Last week BroadSoft released a study updating interest in Unified Communications (UC). The study claims to include some SMBs but does not indicate the percentage. This is important when discussing UC because the value proposition differs greatly between single location and multi-location businesses and size of business.
Research has shown that there are three key drivers specifically for small businesses and UC. Small businesses see tremendous value in having an auto attendant with work hour and non-work hour call routing and messages, music on hold and voice to email. These three features are the most sought after by small businesses with mobility coming in fourth.
Mid-size businesses and enterprises have a greater need for collaboration between employees and offices. The employees of these companies ranked their top frustrations as trying to locate people, connecting with people, waiting for needed information and dealing with email overload. Consequently, the requirement for integrated mobility, Presence and Instant Messaging is at the top of the list.
Interestingly, the BroadSoft UC research also discovered that in the age of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), the desktop PC and desktop phone remain the dominant devices used by employees. And although the trend is clear that laptops are now out selling desktops, companies are leveraging existing equipment longer and some budgets cannot support the cost of a laptop. Moreover, not all employees need to be mobile. Therefore, the desktop PC and phone will be around for some time to come. This does not diminish the interest in Fixed-Mobile-Convergence (essentially, desktop to mobile call transition) or integrated UC with mobile devices (presence, separation of personal and business profiles on the same mobile device, and integrated business directory and personal contacts).
Unified Communications – “What Users Want” is only five pages (including the Executive Summary) and therefore, a quick read. It contains valuable information for anyone interested in promoting Unified Communications as a product or new business infrastructure addition.