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Market Analysis: Unified Messaging

We've said it before, but low UM adoption numbers suggest some organizations aren't getting the message: You need real-time communications systems that connect your users with the people they must talk to, while routing less urgent matters to the message repository of choice. Our testing (see "A La Carte Messaging") puts to rest the theory that these projects are too big and complex. The Siemens offering we tested starts at a measly $80 per user, per year. If you can't afford that for your multimessaging salesforce or high-powered executives, it's time to rethink your communications strategy--your company probably pays more for monthly pizza lunches. SIP phones are coming down in price as well, and UM systems will integrate with and leverage network resources. It's not really new technology; it's making the most of what you have.



Don't wait until the next generation of knowledge workers hits the enterprise. The killer application, e-mail, will be ancient history for them. They will give it back to you and start using their cell phones, IM and SMS or text messaging. What then?

Your Competitors Get It

Our reader poll for this article painted an interesting picture of UM adoption. Only 17 percent of 686 respondents use UM. Forrester's latest report on UM adoption parallels our findings. But that's not the end of the story: Every one of our respondents from organizations with more than 5,000 employees has implemented UM. Is this because large organizations are more complex, with multiformat messaging needs, and they've found UM boosts employee efficiency? Or is it because only large enterprises can afford a complete UM system, with attendant network upgrades and new phones?

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