MNCs increase uptake of unified communications

Multinational companies have been slow to deploy unified communications, but are starting to change says Ovum

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MNCs increase uptake of unified communications Multinationals are speeding up the move to unified communications systems says Ovum.
By  Mark Sutton Published  January 20, 2010

Multinational companies are increasing their uptake of unified communications (UC), according to research from Ovum, despite budget constraints and a previous lack of movement towards UC.

The survey of 23 multinational companies, all members of the EVUA ICT interest group, found that companies are now developing strategies for adoption of a range of UC applications, with video the most popular, and extending services to mobiles also a high priority.

Pauline Trotter, Principal Analyst with Ovum commented: "More than 40% [of companies surveyed] 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".

"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," she added.

The most common applications that have been deployed on mobile devices are email and instant messaging, the survey found, although companies are planning more mobile application deployments in areas such as telephony presence features; click-to-call from mobile applications; and single voicemail, single number and simultaneous ringing for fixed and mobile, although there is little interest in putting video applications on mobile devices.

There is less interest in mobile extensions to the PBX, with 65% reporting that they have no mobile devices acting as PBX extensions, although this is expected to be down to half within a year.

Cisco and Avaya dominated the global vendor partnerships, according to Ovum, although less than a third have selected a global implementation partner. Dimension Data, Orange Business Services and AT&T were among the most popular implementation partners selected so far.

Trotter also said that it is difficult to tell which vendors would emerge as the leaders in the mobile UC applications and services market, with the market becoming increasingly crowded.

"It looks as if they believe the software collaboration vendors and IPT vendors will dominate in mobility too although many see an important role for multiple types of supplier including mobile operators, SIs and device vendors", concludes Trotter.

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