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IT Pros Turn to Unified Communications With Uncertainty

By Craig Galbraith
February 05, 2013 - News

Three-quarters (75 percent) of IT and telecom decision makers are actively moving toward a Unified Communications infrastructure in the next 12 months, but nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of those aren't sure of the value it will bring to their business.

That's one finding in a new study from MDS, the U.K.-based provider of managed-service revenue and customer-management solutions, which also found that nearly all of the IT pros surveyed (93 percent) believe IT and communications services received through the same provider are "of value," a promising statistic for operators. While this shows an appetite for UC, MDS noted, 57 percent of those polled believe the increasing convergence makes it tougher to review their telecom infrastructure.

These statistics clearly show confusion among IT buyers, suggesting that many operators aren't successfully communicating value to their customers, and should adapt their service delivery to provide a more transparent and integrated proposition for enterprises to measure against.

The UC market is expected to reach $7.7 billion in 2015, almost doubling from a value of $4 billion in 2011. With such a revenue-generating opportunity, MDS says these findings further indicate that operators can't allow the market to pass them by when they are in a unique position to serve it with a combination of IT and communications offerings.

“These findings justify what many in telecoms have believed over the last few years – that enterprises are gradually migrating to a Unified Communications infrastructure; however, what has been previously unknown to the market is the scope of the opportunity for operators, and more precisely, exactly what needs to be done to validate the business case for moving to UC," said Matt Hooper, CMO for MDS. "Clearly businesses, especially SMEs, are keen to receive IT and communications services under a single umbrella offering, but operators in some cases are failing to deliver a compelling and clear proposition for an integrated customer experience. Cutting through the noise, operators cannot afford to let the UC opportunity slip by – the market is indicating the need for simple yet effective UC solutions, and operators must deliver them to cash in from what is a position of strength."

More than 200 IT/telecom decision makers in the U.K. were polled for the research.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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