Australian businesses embrace Unified Communications: study

Australian businesses embrace Unified Communications: study

More than 70 per cent expect UC to pay its own way in the near future

Australian businesses are confident of seeing a payoff from their Unified Communications (UC) investment within the next two years, according to a joint survey by Jabra and Frost & Sullivan.

The study, which polled more than 300 IT decision-makers in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, UK and US, found more than 70 per cent of businesses expect the technology to pay its own way in the near future.

Within Australia, 46 per cent expect significant increases in employee productivity by implementing UC and 63 per cent said the main driver to implement UC technology was the cost effectiveness of a converged voice and data network.

Jabra A/NZ managing director, Fulvio Toniotti, said companies are replacing older technology with new UC solutions as they offer a good return on investment.

“Technology should enable businesses to be more agile and superior at competing in a difficult economy and we are certain that the many benefits of UC – such as greater collaboration, increased productivity, and more efficient business processes – will become readily apparent as companies move forward using them,” he claimed.

Getting staff and management buy-in were the key drivers to successful implementation of UC applications, the study found. Inadequate training (58 per cent), resistance to giving up established tools (44 per cent) and lack of integration with existing tools (37 per cent) were the biggest barriers to adoption.

It also showed voice applications were critical in the communication strategies of most organisations worldwide.

Companies that have made the transition to a UC environment said headsets had significantly improved the work environment; with 58 per cent of respondents mentioning they have their hands free when on calls and 41 per cent of them agreeing to reducing noise in the office as a result of improved sound quality.

However, while cost savings were the main driver for implementing UC tools, the initial cost of UC implementation (63 per cent) is a key restraint globally. Other global concerns include the limited value for the majority of the workforce (35 per cent) and the expertise required to manage the roll-out (31 per cent).

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