Communications and collaboration part of companies’ lives

Communications and collaboration have become a part of companies’ lives, says Frost & Sullivan's Survey The awareness of unified communication and collaboration (UCC) tools has been significantly growing, as a C-level executive uses four to five tools on average per day.

The majority of tools available, especially instant and unified messaging is extensively employed at all levels of the organization. With satisfying return on investment (ROI) and anticipated cost savings, companies plan to increase their budgets toward web conferencing, instant messaging and other tools in the coming months.

In a recent survey on Investment Decisions in Communications and Collaboration Products and Services among Decision-Makers in Europe, Frost & Sullivan’s key analysts determined C-level executives’ attitudes and strategic thoughts on these tools. The survey measured awareness, level of usage and recognized leading communications and collaboration companies while assessing future intentions for the use of communications and collaboration tools within organizations.

“The C-level executives are conscious about benefits that communications and collaboration tools can bring and 46 per cent of the respondents plan to increase the budget for these tools in the next 12 months,” states Dorota Oviedo, Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst for Unified Communication and Collaboration group and co-author of the survey. “The respondents cited instant messaging (73 per cent), telephony presence information (71 per cent) and Enterprise Web 2.0 (63 per cent) as the most popular tools used daily by the C-level executives.”

The data gathered from the survey respondents gives a clear picture of a rapidly growing and expanding market. “A large share of organizations plan to expand usage of the specific tools, ranging from 36 per cent toward telepresence to almost 60 per cent for video conferencing,” adds Anna Kuberacka, Senior Researcher for Frost & Sullivan.

Analyst for Customer Research and second author of the research study. “Among non-users the largest proportion either plans to implement the tools within the next 12 months or in a longer term: within the next two to three years.”

The majority of companies (65 per cent), according to the survey, allocate up to 30 per cent of total expenditures to IT and telecommunications and nearly 60 per cent of companies spend up to 20 per cent of this budget toward new technologies and services. “Among the main reasons to extend the communication and collaboration budget in the future is productivity increase (46 per cent),” reports Ms Kuberacka. “The executives also noted less travel (43 per cent), cost reduction (35 per cent) and technology advances (35 per cent) as key drivers.”

The survey also shows that the communications and collaboration market is highly competitive. Most of the organizations use more than one provider, with a significant share (over 40 per cent) using at least four providers. “The awareness of the major market participants is high, however the usage is extremely fragmented,” notes Ms Oviedo. “There is no clear leader in terms of market share overall.”

The Frost & Sullivan survey has evidently confirmed that the positive view of communication and collaboration tools among C-level executives supports growing adoption of these solutions within companies. For those, who have not yet introduced the UCC tools, it might be a competitive disadvantage in the fast moving market. Communication and collaboration market players, including vendors, service providers and channel partners will surely benefit from the market developments and significant growth opportunities in the coming years, according to the survey.
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