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Dimension Data: Ignore UCC at your peril

15 May 2013

ICT decision-makers who ignore internal barriers to the adoption of unified communications and collaboration (UCC) are putting their company at a serious disadvantage.

That’s because the pace of change in the UCC market is heating up as enterprises are gearing up to adopt many UCC applications, despite depressed economies.

This is according to Dimension Data, who released new UCC research comparing primary research undertaken in 2007, before the era of the smartphone, which looked at decision-maker and employee attitudes towards and perceptions of UC; to current and future adoption patterns; and perceived benefits.

"The dramatic shifts which have occurred since 2007 are compelling," says Neville Burdan, general manager for Microsoft Solutions, Dimension Data Asia Pacific.

“IPT is now fully mainstream and mature; there are more delivery and management options than ever for organisations seeking flexibility when investing in critical UCC applications; employee-centric strategies are taking hold; enterprise mobility is more important than ever; and there is a new appreciation of the business process improvements which UCC can support.

“Enterprises that don’t have – or have plans – to adopt UCC technologies, are increasingly finding themselves in a minority."

New Zealand perspective

Dimension Data NZ Principal Sales Specialist – Converged Communications Richard Fitch says Kiwis haven't yet fully embraced UCC, but it's fast arriving.

"Our traditional early adopters have been the banks, financial institutions and professional services organisations, and now we’re seeing more mainstream appeal across the broader market, and in particular the health care and education verticals.

“As a whole, New Zealand has been more cautious, and slower to realise some of the benefits from UCC.

"Now we’re in recovery mode following the global financial crisis, and businesses are applying more discipline around where they should be investing their money and where they will get the best return on that investment.

Claiming UCC is being recognised as a business imperative rather than a ‘nice to have', Fitch believes the pros far outweigh the cons.

“UCC provides great business benefits, particularly around cost down and productivity up," he says.

"It can drop costs by speeding up decision making, and provide better utilisation of scarce resources and highly specialised skills.

"Productivity can then increase, particularly when the business is mobilised to deliver services to people out in the field.

"Employees are intrinsically part of the business process, even though they’re out of the office.”

“There’s also a benefit from an organisational perspective – being seen as a good place to work, being able to attract skilled workers, giving people more flexibility in their interaction with the business, customers and partners.

"They might be working from home on occasion, but they still need to be part of the enterprise. Ultimately, it’s about delivering a unified and consistent communications experience to any device, anywhere, so people can collaborate in real time to enable the business.”

This research involved over 1,320 enterprise ICT decision-makers and 1,390 employees in a broad spectrum of industry verticals across 18 countries.