Do you stick or twist with your UC software vendor? Companies increasingly saying twist

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Companies’ primary motivation for investing in a new unified communications (UC) tool is almost wholly around productivity while there is a conflict of thinking with regard to whether to use a single vendor, according to a new survey.

The results, from West Unified Communications Services, polled more than 250 IT managers and found increasing productivity (53%) far outweighed other concerns for businesses looking at updating their UC systems. Difficulty maintaining existing tools was the next most popular suggestion, but cited by only one in 10 (11%) respondents, as was executive demand (10%), reducing business travel costs (9%) and customer requirement (9%).

Audio conferencing (79% of respondents) just edged out web conferencing (76%) as the most popular UC tool. Video conferencing was cited by around two thirds (66%) of those polled, yet 36% argued they were likely to implement or expand their capabilities on video in the coming three years. For companies with IT budgets exceeding $5 million, video conferencing was higher on the list, cited by 91% of respondents. Audio conferencing (97%) was still top, with IM presence (91%) and screen sharing ability (82%) trailing.

Of note was the methods businesses employ when choosing UC software. Two in five respondents cite the importance of software from a single vendor, while 29% said they would delay their rollout until their preferred vendor released a unified comms solution. Yet this rails against other findings; more than half (56%) said having best of breed communication and collaboration tools is more important than just using the same vendor, compared to 15% who prioritise vendor continuity.

“Based on our survey findings, it’s clear that most businesses have embraced unified communications technology in some respect,” a post from West Unified reads. Yet the company warns: “Implementing a new web conferencing platform alone doesn’t mean an organisation’s UC duties are done. IT departments consistently need to think ahead about how to improve their businesses’ UC strategies, whether that means pursuing more advanced tools or enabling integration across existing solutions.”

Research from communication software provider BroadSoft earlier this year revealed that one in three small businesses expects to have mobile-only UCaaS solutions in place by 2020.

You can find out more about the West Unified study here.

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