Unified comms misunderstandings could cost you

Friday, 12 April, 2013

Unified communicat

Misunderstandings about unified communications tools mean Australian organisations could be spending big on unified communications tools that don’t improve employee productivity.

A new study, titled ‘The Future of Unified Communications & Collaboration’, suggests IT decision-makers overestimate their employees’ understanding of unified communications tools.

The study, undertaken by analyst firm Ovum and commissioned by Dimension Data, also says many firms purchase these tools based on incorrect assumptions of employee behaviour.

Researchers interviewed more than 1320 enterprise ICT decision-makers in 18 countries and conducted web-based interviews of more than 1390 employees.

In Australia, the researchers spoke to 48 large businesses (1000+ employees) with HQs in the country and 54 employees that use unified communications and collaboration (UCC) tools.

The researchers found that IT decision-makers considered their employees fairly familiar with UCC. 75% of decision-makers estimated their user base was “at least somewhat familiar” with business social tools, while 85% believed users were “at least somewhat familiar” with mobile UC clients.

But this clashed with employees’ appraisals of their own understanding of UC.

“Only 42% of users surveyed have even heard of UC clients,” the report says.

The researchers also found that many employers have not taken the different UCC needs of different types of employee into account. About one-fifth (21%) of decision-makers believe their users have the same requirements when it comes to UCC, while 13% of decision-makers “don’t see the value in profiling [users]”, the report said.

Only 38% of large enterprises reported profiling their users.

“This lack of user awareness poses a risk to the success of UCC, especially since decision-makers indicated that they are basing UCC investments on improved business processes and productivity,” the report said.

With a flawed or incomplete understanding of what their users need, employers may find themselves with an expensive UCC system that does not match with their expectations - or their projected return on investment timeline.

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