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Cisco, Verizon Find IP Collaboration Pays Off

There's always been a suspicion among IT practitioners that collaborating on IP platforms would result in savings, but the proof has been elusive. As of Wednesday, that changes with the release of a study commissioned by Cisco and Verizon that quantifies a "dramatic return on investments in advanced collaboration tools."

The study, carried out by Frost & Sullivan, focused primarily on collaboration tools such as VoIP, instant messaging, and high-definition video meetings such as Cisco's TelePresence.

How good are the collaborative returns?

The market research firm, which surveyed 3,662 IT and other business decision-makers, found that organizations that have collaborated on IP platforms received an average return of four times their investment. Also produced from the survey was a quantitative model called the "Return on Collaboration" index.

"This latest research shows adopting progressively more advanced unified communications and collaboration tools can help organizations achieve a corresponding return on collaboration and improvement across all business functions," said Frost & Sullivan's Brian Cotton in a statement. "This return was most dramatic in the areas of sales, marketing, and research and development." Cotton is vice president for information and communications technologies for the market research firm.

While the study -- entitled "Meetings Around the World II: Charting the Course of Advanced Collaboration" -- found dramatic ROI across the board ranging from human resources and investor relations to sales, marketing and public relations, it singled out R&D as an example.

By deploying advanced unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions, R&D managers were able to develop and enable products and solutions more quickly, "with an improved chance of market success, a higher degree of quality, and a lower overall cost of development," according to the study.

In a sense, Cisco and Verizon have been practicing what they preach -- Verizon's Business unit has been successfully collaborating with Cisco, utilizing its Unified Communications Manager and its Unified Contact Center, seamlessly integrating VoIP, IM, video conferencing, and contact center tools for several months.

Registration is now open for the leading enterprise communications event, VoiceCon. It happens in San Francisco, Nov. 2-5. Find out more and register.