March 31, 2012

2012 Economic Impact of SIP in the Enterprise

  • Enterprises Stand To Recoup Millions Using UC
  • A Webtorials State-of-the-Market Report
  • Steven Taylor, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Webtorials

In early 2011, the Webtorials Editorial and Analyst Division reported that in small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) of 10 to 500 employees, knowledge workers  spent about four hours per day performing non-productive tasks. The report also indicated that those hours could be reduced by implementing unified communications (UC) applications and systems.
You could intuit that larger enterprise organizations would benefit in the same way. After all, enterprises usually have more robust infrastructures in place to support the enhanced communications capabilities that deliver associated productivity (time and cost) savings. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a parallel study in early 2012 that focused on enterprises with more than 500 employees. 

Even among our technically sophisticated survey base, we found that enterprises were actually losing more productivity time to routine tasks than their SMB counterparts. 

So we asked respondents about the percentage of this non-productive time they thought could be recovered by "the implementation of a fully functional, SIP-based unified communications infrastructure." 

Based on their responses, we calculated that a company with 5,000 knowledge workers could recover more than $61M per year. The median number of employees in the 2012 enterprise response base was 8,700. If one assumes that the median respondent has 100% knowledge workers, the annual savings are a whopping $107M annually.

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The scenarios addressed in the paper are, by necessity, somewhat limited.  In order for you to customize the report to your situation and to be as realistic as possible, we offer the savings calculator below. In the calculator, you may simply enter the number of employees in each of the salary ranges and your savings will be calculated. 

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Please note that this is based on all of the same survey data and assumptions as specified in the paper, so this is offered as an example only.

Please note that this report was made possible in part due to the generous support of Sonus Networks.


I hate reports that assert "you can save a gazillion dollars" but fail to substantiate how the numbers were derived. I also refuse to write reports like that.

As you read this report, you will find that we, as the math teacher always asked us to do, "show our work." In particular, the majority of the factors included in our estimates are derived directly from survey data for real users. Further, at any points where assumptions are made, these are clearly identified so you can decide whether there are any places that you would like to recalculate with your own assumptions. (In general, though, we think our assumptions are extremely conservative.)

The integral relationship between SIP and interoperable unified communications is a key assumption in this paper. Consequently, I encourage you to take a close look at the sidebar at the end of this paper where we examine how these must go hand-in-hand.

A couple of recent articles (below) I read spoke to similar views. What I like about this Webtorial is it quantifies the impact of UC. As a telecom consultant, those numbers offer thought-provoking conversations with our customers. Thank you.

"The UC Tide", John Dix, Network World

"The Top 5 Tasks that Waste Time at Work that Aren't Social Media",
Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet

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