters: 37% described themselves as early adopters who tended to wait "until we see the problems others have had" before implementing, while 44% described themselves as those who tend to do so once a new technology has become widely accepted. Moreover, 44% of self-described early adopters have already deployed UC, so organizations that intend to do so mostly fit the profile of the mainstream adopter, a sign of UC's ongoing maturation.

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