Ovum: UC projects are proceeding despite budget constraints

Multinational corporations they are upping the pace of unified communications implementation and integration despite fierce budget constraints, said Ovum Monday.

UC rollout has progressed painfully slowly in these huge organizations, but many individual UC applications are now deployed, with a strong focus on video in the coming year, said the research house, adding that extending UC to mobile devices is a priority for many.

Almost all the organizations taking part in this survey have a global strategy for implementation of IP telephony, said Ovum.

"More than 40 percent 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", said Pauline Trotter, principal analyst based in London. "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."

Many MNCs are now moving into the global implementation phase and are putting partnerships in place to support this activity, according to Ovum.

"Almost all of the companies we spoke to (86 percent) 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", said Trotter.

Cisco and Avaya dominate the global vendor partnerships, but a number of other IPT vendors are named, said Ovum, adding that 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, the analyst company added.

Email and IM are the most commonly deployed applications on handheld devices today, said Ovum. However, many of the interviewed Enterprise VPN User Association (EVUA) members are planning to deploy more mobile UC applications within the coming year, Ovum added.

The EVUA is a non-profit user organization aiming to promote global networking solutions for multinational companies.

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. Many companies plan to use dual-mode (GSM/Wi-Fi) devices. There is least interest in extending video applications to mobile devices, according to the research firm.

Relatively few of the companies interviewed are using mobile extensions to the PBX. Around 65 percent have no mobile devices acting as PBX extensions, said Ovum. Modest growth is predicted, with around half of the interviewed sample expecting to be using some mobile extensions within a year, the advisory firm noted.

This story, "Ovum: UC projects are proceeding despite budget constraints" was originally published by Computerworld Hong Kong.

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