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More Businesses Plan To Implement UC

The implementation rates for UC remain steady, but the numbers of organizations building strategic plans for UC adoption has increased.According to the findings a recent poll from CDW, the implementation rate for unified communications (UC) in organizations remained essentially steady with 8% of those participating having completed UC implementation compared with 6% in 2009. What has changed is the rate at which organizations are planning for UC adoption. Last year, 55% had prepared a business case or strategic plan for UC adoption and the percentage zooms up to 67% this year.

The second annual Unified Communications Tracking Poll conducted by the technology and services provider, polled 915 IT professionals who work on unified communications (UC) or component technologies in business, government, healthcare, and education. For this poll, CDW defined UC as the convergence of enterprise voice, video and data services, and software applications to achieve greater collaboration among individuals or groups and improve business processes with component technologies that include video, audio, and Web conferencing; presence; unified messaging; and instant messaging. As to the components of UC that are being deployed, the survey findings include:

  • 58% of IT executives have deployed unified messaging; up from 46% in 2009
  • 45% have deployed presence technology, up from 37%

Though many organizations are laying careful plans to implement UC, business that already have UC in place are diligently tracking their investment: 71% of those tracking return on their UC investment, claim it has met or exceed expectations. ROI is one key metric, but cost reduction is bound to turn heads well. Speaking about the value of UC, Kim McKinney, CIO/IT director for Broome County New York says, "Our unified communications deployment will save $10,000 annually."

The survey found that more than half of IT managers (54%) believed that UC reduced operating costs. Other perceived benefits of UC include:

  • Increased productivity (50%)
  • More reliable communication (44%)
  • Improved cross-functional communication and collaboration (37%)
  • Mass emergency notification (33%)

Though cost reduction is always a concern for SMBs, the primary driver for midsize companies was improving business outcomes with capital costs and operating costs ranking as the leading concerns, but reduced operating costs and increased productivity the leading perceived benefits of UC.


The complete findings of the CDW Unified Communications Tracking Poll are available for download here.

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