‘UCC spend at risk without employee adoption’

Dimension Data research shows personnel to be key in ROI

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‘UCC spend at risk without employee adoption’ Levieux: [As] more employees bring their own devices to work, a gap in understanding between decision-makers and employees could come at a very real cost.
By  Stephen McBride Published  April 10, 2013

IT decision-makers in large organisations are predicted to spend $53m on services to support unified communications and collaboration (UCC) over the next two years, as uptake in UCC as a strategic business opportunity increases. However, this spend could be at risk without user adoption according to new research released yesterday by solutions and services provider Dimension Data.

Earlier this year, Dimension Data commissioned research firm Ovum to conduct a global UCC survey (Dimension Data 2013 Global UCC Study) across the Americas, Australia, Asia, Europe, and South Africa. According to Dimension Data, over 1,320 enterprise ICT decision-makers and 1,390 employees in a broad spectrum of industry verticals in 18 countries were interviewed.

The study found that over 78% of IT decision-makers have a current strategic plan and budget to implement "select components" of UCC. Additionally, 43% have a budget for "most components" of UCC, while 42% of decision-makers indicated they have a budget to proceed with investment in "all or most aspects" of UCC.

"This is a surprising shift," said Craig Levieux, Dimension Data's Group general manager for Converged Communications, "especially when economic conditions and operational constraints normally put the brake on enterprise communications investment. Typically, UCC has not been the subject of strategic ICT planning. In fact, until recently, UCC was largely synonymous with the corporate PBX, and the idea of formulating and rolling out a UCC strategy - even among large organisations - was alien.

"Of those IT decision-makers who had made major UCC investments in the past two years, a high 61% cited measurable cost savings, employee uptake and employee productivity. This sends a strong message to organisations that don't recognise unified communications as a strategic productivity and cost-saving weapon."

Meanwhile, the UCC aspirations of organisations don't match those of their employees. "Our research tells us that organisations are failing to profile and assess their employee requirements," explains Levieux. "This lack of employee awareness could pose a risk to the success of those UCC investments on today's boardroom agendas - especially since decision-makers expressed that they are basing their UCC investments on improved business processes and productivity. 

"When we analysed the strategic approach that enterprises are taking towards UCC, the BYOD trend, the focus on mobilising UC and social collaboration, and aspirational goals to increase business agility, we were surprised that only 38% of large enterprises reported that they profiled their users. Of those who don't profile users, around 20% have simply not thought of doing it. More alarming is the fact that 21% believe their employees all have the same requirements, while 13% did not see the value in profiling.

"For organisations looking to formulate or refresh a UCC, employee feedback is critical. In a world where more employees bring their own devices to work, a gap in understanding between decision-makers and employees could come at a very real cost. User uptake is a critical success metric for UCC investments, especially as more UCC applications will be delivered to employees, who expect multiple device support and applications that match their requirements. If not, uptake will continue to lag behind aspirations, as has been the case with many standard UCC applications to date," explains Levieux.

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