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Monday, 18 January 2010 10:30

Budget constraints no bar to UC implementation: research

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The pace of unified communications (UC) implementation and integration by multinational companies worldwide is increasing significantly despite “fierce budget constraints” imposed by companies, according to the latest survey of the market by Ovum.

The research firm says that despite the budget constraints, companies are upping the pace of both implementation and integration and, although UC rollout has progressed “painfully slowly in these huge organisations,” many individual UC applications are “now deployed, with a strong focus on video in the coming year. Extending to mobile devices is a priority for many.”

Pauline Trotter, principal analyst with Ovum based in London, almost all the organisations taking part in the survey of MNCs have a global strategy for implementation of IP telephony.

“More than 40% have a global IPT strategy including a roadmap for implementation throughout the company or group – a big change since last year, when only one in four said they had a group-wide implementation roadmap.

“The dominant model is to have a global IPT strategy but with implementation requiring business case authority at business unit level, according to the unit’s individual needs and budgets.”
 
Trotter also says that many MNCs are now moving into the global implementation phase and are putting partnerships in place to support this activity, and that the research shows that “almost all of the companies we spoke to (86%) have selected a global equipment vendor for IP telephony –a substantial increase since last year, when just over half had formed global equipment vendor partnerships.

“Cisco and Avaya dominate the global vendor partnerships, but a number of other IPT vendors are named. Less than one-third also have a global implementation partner in place – a similar number to last year – with Dimension Data the most frequently named company. A number of other global IPT implementation partners are named, including Orange Business Services and AT&T.”

Ovum’s survey found that email and IM are the most commonly deployed applications on handheld devices today, but that many of the interviewed EVUA members are planning to deploy more mobile UC applications within the coming year.

According to Ovum, there is particular interest in telephony presence features, click-to-call from mobile applications, and single voicemail, single number and simultaneous ringing for fixed and mobile, and many companies plan to use dual-mode (GSM/Wi-Fi) devices, with at least interest in extending video applications to mobile devices.

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