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Oct 06, 2020
An examination of the strategic and cultural implications of implementing Unified Communication technologies across today’s organizations.
UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS - FrOM ThE SErvEr rOOM TO ThE bOArDrOOM
a jabra report, in conjuction with
in june 2012 jabra and analysis institute frost & sullivan conducted a study to evaluate 302 companies’ strategic use of uc, including decision making, benefits, implemen- tation challenges and expected return on uc technology investment.
unified communications holds the power not only to sim- plify and streamline communications, but also to transform corporate cultures and remake the way employees work and collaborate, according to seven out of 10 decision mak- ers responsible for implementing uc in their organizations. The impact that uc have on business performance and efficiency means that uc is now seen as a corporate prior- ity and nearly nine out of 10 of decision makers responded that their uc implementation was part of a long-term company strategy. respondents cited several strategic objectives they sought to achieve by implementing unified communications, including increased productivity, stream- lined business processes and a means to secure a rapid return on investment. in addition, a majority of companies cited the global recession as a contributing reason for adopting uc technologies.
The strategic nature of uc is highlighted by the fact that even though the decision to implement uc in large parts lies with the companies’ iT managers – who in 80% of the cases was either the main decision maker or a member of the group who delivered material and expertise to the final decision maker – a significant number of company ceos also act as key decision makers.
The adoption of uc technologies as a strategy is further underscored by the fact that 52% of companies that have rolled out uc have underlined the decision by removing deskphones as part of the implementation. of the compa- nies that have not yet done this, 70% plan to do so in the near future.
companies sought a range of applications as part of their uc deployments, with more than 60% of those applica- tions centered on telephony. respondents believe that iP telephony has already transformed the way in which company employees’ work. evidence of its impact can be found in the fact that 76% of companies have already replaced their deskphones with headsets – taking full advantage of the Pc-based softphones. This fact leaves 24% of employees with companies who have made the move to softphones without a headset or deskphone, and without capturing the advantages of better audio quality and hands free communication. Despite some challenges involving employee adoption of headsets, companies are realizing many benefits from using headsets, including the ability to have their hands free while on calls, improved audio quality and better collaboration.
as may be expected, iT departments were the fastest to adopt new unified communication technologies. but a combined total of nearly 50% of other departments adopted uc technologies faster than iT.
2UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS - FrOM ThE SErvEr rOOM TO ThE bOArDrOOM
1 by an overwhelming margin, decision makers believe that Unified Communications has the
power to transform the company culture and remake the way employees work.
seven out of 10 respondents agreed with the statement, “unified communications is more than just a new tool; it is a strategy that is changing the way we work and affecting the company culture.”
“These results show that, far from being a shiny new tool, companies are seeing unified communications technolo- gies as a means to transform their cultures to increase productivity, as well as enhance systems and processes on the road the secure a return on their investment,” says rob arnold, Program manager, frost & sullivan.
2 Evidence of a trend toward new communications applications in the workplace can be found in the
fact that nearly seven out of 10 workers currently use smartphones for business purposes.
40% of employees are using company-paid smartphones for business purposes.
29% of employees are using their own smartphones for business purposes.
The use of unified communications (uc) is becoming increasingly prevalent across companies today. organizations are turning to these technologies to streamline processes, reduce costs and enable both onsite and offsite workers to work more efficiently and productively. uc is more than just a new tool or a single product; it is a strategic decision that integrates disparate communications platforms to change the corporate culture and the ways in which employees work and interact.
in june 2012 jabra and analysis institute frost & sullivan conducted a study to evaluate companies’ strategic use of uc, including decision making, bene- fits, implementation challenges and expected return on uc technology investment. The study included interviews with 302 iT managers or similar key iT decision makers with responsibility for implementing unified communications in their company. organiza- tions surveyed included ones across australia, france, Germany, japan, united Kingdom and united states. specific industries included finance and insurance, iT and Telecommunications, manufacturing, Pharmaceu- ticals and Healthcare, Public sector (excluding Health- care) and Technology.
Employees enjoy having their hands free when on calls.
Improved audio quality leads to increased use of voice applications.
There is less noise in the office when deskphones are used less.
Improved engagement and collaboration with off-site workers.
Employees are multi-tasking and are more productive.
Neither agree nor disagree.
3 This trend toward new communications applica- tions can also be seen in the proliferation of
tablets in the workplace, with 57% of employees currently using tablets for business purposes.
33% of employees are using company-paid tablets for business purposes.
24% of employees are using their personal tablets for business purposes.
4 by a significant margin, respondents expect the use of these new technologies to continue.
68% of respondents expect the use of company-paid smartphones to increase over the next two to three years.
67% of respondents expect the use of company-paid tablets to increase over the next two to three years.
5 Nearly 9 of 10 of respondents said that their implementation of Unified Communications was
part of a long-term company strategy.
responses to the question, “Was the implementation of unified communications part of a long-term strategy?” included:
88%: Yes. 12%: no.
6 As discussed in Jabra business brief: “Overcoming the Challenges of Implementing Unified Commu-
nications,” respondents cited several strategic objec- tives they sought to achieve by deploying Unified Communications in their organizations. The most popu- lar included increased productivity and business process enhancement.
responses to the question, “Which of the following were the two main drivers in the decision to implement uc?” included:
53%: increase productivity. 42%: business process enhancement. 33%: improve system operation and management. 26%: return on investment 25%: improvement to customer service. 13%: better support for mobile workers 8%: better support for distributed teams
7 Although decisions about implementing Unified Communications are most often made by IT
managers, a significant number of company CEOs also act as key decision makers.
responses to the question, “Who was the key decision maker to implement unified communications in your company?” included: 44%: iT manager or equivalent. 35%: ceo or equivalent. 2%: sales manager. 5%: cfo. 4%: Hr.
“The mere fact that many ceos are involved in decisions around implementing unified communications under- scores the strategic nature of uc in today’s companies,” says rob arnold, Program manager, frost & sullivan. “uc is a not a single product; rather, it is a vision of how disparate communications platforms can integrate to improve the way business is conducted and supported.”
8 The adoption of Unified Communication technolo- gies as a strategy is underscored by the fact that
52% of companies that have rolled out UC have also have removed deskphones as part of the implementation.
Of the companies that have not yet removed their desk- phones, 70% plan to do so in the future.
responses to the question, “Do you plan to remove the deskphones in the offices as a consequence of the unified communications roll-out?” included:
28%: Yes, within the next year. 42%: Yes, more than one year from now. 30%: no.
9 headsets were by far the most popular device companies that have