Two thirds of large companies plan to invest in UC

Victor Ng / Enterprise Innovation

When car rental company Hertz needed to take its unified communications (UC) to a new level, it teamed up with IBM and Ribbon Communications to make it happen.

According to Monica Gionet, director of UC at Hertz, the company has, for the last 3 years, outsourced its IT transformation to IBM, from helpdesk to UC infrastructure.

Working closely with the IBM and Ribbon teams, Hertz now enjoys simplicity with its UC solution on the cloud serving multiple locations globally, especially in the ease of scaling up and down according to needs and demands, and ease of use for its end-users taking calls and orders for car rentals.

Many other businesses, large and small, are experiencing - or looking to experience - similar transformations, seeing the need to improve customer and employee experiences, enhancing workflows and productivity, and to enhance security.

Over the past year, on the Asia Pacific service provider front, Hong Kong Broadband and Optus have launched Communications-Services-as-a-Service (CPaaS)-powered offerings. This represents a growing trend in which large service providers are turning to CPaaS solutions to quickly deliver their enterprise and developer customers carrier-grade, no-code to low-code, real-time communications (RTC) capabilities.

Ribbon Communications, a global software leader in secure and intelligent cloud communications, recently completed a comprehensive research study it undertook to understand the purchase drivers and buying behaviors of SMEs and enterprises around the world.

The results were first unveiled by Patrick Joggerst, CMO and EVP Business Development, in his keynote speech at Perspectives19 held in Washington DC this week.

Ribbon’s global survey reached 4,800 decision makers in 23 countries at businesses ranging in size from 5 to many thousands of employees, asking questions aimed at understanding who these companies are buying services from today, how they use collaboration tools and video conferencing, how they are managing their IT and their adoption of Unified Communications. The companies represented a wide range of industries.

Respondents were from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the UAE, the UK and the US.

The survey found that, of the organizations who have not yet invested UC technology, 68% of large (more than 1,000 employees) companies and 46% of small (1-20 employees) planned to adopt some form of UC in the next two years.

The numbers were even more striking for mid-sized companies, with 67% of those with 21 to 100 employees and 71% of those with 101 to 1000 employees predicting the same timeframe.

“Clearly, the UC value proposition resonates across cross-market and cross-industry no matter the size of the company,” said Patrick Joggerst, CMO & EVP of Business Development, Ribbon. “Our findings highlight the significant market opportunity to serve these organizations, and results also provided us with some unexpected findings….”

For instance, UC adoption is more advanced (41%) in large companies than in small ones (10%), contrary to the view that smaller companies are usually the first to leverage new technologies.

The research also highlights security’s key role in a comprehensive UC solution, with a staggering 56% of respondents admitting they have been victimized by attacks running the gamut from DDoS to robocalls, and 83% of respondents wanting their UC providers to be responsible for providing protection.

Meanwhile, 28% of respondents have deployed or are already deploying SD-WAN. About three-quarters are familiar with the concept, and 17% are planning to deploy SD-WAN in the near future. Deploying SD-WAN with session border controllers (SBC) makes sense especially for securing and ensuring mission-critical communications. 

Additional findings include:

  • The UC market still offers a number of growth prospects -- Ribbon estimates that the available US market comprises 85 million seats.
     
  • A significant number (39%) of UC adopters purchased their service from “traditional” providers (LECs in the US and national carriers in the rest of the world), with the next 30% of buyers evenly split between competitive carriers and IT services companies. Mobile carriers, on the other hand, only accounted for 4% of purchases.
     
  • The numbers change significantly for those who have not yet purchased UC services. Their stated preferences run to traditional providers (21%) and mobile carriers (16%), followed by cablecos, competitive carriers, equipment providers and IT services companies each accounting for 11% of stated intention.
     
  • Of the 83% of respondents who felt that UC providers should be responsible for the security of IP communications, 18% were willing to pay extra for this capability.

First published in Enterprise Innovation

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